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How to Jumpstart Your Transition into a Meaningful Career

An idealist flyer.

If you’ve decided you want to change your career and pursue something more meaningful, it’s hard to know how to get started.

In our first video for our new series Taking the Reins of Your Career, career coach Cathy Wasserman answers a question from a reader who, after several years of doing the same kind of work, wants advice on how to transition to a more purposeful career, while being mindful of the limited time she has as a working parent. Here’s Cathy’s advice.

If you can’t access the video or want more information, here are the steps Cathy suggests and a few additional resources:

1. Define what meaningful looks like to you: While it’s helpful to have a clear sense of what you don’t want to do, spend some time exploring what you do want to do. What skills would you like to use? What responsibilities would you like to take on?

Resource: How to craft a purpose statement for your career

2. Expand your duties by assisting your colleagues: Leverage the job you have to start exploring different kinds of work. Also talk to your colleagues about their own career paths to get a sense of different approaches and journeys.

Resource: How to land and conduct an informational interview

3. Write out a plan of how you’ll make the transition: After you clarify what you want to do, identify a few concrete steps that will help you get there. What skills do you need to build? What conversations do you need to have? How can your current network help you?

Resource: How to figure out what kind of job you want and how to get there

4. Celebrate your successes: Sometimes career transitions can take a while. While it can be discouraging, being mindful of your progress can keep you motivated.

Resource: How to celebrate your “small wins”

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by Allison Jones

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