Career Transition Success: How a Shift in Your Mindset Can Help
To put it simply, a “career transition” is the process of moving within your career. This move can be a lateral move, a move upward, or a complete change of direction that brings your career into a brand new industry or type of role.
The foundation for success in any career transition is not your resume, your LinkedIn profile, your network, your past experience, your certifications, your degrees, nor is it even your skill set.
The foundation for success in your career transition is your attitude.
You can have the perfect resume, performance history, and credentials, but if your attitude is not consciously focused in a particular manner, your success will be either elusive or delayed.
Ask anyone who is in the middle of a career transition, “Do you want to be successful?” They would most likely answer, “Yes. I want to be successful.”
A mindset of success is important – but the key to obtaining a mindset of success lies in one word:
“Do you want to be successful?”
“I want to be successful.”
Now, change one word:
“Do you want to be successful?”
“I expect to be successful.”
Changing “want” to “expect” will shift your mindset in a powerful way. The conscious choice to use the word “expect” transforms success from a desire into a certainty.
I grew up a huge baseball fan. My dad and I would watch our favorite team – the Cubs – together all the time. Our family would often watch our local farm team play, too. They were affiliated with the Reds, so we had a soft spot for the Reds.
When I was young, my dad told me a story about Pete Rose. I cannot remember the exact numbers, but the story was about the time when Rose was closing in on Ty Cobb’s hit record.
According to my dad, Pete Rose was told at a press conference that he only needed X number of hits to beat the record and that he would be at bat Y number of times. Rose was then asked how many hits he thought he would get.
He answered, “Y” – as in, he would get a hit every time he was at bat.
The reporters thought he was being arrogant and challenged him. In a mocking way, they asked him if he really expected to get a hit every time he was at bat.
His answer, paraphrased, was: “Yes. If I do not expect to get a hit, I have no business going into the batter’s box.”
Great performers expect to perform well. When they do not perform well, they do not blame outside circumstances or self-doubt. Instead, they continue to expect success. The so-called “failure” is an opportunity to learn, grow, modify, or strengthen themselves.
Adopting an expectation of success will allow you to do a few things that will ensure the success of your career transition:
- Change your resume from a duty-based synopsis of your past to a strong statement of qualifications based on demonstrative value that meets the needs and requirements of the next position you seek.
- Be clear on what you want and be able to succinctly communicate that to your network.
- See opportunities that others overlook as stepping stones to your success.
- Interview with confidence, knowing you have the qualifications, poise, and requirements for the position.
- Accept “failures” as learning experiences that propel your forward.
If this shift in mindset seems overwhelming, practice in smaller ways until you gain confidence. Take an activity you enjoy and can do independently so you can measure, feel, or see the change. For example, let’s say you like to golf.
Go to the driving range and grab a bucket of balls. Hit the first one as you normally would. Then, when you place the next ball on the tee, tell yourself you expect to hit it straight and X number of yards. Repeat this process with each new ball.
In fact, each time you reach for a new ball, forget the last shot. Let it go. It no longer matters. When you tee up the new one, tell yourself with conviction that you expect to hit it straight and X number of yards.
At the end of the bucket, compare your first shot to the last, focusing only on the expectation.
Conscious mind-shifts are not one-and-done affairs. They must be repeated frequently and with conviction. Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself your expectation statement. Repeat it to yourself in the car; sing it along with the radio. Find every opportunity to support and encourage yourself until your mindset of success becomes a part of you.
“Want” lacks conviction and is subject to change. “Expect” is a definite. You want your career transition success to be definite.