This is one of the most frequently asked questions by my clients when they are about to embark on a career transition journey.
Based on my experience of my own career transition 7 years ago and also based on career change journeys of so many clients over the years, I observe that the #careerchange process could be split into 3 stages.
1. Exploration phase to develop Clarity – most people are not very clear about what they want to do in their next career. Some of the people have some vague ideas about what they can do or what would like to do but have not tested those ideas. It is always a good idea to identify your Strengths and Interests and then make an informed choice. So, in our coaching program, we emphasize self-analysis using scientific tools, Strengths assessment, Personality test, career mapping discussion, Values assessment, etc. This phase may take anywhere between 4 to 6 months based on the pace at which you want to go, how much time you have at hand etc. It is important to note that one should not rush this phase.
2. Preparation phase – Once you have identified one or two areas based on the Exploration phase then you can start preparing yourself for the potential new career. For example, if someone wants to move into starting their own business then they can enroll themselves for pertinent courses, certifications, read relevant books, and also speak to people who are already running businesses. During this phase, Networking is very important. It helps you create a network of people and learn from them. This phase may take 4 to 6 months based on what field you have chosen, how much time you are able to devote for reading, information gathering, and networking.
3. Beta launch – in software development and testing they use a term called Beta testing for releasing an unfinished product with known and unknown bugs to users to identify and fix the most critical bugs, get user feedback and make the product better for the next release. Similarly, here you can test out your new career by starting with pro-bono work, volunteering in organizations where you can learn more, working as an intern with a seasoned professional, and testing your idea/product/service with potential buyers. This phase can take anywhere between 4 to 6 months or even more.
Overall, you can see that each of these phases namely Exploration, Preparation, and Beta launch may take 4 to 6 months each. So, one should plan for 12 months to 18 months timeframe for a soft launch into a new career. When you know this upfront, it helps in planning things in a better way and reduces anxiety.
It always helps to work with a proven systematic approach to #careertransition because for most people the stakes are usually high.
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