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Thinking of a career change? Follow these tips for a smooth transition

Photo provided by Tana Session

Tana Session is a certified career and life strategist and author of the best-seller Get Your Career Life in Order. Noted as a powerful motivational speaker, Session shares her poignant career and life coaching tips with audiences from a personal perspective.

Rolling out had the opportunity to chat with Session and she gave us some amazing tips on how to effectively transition into a new career and her thoughts on women in the workplace.

 If you could change one thing for women in the professional world, what would it be?

If I could change one thing for women in the professional world, it would be to level the playing field once and for all for powerful women. When men are assertive in the workplace, they are revered, respected and followed. Unfortunately, in many cases, it is the complete opposite when women display those same characteristics. They are classified as difficult, demanding, pushy, aggressive and unpleasant, among other adjectives. I can personally relate to this phenomenon because I am a powerful woman. Today’s woman is educated, empowered, focused and driven. I do not see those behaviors decreasing, especially with the Millennial and Gen Z generations being such a huge population of the workforce. It is time for the mindset to change and for powerful women to be respected and appreciated, not feared.

What advice would you give to a person who’s entertaining the idea of a major career change?

What’s your why? When considering a career change, it is so important to understand your why. What’s truly driving this decision at this point in your life? Are you being reactive to certain situations outside of your control, or have you really taken the time to assess where you are in your career and ask yourself is this your real purpose in life?

 What is the biggest hurdle people have to overcome when making a career change? 

Sometimes we “fall” into certain jobs or positions, or even companies, and before you know it, years have gone by and you never considered if that was where you were supposed to be. It’s so easy to fall into a ritual and stick to what’s familiar. But it takes a lot of courage to step outside of your comfort zone and pivot to unchartered territories. Perhaps you’ve been focused on raising your children and opted to stay in a secure job until they were off to college. Now you find yourself with time to think about your own personal desires and goals in life.

How many pages is too many in a résumé?

The first tool you will need is a résumé reflecting your years of experience highlighting your transferable skills. Recruiters and hiring managers will review résumés on average for 15 seconds. Therefore, keep your résumé concise and no more than two pages. You should always lead with a strong professional summary statement. Make the best use of the reviewer’s time by highlighting your transferable skills at the very top of your résumé so they don’t have to hunt throughout the résumé to figure out what value you will bring to their organization. Paint a picture to help them visualize you as part of their team. If you’ve been with the same company or in the same position for 10 or more years, consider a functional résumé instead of the standard chronological format. You can readily find samples of both online. Be certain to update your LinkedIn profile to support your new résumé.

So, how do you make a shift at this point in your career?

When making a change in your career, keep in mind you may have to take a step or two backward. This is oftentimes necessary to allow you time to learn new skills and fill any gaps you may have in experience within that industry or position. Use this time in your new role to absorb as much knowledge and skills as possible to help you quickly advance in your new career. Don’t underestimate the value of a good mentor. Try to align yourself with someone you admire who is two or more levels ahead of you in your new industry.

How do we learn about more business tips?

Pick up a copy of my best-seller, Get Your Career Life in Order, for additional career management and job-hunting tips. My book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.