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We divide the process of "contemplating a career transition"
into three phases.
Phase I | Phase II | Phase
This is Phase I.
The purpose of this phase is to identify a range
of career options, based on who you are, so that we can find a fit
or a match between you and a job or career. We identify your most
enjoyable skills, your most transferable skills, your strongest
skills, your personal and professional priorities, your values,
interesting special preferences, and so on. These become the basis for selecting
a range of career options that make sense - given who you are.
A series of paper-and-pencil exercises and tests
are available to you on a separate web site we operate (which requires
a user name and password to enter). You may complete this phase
and these exercises at a distance, and then either arrange a telephone
consultation or come to our office for a face-to-face session (or
both) to discuss the career implications of your results. A few
of the tests are described briefly below.
The Career Change Ability Scale was developed
by identifying high-functioning/high-skills individuals who have
changed careers readily, happily, and successfully (We call these
rare individuals "career change champions".) We discovered what
career behaviors and career beliefs were instrumental and responsible
for their successful career transitions, and these items became
the basis for this inventory. The Career Change Ability Scale
is found on our web site at the upper right tab called "Free
Test Drive". There are two: a short five-minute version, or
a longer twenty-minute version.
According to our clients, the Skills Inventory
is an extremely powerful experience. The inventory is a list of
almost 200 specific skills we have identified by scrutinizing the
skills of several thousand high-credentialed professionals. Clustered
into general skills categories, these skills form the horizontal
rows of a giant grid (or matrix) which has six columns, each of
which represents one of your most emotionally-satisfying accomplishments,
professional or personal. The check-off intersections or cells of
the matrix then become your "most enjoyable skills". This part of
the Assessment phase is critical to the career-change process since
it allows you to discuss your skills (rather than your
work experience) during interviews--with clarity, fluency,
and self-confidence. If you are changing career directions, your
job history-- and even your resume-become a liability rather than
an asset. If you are changing jobs, however, your resume is necessary.
A third exercise is called "Career Decision-Making
Patterns". This asks you to itemize early decision junctions
at specific career 'cross-roads' -- choice of college, choice of
major, choice of professional or graduate school, choice of specialty,
choice of first job, etc. It then asks what were the alternatives
at the time, what were the rationales at the time for the choice
you made, and then (in retrospect) how good the choices were. It
often turns out that a pattern appears that may have been shrouded
or hidden from your view at the time. This latent pattern becomes
explicit, and then extremely useful in your career transition going
A number of other exercises focus on several additional features of who you are, and all are useful in making explicit what to do next.