8 Critical Steps to A Successful Career Transition
This article is a case study of Mary Ann, a woman I coached through a major career transition several years ago. It illustrates the application of the 8 critical steps and how they were effective in guiding her to a successful career transition.
Mary Ann was a talented, successful attorney on the fast track to becoming a partner in her law firm. There was only one problem. She didn't want to be a lawyer anymore. She was faced with the dilemma of what to do with her life and career and how she was going to explain to everyone in her life why she wanted to abandon her prestigious and high paying job with no idea of a new direction and no prospects of anything better.
Specifically, she was confronted with the challenge of explaining this to her husband, a college professor and a man who was very proud of his wife's accomplishments. Mary Ann was severely conflicted and with an absolute dread of dealing with the insurmountable challenge in front of her. It was at the point of greatest despair that she found Career Crafting.
Step 1: Forgive Yourself and Everyone Else in your Life; Clear Your Emotional Landscape; Let go of the past; Create a clean Slate in which you can create newly again; Reconnect to the joy of discovery and creation in present time
The Career Crafting program helped Mary Ann let go of her judgments about herself. She learned to quiet her inner voices which were telling her that she was crazy. She learned to accept and appreciate her circumstances and see them as a huge growth opportunity rather than something to dread and avoid. Mary Ann started to listen and validate her inner guidance which began to restore her self-trust. She started to give herself permission to know her truth, speak her truth and stay open to new possibilities that were previously impossible. Needless to say, this was a huge transformation all by itself.
Step 2: Take Care of your immediate financial needs by utilizing and applying your most easily marketable skills; Get your overall financial house in order; Eliminate survival energy from your life; Maintain a strict separation between your needs for the present and your desires, aspirations, and vision for the future.
The Career Crafting Tools and coaching system allowed her to re-negotiate a new part time agreement with her law firm so she could retain her benefits and a sufficient salary to cover the mortgage and other basic expenses. This gave her the time and piece of mind she needed to begin crafting her new life and career.
Step 3: Create and sustain an effective support system; Learn and apply the 4 coaching elements critical to your long term success in every area of your life
Mary Ann came to understand the critical importance of having an effective support system and, this inspired her to assemble the most ideal people in her life who wound up validating her decisions and supporting her discovery process. The coaching helped her muster the courage to speak honestly with her husband who was, to her surprise, very supportive of her doing what she really wanted to do.
Step 4: Dis-cover (uncover) your core interests, desires, values, skills, talents and passions as a result of a comprehensive assessment process. Understand the role of beliefs in your life and how, by changing your beliefs, you can change your life experience.
As a result of the multi-faceted Career Crafting assessment process, Mary Ann started to discover the things that gave her life meaning, purpose, satisfaction, enjoyment and the activities that sparked her passion and creativity. These discoveries initially surprised her until she later realized that her pursuit of law was really something she did to please others, not herself. The Career Crafting assessment process also uncovered many of her underlying beliefs which allowed her to see the ones that were supporting her forward movement and the beliefs that were sabotaging her progress.
Step 5: Synthesize and Distill your discoveries into a Career Playground Statement. This is a statement of Life Purpose but can also include concrete goals with specific timeframes.
The Career Crafting distillation process empowered Mary Ann to integrate her insights. She soon became clear that the arts was her greatest love yet she wanted to combine this with something practical that people could use in their everyday lives. This led to her decision to start a home based business in which she would market her unique creative designs to women for their home environments.
Step 6: Learn, Research, Network, Build relationships and Key Alliances; Find a Mentor; Build Momentum on your Confidence-Success Spiral
During the months that followed, Mary Ann applied the Career Crafting implementation toolkit which included research, networking and learning from others already successful in her targeted field. She further developed her designs and got critical feedback from experts. As this continued to unfold, Mary Ann found herself with growing excitement, increased confidence and unwavering determination to succeed.
Step 7: Create and implement your Career Master Plan; Learn and apply the Entrepreneurial Attitude wherever appropriate; Target and market yourself and/or your products to appropriate individuals and/or organizations.
Mary Ann formulated and implemented a solid master plan with the support of her team that included her close friends, her husband and her family's financial advisor. The Career Crafting slogan "You're Always Molding the Clay" became a central mantra for Mary Ann's new found freedom.
Mary Ann let go of her previous "employee mentality" and easily shifted into an entrepreneurial focus. The promise of creative freedom was so enticing and motivating to her, nothing could stop her.
She realized that no matter what she might discover or what changes might occur down the road, she could always make the needed changes in her business and/or goals to reflect these shifts. Unlike many scattered entrepreneurs, she was on solid ground in starting her business with a functional support system to ensure her long term success.
Step 8: Apply an ongoing feedback-adjustment process to your objectives, vision and strategy. Seek to achieve balance in all areas of your life, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. To maintain yourself on your cutting edge, share your success and mentor others in the Career Crafting Process.
By remaining focused and consistent in developing and marketing her designs, Mary Ann rapidly acquired customers and new contracts. She continued to follow the Career Crafting recommendation to stay in touch with her creative instincts which allowed her to stay passionate and focused. Over the months and years that followed, she supported others with Career Crafting which allowed her to stay fresh with the principles and methodology.
To maximize the value from this story, we recommend that you answer the questions below:
Were you inspired by Mary Ann's courage and willingness to confront her fears, doubts and take action?
Are you now feeling that you might also be able to make a successful transition to something meaningful, rewarding, financially self sustaining and creative?
Now that you have been exposed to the 8 Critical Steps outlined in the story, can you see yourself following these steps with the guidance of a coach and supportive community? If it was possible for you to do this for less than the cost of a cup of coffee each day, would that make it attainable?
We're looking forward to adding your success story to our website! Take action today!