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Navigating your career transition with integrity – wrap up, part 1 of 2

Sep. 12, 2013 | Cindy Lee

[THIS POST IS PART OF A SERIES ON  NAVIGATING YOUR CAREER TRANSITION WITH INTEGRITY, WHICH IS OPPOSITE FROM YOUR TYPICAL "BACKWARDS" APPROACHES TO JOB SEARCHING.]

Let’s wrap up the series and tie it all together…
I can’t believe how quickly summer flew by. I want to make sure that you are prepared when a solid opportunity comes your way to make a clear decision and act with integrity.

We’ve taken inventory of your life and past experiences to understand how you are uniquely created and purposed – we’ve created a Profile of your core values, personality, skills, passion, interests… all painting a clearer, holistic picture of your Purpose right there in your notebook.

Along the way, you’ve also identified and articulated your ideal type of work and preferences for work environment (basically, your Ideal Job Description) based on what you currently know about yourself and the job market as well as convictions you’ve experienced — type of industry, category of goods, company size, culture, structure of environment, target audience, growth opportunity, compensation & benefits requirements, etc. You’ve even given an honest account of your boundaries and non-negotiables so you can be free to take action and explore.

So then, in light of what you know about yourself, let’s get you in active pursuit of opportunities that match. Now that we’re more clear about what you’re looking for, we’ll focus on articulating it through resumes/coverletters, networking, LinkedIn, interviews, etc.

Yes, as we discussed in the opening posts, there is a timing to when and how you “network” and “get out there” – and NOW is the time!

Along your job search, people will be asking you, “Who are you, and what do you want to do?” Potential employers, family, friends who want to be helpful… they’ll all be wondering the same thing. I’m sure you used to wonder the same, but now you have an answer for them and can paint a picture that allows them to clearly help you.

EXERCISE: Who are you, and what do you want to do?

I was discussing the concept of Integrity with a client who happened to have a background in architecture. A lightbulb went off as she pointed out that in architecture, structural integrity means that every screw is tight and board is in its proper place, and it passes the test of being complete and safe. It’s on solid foundation, and it won’t waver or crumble. That was perfect! That’s what we’re going for in your life, and specifically here in your career transition.

By now you should have a clear blueprint to outline what you’ll pursue in your next job. It took a lot of time and reflection, so honor it as true — you can always refine it, but definitely try not to second-guess it. Consider it as your firm, solid foundation, upon which we’ll build your career.

  1. Learn / Study your Profile well.
    • This is YOU, in any and all aspects of your life, of which career is a big one.
    • This is key for you to confidently and accurately represent yourself.
    • Remember that you are not created and purposed to be the same as someone else!
  2. Start drafting your career objective.
    • Organize the information you’ve identified in your Ideal Job Description, and summarize it at the top of your paper in terms of “who I am & what I’m looking for.” Eg, A structured and creative manager of operations looking to improve relationships between healthcare providers and their patients by optimizing their communications and processes.
    • This objective becomes the focus of all your job search efforts. It is not time bound. It’s more than “to find a good job.” It captures what you would like to do through your next job.

This first part of navigating a career transition with integrity was getting clear about what you’re looking for, which is where we established what’s important to you for your next job. The other part entails aligning your actions with that, and we’ll focus on articulating it to the rest of the world through the various tools at our disposal.

In preparation for the final post, think about how the various pieces come together in your job search – your cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile, networking, and interviews…