Planning Career Change-Part One


We know that change is hard, really hard. Consider our New Year’s resolutions that fade away come spring. Meaningful, effective, enduring change takes not just discipline and consistency, but also an actionable, concrete Game Plan. Absent a Game Plan, we may or may not get from where we are to where we want to be. Our Game Plan must be based on individual priorities, values, and desires and not all the “shoulds” that often determine our choices in how we live and work.

If our Game Plan isn’t rooted in a foundation of what matters most to us, during those times of great effort and discouragement we are likely to abandon the change that was wrapped up in the resolution which started it. The beauty of a Game Plan is it provides structure for the change process, broken down into concrete action steps, which when executed lead to accomplishment. Where Game Plans go wrong is when we stubbornly cling to them because we made a Game Plan and, darn it, we are going to stick with it. A Game Plan can be defining and it can be confining. The trick is to discern when we need a little helping hand in being defined (focused) and when the Game Plan has become confining (serving as an obstacle to achieving our goals).

Most of us appreciate a to-do list because it helps us get things done. An effective Game Plan is really a to-do”list built on an overreaching strategy, resourcefulness, and heart. The most effective Game Plans have a measured amount of flexibility, adaptability, and fluidity. After all, these are requirements for living successfully and gracefully in today’s world.


In order to create our FROM, we must ask ourselves:

 What are the problems, issues, concerns, or undeveloped
opportunities that I need to change?

  What is working/not working in my career, job?

  What do I need more of/less of in my career, job?

In navigation language, this is the starting point of our journey from where we are today to where we need and want to be. Without knowing our FROM, the journey for getting to our preferred future might be convoluted with lots of unexpected, wasteful stops which use more resources (time and money) than we can afford. The trick is to get to the bottom of this question, not the top or surface level—to understand the motivation behind our drive for change.

I have worked with many clients whose motivation for change is stated as desired increase of income. Often times, underneath this statement is a more fundamental need for recognition. It takes reflecting and sorting and if this process is challenging, it is a signal to get the help of a collaborative partner such as a coach. A coach can help speed up the process and avoid it from feeling like a never-ending slog through mud.

Once we have identified our FROM, we are ready to imagine the possibilities for a more satisfying, rewarding, meaningful career and business.
Read the next article in my series on Game Planning Career which discusses STEP 2—IDENTIFY MY POSSIBILITIES.



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About the Author

Joan Brackin

Joan is a master networker and connector with a diverse background in engineering, environmental technology and business development. She is adept at working side by side with entrepreneurs through the early stages of their start-ups to the successful launch of their business venture.

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