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How You Can Support a Professional through a Career Transition
Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

Contemplating a new beginning brings a mix of emotions: a bit exciting, a bit scary, and overwhelming.

When making the decision to change jobs, one can think of all the good the next position will bring, and one can imagine the challenges one may struggle with while making the transition.

We asked some of our mentors to share some of the best and worst advice they got when going through a career transition. 

Good Advice for Someone in a Career Transition

“Go for it! Even if you don't have 100% of the qualifications, put yourself out there.”

“Unpaid positions count! Those positions can often contribute to our professional growth in both expected and unexpected ways.”

“You have enough knowledge and experience to find a career path that you will love, even though the path may feel uncertain at times. You don't need to go after another degree especially if you are not completely certain that you have found a career you will love and there is no other way to achieve that position.”

Bad Advice for Someone in a Career Transition

“I just don't understand why you don't want to stay in the same job - it has a retirement plan!”

“What about (insert random career here)? I think you would be so good at it!”

“Career advisors who [said] certain pathways were no longer open to me because I didn't take certain courses, or my GPA wasn't high enough. There is more than one road to a destination.”

Dos and Don’ts To Support Someone As They Make the Right Decisions.

Do listen to what they have to say.

It can be hard making a big decision like deciding to leave a job, so try to give support without trying to push leaving or staying. When in doubt share a personal story rather than advice.

Don’t share what you would do.

Yes, you might stay or not, you might decide to leave immediately. You must remember that it’s *their* decision and will ultimately affect their lives.

Do emphasize that you’ll be there for them no matter what.

Make sure to let them know you’ll support them in their decision.

Don’t be a Downer.

Staying positive is critical during a career transition. The last thing you’d want to do is pressure or upset your friend or family member so keeping an enthusiastic attitude is best when speaking about what they would like to do.

Do make introductions within your network.

No connection can ever be too small. If you know professionals in similar industries or with like-minded interests, making a connection is a generous gesture that takes only minutes. Feeling really generous?  Host a cocktail party or brunch and invite people that your friend should know.

Don’t simply look for a job – look for connections.

Focus on facilitating relationships they’ll need to make their best career move rather than cold applications to online advertisements.   

Using ArcVida to Support Your Friend

Another solution could be referring your friend or relative to ArcVida. Our programs are designed to both guide active job seekers through the process of reflection, communication, and networking, with full support until they make their best career transition.  

The first step in our process is a free strategy session. After their initial session, ArcVida can recommend programs that best suit their goals, to guide them through their transition to a career they can love.    And, we'll thank you with a gift card or donation of your choice! 


Related Reading:

How ArcVida's Career Transition Programs Are Different, and Why They're Better.

What is Career Coaching?

Gift Ideas for Graduates

Published on 12/1/2021