Getting ready for career change in 2017

“Set up the pieces in November and December and then start the career change process in full force in January.”  I told Jessica, a twentysomething from Hamden, Connecticut.  She was in a customer service job that she described as a dead end.  As tends to be the case, she contacted Career Counseling Connecticut only after she had suffered in career pain for a couple of years.  When she met with me, she was ready for a change.  She was not delighted to hear that she had to engage in a process.

Jessica wanted instant career change.  In providing career counseling for over a decade, I have to gently let those down who think they can wake up one day, decide upon a new career, and then start the new career immediately thereafter.

Career change is a process.  November and December are great times to set the process in motion. Why?  Because most companies don’t hire in right now.  The holidays, end of the year reports, new budget for 2017 etc. all conspire to make getting hired in a new company a challenge.   So, get your career vision in place.  Figure out your career change strategy.  Start talking to your contacts.  Do all the things necessary to strike.

As for setting up your pieces, I’ll speak to the 5% who understand chess.  The best players spend the first part of most games developing their bishops and knights, setting up a defensive structure for their King, and crafting a strategy for when to attack. Then, they pounce by bringing out their Queen and going for a check mate or superior position.  This metaphor works for career change as well.