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The Career Coach

The Career Change Dance

5 simple steps to get you started
The Career Change Dance
Published on November 6, 2010 : 1 comment

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Dancing with the Stars has become an addiction. I have friends who can’t wait to discuss who was voted off and why and “did you see the outfit she had on last night. OMG!”

When I think about all of the hard work and hours the dancers spend training, once the music starts, they have to just let go, feel the music, and dance. This “letting go” reminds me of the faith we have to have in ourselves. Whenever we begin a career change we want to be in control and move forward, but, in reality, we also have to let go at the same time. This can be a very troubling, challenging, and confusing experience.

In a career change, the moves are many and can be costly if not done with care, insight, and support. The majority of people would say that your first move would be to write your resume. This would be a great first step for those who know what direction they would like to go with their career, but for those who are interested in changing directions, this should take place only after you have done a little homework.

The homework that needs to be done prior to a career change can be seen as a five step dance. The “First Step” is to look at what interests you. Successful people are those who have been able to identify their own talents and interests and develop them to their fullest potential.

Step 1: What interests you?

In taking your first step, a good question to ask yourself is what excites you? Think about the times you were involved in an activity and time ceased to exist. What was that activity or activities? What books, magazines, and movies are you drawn to? What do you do that you count as being “only” a hobby and have dismissed being paid for it? Are you known as an expert in something?

Step 2: Skills and abilities

The “Second Step” is to define your skills and abilities. What type of specialized training have you completed or are in the process of completing? What are you really good at? What was your major/minor in college? Did you receive an advanced degree? What are people always coming to you about?

Step 3: Lifestyle

After getting a clearer picture of what you enjoy and what you are good at it is important to take the “Third Step” of defining what type of lifestyle you want to live. What type of work schedule do you want to have? Are you an early bird or are you the type that doesn’t hit your stride until late afternoon? How far are you willing to commute and/or travel? Are you willing to relocate?

Step 4: Finances

The “Fourth Step” is the ever important topic of finances. It is imperative that you determine a minimum salary. This would be a salary that pays your bills and allows you to save for retirement. Research salary ranges for the careers that you are interested in. What are the salary ranges and what is the highest possible salary? Are you willing to accept a lower salary if the position provides future potential down the road? & Performance" href=""> provides a comprehensive salary range of jobs based on their description, title, and location.

Step 5: Values

The “Fifth Step” and final step is to define your values. The ultimate satisfaction that you receive from your career will be the result of having your career in alignment with your values. From a professional standpoint, you need to define what is important to you. Do you enjoy interacting with others or do you enjoy working in solitude? Are you an indoor or outdoor type of person? Is it important that your job be meaningful and allow you to be a contributor to your community or are you able to do that in your personal life? Do you want to be friends with your co-workers, or would you rather keep your business life separate from your personal life?

Whether you want a complete change or you are seeking to move on or up in your career, the bottom line is that you desire a more rewarding job. By following the steps above you are on your way to creating the dance you have always wanted to be a part of.

Have you recently changed your career? Are you thinking about doing so? Comment below!

VickieVickie Seitner, Career Edge One, 402-660-6053


KNicolini says:

November 9, 2010 : 13 years 36 weeks ago

KNicolini's picture

Great article. One’s career is such an important part of who they are as a person. Many times career change or employment changes are seen as something that happens to us, rather than some we do for ourselves. We plan everything from going to a movie to dinner with friends but often don’t approach our careers with the same vigor. Good planning reminders -our quest should include using our project management skills; its one of the most important ventures we undertake.

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