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January 8, 2024

Three Strategies For Transitioning Into A Less Stressful, More Meaningful Career

Source: RSS Newsfeed As a Fortune 100 leadership coach and personal branding strategist for the past 15 years, I help my clients transition into more meaningful and purposeful careers. And over the past couple of years, I’ve seen a pattern of professionals making the same mistake over and over: being reactive, instead of proactive, […]

Source: RSS Newsfeed

As a Fortune 100 leadership coach and personal branding strategist for the past 15 years, I help my clients transition into more meaningful and purposeful careers. And over the past couple of years, I’ve seen a pattern of professionals making the same mistake over and over: being reactive, instead of proactive, in their career change.

Many professionals who want a new job have a reactive approach, which is immediately diving into scanning internal or external job listings and then applying to anything that “might work” for their skill set. Often, the results are dismal and demoralizing.

Earlier in my career, I used this same approach. Until one day, I was perusing job openings and became overwhelmed and discouraged by the laundry list of job requirements needed to apply. The snarky voice inside me said, “I’ll come up with my career requirements that the job has to meet, and then I’ll apply!”

So I did. By writing down and getting crystal clear on my career requirements for my next job role, the company and the industry that I really wanted to work in, I landed my new job as regional marketing manager at a Fortune 100 finance company. I’m not sure whether I manifested or simply by luck found and landed each of my future dream jobs, but either way, I had less frustration and more motivation and truly enjoyed the ride of up-leveling and rebranding my career four times.

If you’d like a less stressful, more meaningful career, then I recommend taking these three steps.

1. Identify the industry that best aligns with your career goals.

Just because you have a job in a specific industry doesn’t mean you have to stay there. For example, if you’ve worked in the IT industry for the past 10 years, it doesn’t mean you have to stay in the IT industry. Many skills transfer from industry to industry because almost all companies need great talent with IT, finance, sales, HR, marketing, customer support, data analytics, legal, business operations, project management and leadership skills. I recommend researching different industries and selecting one that best aligns with your personal values and career goals.

For example, if you want to bring positive change in the world by doing good things for the planet and society, then focus on industries such as healthcare, civil service or green manufacturing. If your top priority is having a higher paycheck, then target high-paying industries like engineering, healthcare and legal. If you’re craving more job security (or need a job quickly) then concentrate on high-growth industries such as IT, telehealth and technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 3-D printing. Here are two resources to help you research industries: Indeed’s global list of fastest-growing industries and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s report “Understanding America’s Labor Shortage: The Most Impacted Industries.”

2. Choose a company that fills you with pride.

Making a higher salary may be a priority, but if you’re miserable in your job then it doesn’t matter how much you’re paid. What are your must-have requirements for the company and environment where you work? What kind of company culture and management style are important to you? What about diversity, inclusion and work-life balance? Does the company sell a product or service that you believe in? Is the company ethical? Make a list of your must-have company requirements. Then, use it to identify your top-10 wishlist of companies where you ultimately would love to work.

Check out “The World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2023” by Fast Company, “Best Companies Ratings” by U.S. News and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” based on employees’ rankings of professional development, work-life balance and whether they recommend the company to their family or friends. After you have your top-10 wishlist, I recommend bookmarking each company’s career web page (most companies promote job openings on their website before advertising them on external job boards such as LinkedIn and Indeed) so you can easily check job openings every week. Also, be sure to connect with their leaders and managers on LinkedIn so that you can engage in their posts and start forming relationships. Not only will your requirements help you develop a top-10 wishlist of companies that you’d ultimately love to work for, but they’ll also help you create questions to ask in your job interviews to help you decide whether the organization is a good fit for you.

3. Select a job role that inspires you.

When you think about a new job, what responsibilities do you want to drive and own? In which area(s) do you want to be the go-to person for expertise and advice? What kinds of problems do you want to solve? What kinds of products or services do you want to innovate? Creating a list of job role must-have requirements allows you to let go of all of the mediocre job openings so you can focus your time and attention on those you really want. It also helps you stand out in your job interviews.

One of my clients was recently hired for a director-level position and asked his new boss why she hired him from all the other job candidates. She said it was when he said that he liked to “fix chaos and broken teams” that she knew he was the right person. Get clear on the responsibilities you want to own so that you can tailor your résumé (and your interview answers) to those skills and results that match your must-have job role requirements. All jobs have days of stress and frustration, but when you’re excited and energized in your career, you’re better able to manage through the tough days.

It’s your career. Take ownership and drive it where you want it to go. By identifying your requirements for the industry, company and job role that you really want, you’ll be much more likely to attract and land those opportunities that truly inspire you.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.
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