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  • Writer's pictureLucy

In career transition? Discover what's truly holding you back

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

In this post, we share a couple of stories about folks in career transition and offer some activities to help you reflect on your current situation and deepen your awareness of how you are relating to your career transition. The stories presented here are entirely fictitious.

Angela is 35 and wants to transition from traditional project management into a role as a full-time Scrum Master in the tech industry. She has been working hard to network but Covid-19 has been making that more difficult and her career transition is taking longer than she expected. She is starting to lose confidence and trust in her own judgment about how to move forward.

Simon has been working for three years as a service centre representative for a large institution. It’s his first role after graduating with a Bachelor’s in Business. His organization utilizes Scrum and he accepted his current role with the goal of eventually transitioning into a Product Owner role. But after three years of trying to land his dream job, he has started to feel frustrated and stuck.

What is really getting in Angela’s way? What’s truly at the root of Simon’s stuckness? And, if you resonate even a little with either Angela or Simon’s story, what is holding you back?

When you are going through a career transition, a first step in the process is naming what is truly keeping you from moving forward.

Those making career shifts are not only working to overcome internal barriers such as lack of confidence or difficulty making decisions. They are simultaneously feeling all of the realities of the current labour market such as rapid advances in technology, increasing job complexity, inequitable hiring practices and the growth of the gig economy.

The work of career navigation therefore begins with acknowledging the realities you are working with and understanding who you are in the context of your current situation.

Here are a couple of activities that will help you reflect on your current situation.

Activity 1: Self Reflection

Spend some time reflecting on the following questions.

  1. What is a goal you have for your career transition?

  1. Describe a time when you have successfully navigated a transition in the past.

  1. What personal strengths and values of yours contributed to your success?

  1. Which of these strengths and values will be important as you navigate your current career transition?

Activity 2: Circles of Influence

First developed by Steven Covey and featured in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this exercise will help you move out of reactive thinking and into proactive thinking.

  1. On a fresh sheet of paper, draw a large circle. Then draw a second larger circle around the first circle.

  2. Label the inner circle your circle of influence and the outer circle your circle of concern.

  3. In the outer circle, write down all of the factors that are worrying you about your current career situation but that you have little to no control over. These might be the economy, the number of job vacancies, advances in technology, etc.

  4. In the inner circle, write down all of the things about your current situation that are within your control. You might think about what you can do or people who can help. Some ideas here might include your personal and professional relationships, your skills, self care practices, etc. Get as many ideas into the circle as you can.

At first, it might feel difficult to come up with ideas to put into your inner circle but we encourage you to stay with it. You may like to seek input from others such as friends, family or a coach to help you generate even more ideas.

What do you notice as you spend time listing ideas in your inner circle? Perhaps you’ve run out of space. Perhaps your inner circle starts to push outwards, leaving less space for your outer circle and the factors that are out of your control. The idea here is that by focusing on your inner circle, you begin to realize just how much you can do to shift your current situation.

We hope that the activities above have helped to bring some new awareness and perhaps some new confidence to your career transition. We wish we could tell you that there was a formula or a proven recipe for this process. The truth is career development is complex, dynamic and lifelong. An experienced career coach can help you navigate these complexities.

Partnering with a Kyooreas Coach can help you reflect on your current situation and support you during your transition. If you're feeling stuck or have questions about how career coaching could work for you, reach out:

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