Your Support Team

Paper dollsThere are so many details and decisions to attend to during a job search or career change. You’re asking yourself what you’d really do if you knew you couldn’t fail. You’re assessing the skills and talents you’d like to live out in your work. You’re writing a top-notch resume for each position you pursue, and are practicing for interviews. This is a very exciting time in your career, but it can also potentially be quite stressful.

You may feel tempted to push yourself too hard to try to make everything happen all at once. Part of you knows that you can let your career unfold, that it will develop a life and energy of its own. But how do you relax and let this unfolding happen?

If you don’t already have your support system in place, now is the time to find your circle of people who will brainstorm with you and keep reminding you that your dream is possible. This circle may include good friends, a coach, other people pursuing new careers. These are the folks that will help you get back on track when you get discouraged or run into obstacles. They will celebrate your successes.

A small group of people you meet with regularly to discuss goals is extremely helpful. Four to six members is a nice size. You might meet once a month for two hours or so. After 10 minutes of catching up, divide the time up between the group members. The first time the group meets you can each summarize your projects, give and receive feedback, and set some goals for the next month.

The following meetings will be similar. Each of you will report on your progress over the past month, celebrate the progress you’ve made, and discuss challenges that came up. After feedback, you’ll set your goals for the month to come.

I can’t imagine pursing my own career development without this type of support group. Try it — it will be time well spent.


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