Creating an Action Plan

Whether you realize it or not, you have a full-time position: your job search. Whether you are going through a voluntary or involuntary career transition, it is easy to get distracted—to take some time off, so to speak. Staying focused and handling the financial, occupational, and emotional obstacles is essential to making a successful career transition. It is sometimes easy to avoid dealing with one or more of these issues, particularly in the early stages of your transition. In the beginning, you can fall into the trap of believing everything will turn out OK, developing a false sense of security. You may have some money in the bank, may be collecting unemployment, or may have received a severance package, so you think you have all the time in the world.

No matter how carefully you plan, things will happen that you did not expect. You and your family may be able to earn more income than originally estimated, or you may not be able to meet the initial expense reductions that you planned. Update your net worth and cash flow statements on a monthly basis. Employers you are interested in may be asking for experience or skills you do not have, or you did not know were required. Change your plan accordingly: Get the skills or experience through volunteer work or formal education. No plan is perfect. All you can do is go with the flow and ensure that you are doing the best you can. Take action on a daily basis to make the most efficient transition possible.
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