Chicago's #1 Executive Career and Job Search Expert


You’ve just made what could be one of the biggest decisions of your life. Stress, monotony, or simply realizing there are better options available has led to the decision that you need a career change. Your future will now be constructed according to how well you plan and manage this transition period from what presumably was an un-fulfilling job, to a lustrous, satisfying career.


There are few shortcuts in this journey which is why preparation is an essential tool in transitions. The sooner you get your affairs in order the less time you’ll spend in gridlock. Once you fully commit to your choice you’ll want to immediately begin organizing your portfolio.

This is the time to review and update your resume to include all relevant achievements. As mentioned in previous blogs, it’s more important to Create a Resume that has specific accomplishments as opposed to detailing abstract qualities.

Another area to focus on is your online profiles. As with your resume, include any accomplishments and accolades in your “bio” sections. You should also consider making a list of professional contacts that can assist in your transition.

Also don’t forget to review your current financial situation. How long can you afford to be in transition? Consider constructing a timeline to see how long you can remain financially stable in between jobs.

In conjunction with your preparation, you’ll also want to formulate a plan of action.

Plan of Action

IdeallyCheck List you’ll want your transition to be as brief and constructive as possible. Having little to no forethought and planning will equate to more time in limbo. Your plan of action should include your prep work (updating your resume), upgrading your brand, and unleashing your product – yourself – on to all available resources that can assist you in your transition.

And don’t think you have to handle this transition alone. One of the greatest assets an executive can utilize is an executive search firm. A search firm should help hone in on the most applicable positions specific to your desires and probability of being hired.

Spend time researching and talking to other professionals to find the most experienced and suitable search firm. Discuss your plan of action with the firm so they know how much involvement you would like to have in the process. If you have too many obligations you may need them to do the bulk of the work, whereas if you have the time it might be to your advantage to assist them and make it more of a “team project”.

OptimisticStay Focused and Optimistic

Along with the emotional anxiety a transition can cause, you probably have other obligations – both professionally and personally – that can make this a stressful time. Remember transitions are temporary and you made this choice to increase your quality of life. Stay focused on what needs to be done and don’t let rejections or the amount of time it takes to derail or deter you from your goals.

Stay positive and have faith in your decision. The amount of time and work you put into the transition process will determine the likelihood it will be successful and a choice you won’t regret.