Career Transition, Your Lucky Break?

Michael Cuff Providing Networking Skills and Techniques at Manna on Main Street
September 12, 2017
Wilmington ExecuNet Meeting – September 2017
September 14, 2017

Whether you call it ‘chi’, ‘fate’, or just ‘dumb luck’, those of us who work with Career Transition clients know there is an uncanny correlation between the moment when an individual loses a position and the perfect opportunity in their life to consider a course correction.

Being employed is not always conducive to exploring options.  Work may keep us too busy or sap our energy to the degree that we can’t begin to dream about a different future.  Fears of the unfamiliar or of loss of income may keep us saddled with a lousy boss or too long a commute.  It may feel selfish to think of our needs and desires when we have a steady job.  For many, losing their job is the first time that they’ve had the time and the opportunity to think about what they really want.  Do you want to …

  • Climb the corporate ladder?
  • Go back to school?
  • Retire but work part-time?
  • Work from home?
  • Move into non-profit work that speaks to your heart?
  • Become your own boss?
  • Have a short commute?
  • Work abroad?

We help our clients make these things happen every single day.

Some of the first advice given to those in career transition is to stop and consider the options.  All too often, we just go with what is familiar and before you know it, we are writing a resume to get exactly the same type of job that was previously held.  Obtaining similar employment is a valid choice and one that most people make but, it should be just that, a choice and not a given.

So, what do our clients do for their next career and how do we help them get there?

Leverage Previous Experience into a New Role

One of my most memorable clients planned on continuing her vendor management career. With a great ta-dah, I presented her with the final draft resume and received a lukewarm forced smile in return.  We left the office, went for coffee, and just talked.  When the finished resume forced her to face reality, her heart told her that she wanted to do something very different with her life.  She still tells the story of me ripping up her resume that day and saying, “Let’s start over now that you know what you don’t want to do.  What do you want to do with your life?”  Today, she lives the dream that she described that day several years ago.

For those open to new possibilities, Career Transition starts with a bit of reverie supported by detailed investigation.  Conversations about life time goals are buttressed with assessments of skills, knowledge, and abilities and reality based discussions about income requirements and risk tolerance.  A gap analysis identifies the realities and possibilities of any new opportunity, perhaps a move to the non-profit world or a jump from education to industry.  Our experienced coaches then work with our clients to develop and implement a marketing plan, one that turns imagination into reality.

Own a Business

Several of our clients decide that they have enough experience and savoir faire to own and run their own enterprise. Businesses founded through a career transition experience run the gamut from providing temporary CFO services on a contract basis to becoming an artisanal chocolatier.  Many of our senior clients decide to leverage the expertise and contacts gained through their years of experience becoming consultants, often hired by the companies and competitors with whom they’ve previously engaged.

Our entrepreneurial minded clients work with coaches who are experienced in starting businesses and are supported by a technology portal dedicated to the unique needs and opportunities of business ownership.   We support the full complement of business ownership from purchasing a franchise, buying an existing business, or creating a new start-up from scratch.

Enjoy a Fulfilling Retirement

With the baby-boomers hitting retirement age, we’ve received a surge in clients who want to explore the richness of retirement with a coach.  Our process starts with a confidential assessment tool that looks at each client’s preparedness for retirement in one of several areas including wellness, finances, leisure, personal development, and more.  Green lights signify a high degree of confidence that things are under control.  Red lights identify areas that may need some additional attention to enjoy retirement to the max.

Our retirement counseling certified coaches, work with each client to evaluate areas of opportunity and to plan for success.  Unique to our program is the invitation for a ‘significant other’ to take their own assessment and to go through coaching together.  This gives couples a chance to understand and discuss their hopes and expectations and to plan a happy-ever-after that satisfies both of their needs and wants.   The programs are very action oriented, with clients prioritizing and implementing the steps to a successful retirement.

Pursue Traditional Employment

Most of our clients do seek positions in the industry and/or profession from which they came.  17% of them land an opportunity higher in level than previously held.  This is usually the result of a planned marketing campaign targeting a more senior role but with a fall-back safety cushion search at a lateral level.  7% of our clients accept a position that is a downgrade in level.  For many of them, this is an intentional choice to seek a better work-life balance or return to a well-loved technical role from a less appreciated management position.  The remaining 74% are satisfactorily re-employed in a similar role to that which they held before, with almost half of them obtaining re-employment in 60 days or less.

How do we get such great results?  Our traditional career transition program is robust.  From the first day, each client has an individual coach to guide them step-by-step through the process supported by workshops and webinars, top notch technology, free access to industry renown databases and tools, and personalized networking opportunities.

The world of employment is exciting and larger than most of us suspect.   We wish you job stability and happiness but, if you ever find yourself in career transition it may be your ‘lucky break’.

Joan Engel
Operations & Project Management
CCI Consulting

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