“When I made the decision to move back to Nashville and transition, I sought out an outplacement service in Indiana that specialized in career transition. I had help from a couple coaches with how to network, resume revision and informational interviewing. It was very helpful, however the one thing I would guard against is choosing an outplacement service that doesn’t have a nationwide or regional presence. The company I worked with had a very narrow geographic focus so I had to transfer my knowledge they imparted to the Nashville market.
Since I was transitioning locations, industries and functions, I shied away from recruiters who are seeking people with the past experience to fill their positions. I was looking for the opposite, so I solely concentrated on networking with both employed and unemployed people to find the right opportunity. I did attend a few of the transition groups, the Transition Cafe and small networking groups like Transitions at Convenant (I can share my list), for support during transition, but I focused on finding the best networking connections through industry associations, networking mixers, and cold emailing people of interest from LinkedIn and Nashville Business Journal.
I used a marketing plan to keep focused on what companies I was pursuing and what companies I had made contact with, plus I used a career transition spreadsheet to keep track of contact with all people. Also, I built a marketing brief to showcase who I was, what I can do, and where I would like to do it, so instead of giving a networking contact my resume I could break the ice with a brief. This takes the pressure off the other person, so you’re not just looking for a job, but you’re looking for insight. I used LinkedIn to only keep connected to those that I met in person so I could reference when I had spoke to them and what we talked about. Plus this gave me the opportunity to keep my connections paired down and not make me an open networker. I wanted a more personal feel to my profile, as opposed to someone who accepts anyone and then can’t be bothered later on.
I worked through my transition roller coaster by staying active at the gym, expanding on current vocations (music and soccer), and finding contract work to keep me busy. The two things I would focus on in transition again is keeping up with my current network to alleviate having to start over, and realizing all the mistakes I made the first time with going to the wrong group functions, speaking with the wrong people and not having a plan of action to approach a new opportunity.
I would be happy to share my transition contact list, resumes for insight, and other marketing materials.”