Support During Career Transition: Keeping Upbeat and Focused

Do you sometimes find that as soon as you take that leap and decide to make a positive career change, you’re met with criticism and resistance from those around you? They tell you why it’s a bad idea and try to persuade you not to follow your dream.

Luckily, it only seems that way. One of the biggest challenges that many people in career transition face is trying to convince their families, friends, coworkers and the people who know them best, that change is a good thing. At a time when everything is in flux, it’s tough for us to reassure people we are headed on the path to success despite any obstacles which may surface along the way. We may even be uncertain ourselves! And because we frequently experience the most resistance to our ideas from the people who mean the most to us, it can FEEL like our core support system is caving in. But don’t worry, I assure you it’s not!

As a certified career coach who has helped many people overcome obstacles and who has paved the way for my own career, I make sure my clients know where to find the best type of career support, at the time when they need it most. Here are five sources where you can seek out guidance, education–even commiseration!–during your career transition period.

1. Career networking – both online and in person.

There are tons of career-focused networks and resources on the internet and in your local area. To locate them online, do a Google search. Check out your home town paper to find out where the best career focused communities are hiding. Go out and mingle with like-minded professionals who are seeking a change in their own careers or who are currently in the career you want to pursue. Participate in workshops, contact your college alumni office or attend a networking event. The information is there for the taking, all you have to do is seek and you shall find.

2. Individual career coaching.

On my site I offer what is known as Co-Active Coaching – a style of coaching that empowers the career seeker to find the right answers on their own and navigate their career course in a way that feels right for them alone. A good coach will never just hand you instructions, but is there instead to offer expert advice, an objective viewpoint, positive encouragement and suggestions to help manage your goals effectively, in a manner that works for you.

3. A career seeking buddy.

Sometimes it isn’t easy being that “horse of a different color” in your group of friends. If everyone you know is consumed with their corporate job but you have a strong urge to strike out on your own, you may get some resistance from those who can’t relate or are fearful you might be making a mistake. The solution is not to try to persuade the naysayers, but instead seek like-minded people or a supportive friend to commiserate with, share experiences with, and bounce ideas off of. It’s so important to feel like you have someone who understands what you’re going through during the sometimes unpredictable yet exhilarating career transition time. You can find a career seeking buddy by following up with some of the other points in this article–for example, visiting online and in-person networks where career seekers converge, taking a career education course or career teleclass and reaching out to classmates, or even asking your career coach to introduce you to others in her circle of contacts.

4. A mentor or someone who has “been there.”

Is there someone in your life who you admire because they didn’t follow the status quo, created their own path or just seem to be living out an amazingly full and satisfying life and career? Maybe you have a friend, relative, or acquaintance who started their own business or managed to interweave creativity and flexibility into their professional life in a way that stands out from the crowd. Now is a perfect time to ask for advice and guidance from that person, listen to their story, learn from their mistakes, and apply this knowledge to the changes that you’re going through in your own career. Most people are more than happy to share what they have learned. The experience is sure to be enlightening and you will be making a friend and professional contact in the process.

5. Career education courses.

Newspapers, career publications, public libraries, online career resources and even my career website, http://www.HallieCrawford.com, are all great places to discover reasonably-priced career education and transition courses. Become armed with the knowledge needed to begin your journey on the path to a more fulfilling career. I myself offer a terrific and inspiring Career Seekers Teleclass that’s held several times per year. It’s a fantastic support program for those who are interested in coaching but either aren’t ready to invest in individual coaching just yet, or really like the idea of participating in a group where others are going through the same thing you are. For more information, visit my website at the bottom of this article.

When you’re striving for a positive change in your life, the goal is to seek out experiences and people that help you pursue that goal, enhance your knowledge, and offer positive feedback. It’s understandable that our human support group won’t always exist in the places where we’re used to having it… but help is out there. I have confidence that you will receive the guidance and understanding you need to move forward with your dream of the ultimate career for you. Good luck!

Copyright 2006 Hallie Crawford, Authentically Speaking. All rights reserved.