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Thinking about a Career Change?

Three steps towards your next career

Half my clients are undecided college students; the other half are in their 50’s. The latter come to me for advice about what to do for the last third of their lives. The most common thread is a strong desire to do something they’ve never had the time, means or courage to do. Thankfully, at 50 a healthy degree of courage, emerges from the fullness of a life well lived by lessons learned and mistakes made.  If you’re age appropriately fearless and curious about what’s possible and what’s next, then my three-step process might just launch your next career and the beginning of rest of your life.


1. Take inventory of your strengths

When it comes to career decisions, it makes sense to begin by discovering and defining your strengths. Research indicates that when individuals apply their strengths, they have the most potential to perform exceedingly well. I recommend two personality assessments to help individuals know and differentiate themselves:


A) – Try the VIA scale. This free scale measures character strengths and virtues, listing 5 signature strengths.


B) Strengthsfinder2.0 – Created by the renowned Gallup organization, this scale identifies at least five major personality strengths. Users come away with a greater understanding of their unique personality strengths.


2. Do the 3CQ Exercise – Three Career Questions

       Take the time to answer the Three Career Questions. When you’re finished, look for patterns        and repetitions in your answers. The redundancies are indicators of career strengths and        passions. Here’s my own personal example. This exercise created by Tal Ben-Shahar – the        famous professor who taught the most popular class at Harvard in 2006. It was this very        exercise that led me to apply to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then,        I launched a second career from corporate human resources to career consulting and        executive coaching.


What do I value? 

                Relationships and helping others


                Learning new things

                Facts and information

                Talent and hard work


What do I enjoy?

                Helping people with career decisions

                Listening and relating to people

                Reading and learning

                Collecting random facts

                Excellence – anything exceptionally well-done


What am I good at?

                Helping and mentoring 

                Inspiring others and instilling confidence

                Reading, writing and learning 

                Collecting random information


3. Recall and collect “Me at My Best” stories

These are stories that demonstrate pivotal events such as proud moments, big accomplishments, adversities overcome and tough issues resolved.  These stories reveal to listeners your natural and inner strengths. Tell these stories to someone you trust and admire. Ask the listener to tell you what the story reveals about you.  Their insights will help you further define and differentiate yourself.


Good luck. Here’s to making your last career the best. 

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