Simple career steps to take before becoming the next member of ‘The Great Resignation’

According to MLive:

Dear Sam: I might be the next member of “The Great Resignation,” but before I make a move, I wondered if you could provide any advice on steps I should take to find the best position. I don’t want to jump from the frying pan into the fire, as the old saying goes, but I do feel a need to make a change for my mental health wellbeing. – Lina

Dear Lina: I applaud you for being proactive and preparing before you make a change. Taking time to research and evaluate potential career possibilities will set your search up for success. Here are a few simple steps I would recommend:

1. Identify what you want in your next position

Are you looking to change careers, or do you simply need a different environment? I work with many clients who find themselves in a situation where they are so unhappy that they are considering a complete career 180. While that may be a good option for some, it isn’t always the best route. You do have to make sure that you will be seen as a qualified candidate in any career transition you want to make, and often candidates leaving a bad environment behind don’t need to change careers, they just need a new setting. Consider where you are on this spectrum and define what you want to do next and what environment you wish to engage in.

2. Start networking to explore the viability of your choices

Friends and past professional peers may be able to provide additional insight into the competitiveness of your candidacy for your chosen career objective. Start engaging in conversations with trusted individuals, asking their advice on your proposed career choices, soliciting mentorship from those you admire professionally, and opening lines of communication with potential influencers and decision-makers. I do caution you, however, to take everything you hear as expertise versus opinions. Hence, it is important to curate counsel from various individuals with different perspectives and insights to lend.

3. Begin crafting your brand

Once you have a firm idea of your next career move, you will leverage that insight to tell your career story in a keyword-centric manner. This approach should be cascaded throughout your branding materials, including your resume and cover letter, LinkedIn profile and interview answers. Having a career target in mind in terms of what types of positions you are interested in, if there are any specific industries you are refining your search to, or any particular environments you are seeking to be a part of, are all very important pieces that should inform the development of your brand.

4. Plan and engage in a multi-pronged distribution approach

Do not limit your job search to solely applying online. Instead, continue to leverage your network to source opportunities and utilize a variety of digital platforms to promote your brand.

5. While engaging in your search, continue developing your skills and refining your target

Don’t think of your career as static just because you are not happy with your current position. Perhaps engage in side gigs to provide additional professional happiness, further your education through such platforms as LinkedIn Learning or Udacity, or start volunteering or participating in professional affinity organizations in your areas of interest. Doing any of these items will allow you to continue to develop your candidacy for future opportunities.

I wish you tremendous success in making a positive career move that works well for your professional and personal goals.

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