Top 5 Lessons Learned in Career Transition


This is the 3rd recession I have seen as a Recruiter and this by far is the toughest because just when we think things are turning around, jobs still remain elusive. recession job market Given this drawn out recession, there are still some lessons that hold true that I have heard from many successful professionals through periods of unexpected unemployment, career search and career move.

1. Don’t wait until you need people to reach out.  In my view, women tend to view networking as a waste of time when there is so m...  helping people to build networkDon’t make the mistake of overlooking the importance of networking and building relationships to your career path.  As Marci Lerner, a finance executive recently in transition mentioned in a panel discussion for Boston Women in Finance, “Don’t wait until you need people to call them.  Keep in touch with your network and always look for what you can do for them.”

2. Focus on what you have control over.  This is my advice for life in general but when anxiety is high, like when we become unexpectedly unemployed, it becomes even more important.  Stress can back-fire on you by making you sick or flat out making you seem undesirable to an employer.  Focus on local company research (news, alerts, tweets), networking (LinkedIn and face-to-face) and making a positive impression on everyone you meet.

3. Lose the “chip!”  As alluded to above, the stress and anger of not being able to get a job or interviews as easily as you may have been able to in the past can damage the impression you are able to make on an employer.  I have seen this apparent even in a cover letter!!  Also, you never know who might be the person to lead you to your next career opportunity so always be on your best behavior with a positive attitude and never mentioning any party at blame.

4. Don’t let fear stop you from promoting yourself.  Marie E. Lamont, VP of Finance at Genzyme Corporation, noticed an increase to the pace of her success when she realized it was “OK” to make sure her work was noticed.  This concept works on the job market as well.  It is not about coming off arrogant or self-centered.  It is about a show of confidence in making sure the right people are aware of your capabilities and how they can benefit them. It is OK to be fearful when attempting to do this, just “don’t let the fear stop you.”

5. Understand the “Salary Reality.”  OK, here is the reality…ready?  Salaries are dictated by the job market much like housing prices are dictated by the Real Estate market.  The house that was worth 500k in 2007 is most likely not worth that much now…even though the house might be even better than it was then.  salary  If you were lucky enough to be working that whole time, there is a bit of a placeholder on the salary but if not, there might be some concessions that need to be made regarding salary expectation to get back in the workforce and not let skills become stale. If skills are allowed to become stale, then there really be a problem.  Don’t equate your salary number to your self-worth.  Take a job for what it can add to your skill set and how marketable it can make you for your chosen career path.  That will equate to much more money in the future than the concessions you might have to make now.

These are just the Top 5 that I have gathered from some of my professional network, what lessons have you learned while in career transition?

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Comment by Recruiting Animal on January 27, 2011 at 2:50pm
Note: Loose is when your clothes don't fit - PS U can hate me. I love it
Comment by Becki Dunaway on January 27, 2011 at 8:18pm

Saundra -- Nice post!  I'm learning patience as I have been one of those affected this go round.  It is hard to be patient when you're used to always getting hired right away.  When you start to lose your patience I think that's when you start to come across to an interviewer in the wrong way. 



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