I try to pay attention.

shutterstock_131772284 As I begin to work with more and more people looking to make career changes or who are mired in the job search, I am learning a lot about how the process of career change impacts people’s emotions.

Job searching or attempting to change a career can be exciting, it can also be very challenging. Sure it would be nice if we all had people funding our lives, but in many cases, our job security is closely related to our survival.

I am writing this for every person who feels stuck and wondering what the next step will be. It is the hardest position to be in, not having full control over all of the decisions that are involved with finding your next job. Sure some people are cut out to be entrepreneurs, but for many of us, steady income is necessary right now.

Recently I had a perspective client ask me what my “success rate” was. I want to tell you why this is an unfair question to ask any career coach. I would love to be able to promise every person that when they do all the right things it guarantees them a job.

You can be the most experienced person with all the confidence in the world. We could get your resume and LinkedIn polished and beautiful. After all of that, there are still variables over which we have zero control. You cannot control the timing of company’s looking to hire, You cannot control the fact that if a company can pay less for a younger person they can mold over a seasoned professional, sometimes they opt to do this. You cannot control budgets, timelines, or anything else. You also can’t control the market for hiring someone in your industry. This changes with time, the economy, and the advancement of technology.

Does it mean all hope is gone? Of course not, I am still an optimist at the end of the day. You CAN make a career move. You can find meaningful work. It is only up against an unrealistic timeline of the process that we wind up feeling exhausted and demoralized. Finding a job can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to a year depending on your industry, experience, and all of the other variables that aren’t always in our hands.

So what you can you control?

You can only control your relationship to the process. You can only keep showing up. Keep applying (taking necessary breaks), but the thing that will probably help you move faster is to start talking. Start talking to family and friends. Let them know what you are looking for. Give up concerns of asking for anything. You aren’t asking someone to give you a job, you are giving one more human being on the planet the knowledge of your current situation so they can possibly help you. They may have nothing to say in the moment. But two weeks late that person may be at dinner with a friend who happens to be looking for someone with your qualifications.

I’d like to close with a testimonial from my most recent client. I’ll call her “Grace.”

I can’t promise you a job as quickly as Grace found one (All within just 5 sessions over the course of 6 weeks) but I can promise you a new relationship to the career change process that doesn’t feel like you are drowning, or at least makes the roller coaster ride a little more enjoyable.

Roller Coaster at Sunset “Out of the experience of working with Stephanie, I secured employment with a salary increase of almost 23%!  Now that’s a hard fact.  That surely wasn’t my original goal.  I didn’t necessarily need a career change but surely needed advancement and a change of scenery.  I received all of that and more.  After 30 years of employment it was a daunting outlook on where to go and more importantly where to start.  In today’s market my age was against me and as I found out the way an applicant projects themselves in the job market also changed considerably. 

Stephanie was able to mirror back to me my job skills, abilities and experience that I had taken for granted and struggled to position as marketable.  That alone boosted my confidence.  Stephanie also saw how outdated my resume had been and rewrote that into an updated and most professional resume as one of our sessions.  That alone was worth the investment!

As strong as a leader as I thought I was, I was very comfortable in my position and the thought of starting out new was quite overwhelming.  Stephanie’s experience as a job coach was indispensable.  I know that I would still be looking and frustrated with the process if I continued to work through the job change process on my own.  Her encouragement and support assisted me in taking each new step.  It allowed me to work on one piece of the process at a time knowing that Stephanie was walking me through at the pace I needed to work that was comfortable for me. 

I felt through the entire process that Stephanie was listening to what I had to say, to my fears and yet she knew the perfect time to challenge me or at the very least how to ask the questions for me to overcome the challenges.  Right before my interview she asked me pertinent questions and we were able to role play.  Though it felt awkward it surely made a difference in the success of my interview!

The most important and significant aspect of this entire process was having a mentor who was available and cared about what I was going through.  She’s been there and understands the pitfalls and disappointments of this process.  She is there with suggestions, multiple user friendly resources, ideas and support for your determination to keep you motivated through out the process!”

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