The prospect of making a major career move can be very exciting. However, the reality is that successfully completing a career transition, especially for an executive position, can be a time-consuming, and complicated process. Therefore, it is in your best interest to develop an action plan to assist you in properly managing your job hunt.
Action plans will naturally be as varied as the people who create them. However, the following four elements should be critical elements of any effective action plan.
BEGIN WITH THE WHY
Many individuals know that they hate or have outgrown their current role. Many of these people, however, don’t dig much deeper that.
You need to be clear on the why you really want to leave your current post before you just start steamrolling your way toward something new. Consider this: you may very well end up in a different position, but one that you will still be unsatisfied with. What’s the point of undergoing all of this effort if you find yourself in the same situation?
Think about these essential questions: Why do I want this? Why do I think this new professional role will make my life more satisfying? What might be the downsides or risks involved in a professional switch? By going through this exercise, you realize that things actually might not be as bad in your present situation. This process may also lead you to realize that the job hunting path will become even more appealing and make you push harder to achieve your goals.
DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVES
Before beginning any plan, it is critical to know what you are planning for. What’s your principle goal? Is there a particular position you are aiming to acquire? Is there a certain company you want to work for? Is there a timeline that must be adhered to? Have these objectives clearly focused and understood; perhaps even write these down to use as a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve.
Once you have defined what your endgame is, it is important to set milestones that will guide you toward achieving your goal. These milestones may include brushing up on particular skills before you apply for positions and networking with key influencers/individuals. Other milestones that deserve more consideration during this process include having personal affairs in order to prepare for any career shift- which may include an eventual relocation.
PERFORM DAILY TASKS
Plan to structure your daily routine so that you can take incremental steps towards your goal. This may be as simple as getting up thirty minutes earlier each day so you have more time to check job listings and reach out to connections. You can also assign yourself tasks such as researching what companies in your industry are looking for in qualified candidates, or emailing friends and former colleagues to schedule more personal networking meetings, such as working lunches or evening cocktails.
Whatever individual tasks you aim to complete, be sure to take the time to continuously review your milestones and assess your progress and the issues that may be holding you back. Use this self-assessment to modify your routine and keep refining your action plan.
As you complete each of these smaller daily tasks, you will sure to notice how small steps can come together to have a snowball effect on your job hunt. Each small victory will increasingly give you both momentum and confidence, enabling your prospects of professional success to become a very real possibility.