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  • Writer's pictureAlan Shoebridge

What you might be overlooking about a career change – part three

When I started this series of blog posts in early 2018 after making a major career change, I never imagined writing about this development. What might you be overlooking about a career change? The fact that the first move you make might not be the right one.

Over the years, I noticed that a significant number of my colleagues left long-term roles, joined new companies and then quickly left those opportunities. I always wondered what happened in those situations and dismissed the fact that I might ever find myself in the same situation.

And then it happened. I had to restart my job search after that first giant leap didn’t work out. Even though I ended up moving on in less than a year, and after relocating as part of the process, I don’t regret taking the chance. It was a good experience in numerous ways. When I announced my re-entry into the job market, many people reached out to tell me that they too had gone through similar situations in the past and almost everyone felt the experiences they had were positive and ultimately helped them define what they really wanted to do.

It’s also a situation that has become more common in the last five years. In fact, a 2014 study shows that nearly a third of new hires quit within the first six months:

“31 percent of people have left a job within the first six months, with 68 percent of those departing within three months. For many new employees, it seems the first three months at an organization are the most precarious.”

These were the most common reasons cited:

  • They decided the work was something they didn’t want to do anymore. (28 percent)

  • They felt their jobs were different from what they expected in the interview. (26 percent)

  • They felt their boss was a jerk. (23 percent)

Five ways to make the most of your situation

If you find yourself looking for a new role much quicker than you expected, it’s important to develop a strategy and be proactive once you have moved on. Here are a few simple strategies that I suggest based on my recent experience:

  1. Inform your network. As I mentioned earlier, it was great to get advice and support from people who had been in my shoes. Also, your network is invaluable for surfacing potential job opportunities. Make sure you let people know about your career change by updating your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn.

  2. Keep your options open. There is no harm in having conversations with potential employers you might not have considered the first time around. You could find the perfect fit at a company you never even knew existed.

  3. Use your time wisely. If you’re not working, it’s a great time to attend Webinars, read books and get up to speed on your industry. Making the time to do those things will be challenging once you have a job again.

  4. Have fun. I really enjoyed my weekday bike rides, hikes, movies, naps, etc. Setting aside a few hours a day to relax is another luxury you won’t have later.

  5. Consider working with a coach. Setting goals and pushing yourself is a great exercise, but you might need some help. I got some excellent advice on focusing on goals from an old friend who is a career coach.

One last piece of advice is to read part one of this series on career changes. It really helps to financially prepare for the possibility of things not working out if you can do it.

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