So, you are thinking about heading into the unknown and need some tips on how to transition out of your role
Whether you are changing your career or going into business for yourself, this is a big deal. You are amazing for deciding to follow through with your dream!
The idea didn’t just pop into your head one morning. You’ve craved and wanted something different for a pretty long time.
You’ve reached the crossroad of “I know what I want to do but, I just need some help getting there” or, I know I want more but,
Before I thought about how to transition out of your role. I was the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO of Channel 4, and I have supported Executives and Directors in Media and Entertainment for over 18 years.
Deciding to no longer be an assistant and change everything I had known for years was not easy. Me and my comfort zone were best friends. I’ve had great jobs, met some fantastic people and lifelong friends.
Been super lucky with supportive coaches, mentors and teamwork dreamwork colleagues earned a good wage, travelled and socialised.
But I knew I wanted something else/more. Throw in a few life experiences, my priorities continually shifting, I had to make a change and figure out what I wanted to do, make it purposeful, and, most importantly, be self-sufficient.
I know EXACTLY where you are and EXACTLY how you are feeling.
I am walking the walk and talking the talk (one scary and exciting little footstep at a time).
How to transition out of your role
What not to do?
Pack in your current job with no research, no plan, no options, no financial security and no accountability!
What should you do?
PURPOSE: Start with your “Why”?
Think about why you want to do this AND make sure that it aligns with your core values and purpose.
I knew I still wanted to help people. I wanted out of the rat race, a better work/life balance and I wanted to be self-employed.
Ask yourself, why do I want this? Who am I doing this for? Why do I think this new career change will make my life better? Will it enhance my family life? What are the benefits of running my own business or changing career? What are the downsides or the risks?
GET SPECIFIC: Get clear on the “What”?
We have all fantasised about doing something different and wonderful.
Live your dreams yes but, make sure it is specific.
I knew I wanted to be a “Life Coach” and NLP Practitioner. It aligns with my “Why” (helping people, allow me to be self-sufficient, create a better work/life balance).
How to transition out of your role. Consider this?
- What does this new job or career look like?
- What does it not look like?
- What is it called?
- Does it align with the contacts/network you already have?
GET REAL: What is it going to take to get there?
Get honest with yourself and acknowledge where you are.
How long is it going to take to skill up? Think about what experience you already have?
Many of the skills I used as an assistant work well as a coach (i.e. listening WELL, being able to build rapport with people quickly). How can you pull upon your current knowledge and skills in new and creative ways?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I lack the specific skills that I need for my “What”?
- Do I need certifications or a licence?
- How long will it take to qualify/train?
- What additional resources do I need?
- What resources do I already have?
Even if you do, it’s entirely within reach! It could be a simple matter of taking an online course or gaining some more proficiency so that you can say confidently, “Yes, I know XYZ”.
Don’t be scared to ask for help. This is how to transition out of your role. How are CEOs or the very people you work for so good at what they do? They trust the experience and knowledge of others to help them.
I know marketing, but I’m not a marketing data strategist genius, I’m a Career/Transition Coach! So, when it came time to start this part of my business, after some research, I found someone happy to “Skills Swap”.
They get the benefit of having a coach to help them grow their business, curate and maintain a better life balance, and I get help with my marketing.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Create your Action Plan
Create a plan that doesn’t drive you crazy and leave you feeling disappointed and overwhelmed (we are human after all)! Remember, you are not working to your bosses deadlines; you are in control.
After much research, I discovered it would take me 12/14 months to get qualified (I wanted to do my Life Coach and NLP Practitioner training, along with a couple of other courses!).
Start with the end in mind.
I made a 16-month plan and incorporated everything I needed to accomplish throughout that time.
I planned on building my skills as a coach. Save for the months I may not be working (I have a mortgage and two kitty babies to feed). Save for tech (Google email, website hosting, accounting, course hosting platforms, etc.).
It was vital for me to do voluntary work, make a name for myself within coaching and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
I made sacrifices, not so many take-aways on the weekend. I stopped visiting Zara (which is my favourite clothing store)!
Break your goals down (do you need to skill up? What do you need to wrap up in your current role? Do you want to take advantage of any benefits you receive from work!
Allocate yourself daily and weekly tasks so that you know EXACTLY what you’ll be doing and when. You do not want to wing this!
As you go through these tasks, you will notice how, what feels like little steps, have a knock-on effect and give you confidence and the momentum to reach your goal.
Now you can see that your dream is a genuine possibility!
Monitor your progress and efforts to show how you are doing and, what you need to be doing next. Set up reminders so that you follow up on what you need to do and when (I was brilliant at this with my CEO, but fell short for myself). If you are going to invest time, money and energy to make this happen, spend the time and energy to track your progress.
Don’t go crazy! Think low tech, no tech. An Excel spreadsheet and any Google or Outlook calendar works perfectly well or works with a took that makes the most sense/feels most comfortable.
KNOW YOUR BRAND: What is your story?
You are not your old company or boss. You are either heading out on your own or changing career.
In other words, know your future clients or new industry and make it as easy as possible for them to find and want you.
Most of your rivals will stand out because they have been working for years in that field or related job.
Label yourself in a way that makes you stand out clearly.
YOU ARE UNIQUE! No one is like you. You have your own story. If you are genuine, people will relate to you.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is your story?
- Who are you speaking to?
- Find your niche.
RALLY YOUR TROOPS AND GET ACCOUNTABLE: Find your support system
Tell EVERYONE!!! You will be shocked to see how many people support and encourage you in your new journey. It’s also a great way to stay on track!
Do not go into stealth mode and overcome imposter syndrome (we ALL have it). Your success has no time for it!
I had a life coach (free, through an employer) who helped me make more realistic goals and keep me in check. I also told my closest friends and family what I was going to do. As the time neared to my exit date, I screamed it from the rooftops and told anyone that would listen!
This is an exciting time, and it’s your time – go shine!
GET IN TOUCH WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE: Network outside of your Network
This is where my imposter syndrome kicked in.
Plus, I am naturally shy. But stepping out of my comfort zone was imperative when it came to reaching out to people already working within the coaching industry.
You don’t have to write long paragraphs to interact with individuals, merely show an interest in what your field experts are doing.
Whatever you do, be sincere! If you don’t think their articles or videos are informative, don’t comment on it. Reach out to people on social media – what questions or problems do they have that you could help with?
I set myself a bravery task of commenting on five social media post at least three days per week. I still get nervous before hitting send!!!
So, what now??
Let me ask you this:
“If your situation is the same in 2, 3 or 5 years, would that be okay with you?
SO, what is the secret to those who make it to the other side? How to transition out of your role?
It’s straightforward. They took one small, a deliberate, strategic and brave step toward their goal every, single, day. They weighed things, planned and decided to take a full-on run at it.
How did you answer the above question?
If you want to have a chat about how your life COULD be in just five weeks, click HERE!
Amazing things happen when you allow them to, commit and work hard.
Now it’s your turn!