The Steps to Changing Careers Including The Big One |

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EP 1503 The steps to take to change careers are actually pretty simple.  I list them here and then add the big one that makes all the difference.

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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm the head coach for's a site with curated information that you can watch, listen to or read that is going to help you find work for quickly. Today, I want to talk with those of you who are interested in changing careers about the basic steps toward doing it.

I want to be clear that is not as simple as it will sound because there is an emotional component to this as well. I will get to that a little bit later. But here are the steps.

1. Start to figure out your likes and dislikes. Usually, it is easier to look at your dislikes because that's what is driving you out of your current career. You hate something or are really inoculated against feeling anything good about your current work. The dislikes are easy, but you also have to identify what the "likes" are. You have to start researching new possibilities and start evaluating potential places where you might fit in. In doing so, you will need to look at transferable skills that you have that will make sense for the next firm.

You may need training and education in order to be effective. So, for example, when I moved into coaching, I had spent a long career as a headhunter. I decide to do coach training in order to get a framework for what I wanted to do next. I learned the model. I've adapted in ways that serve my clients well. You may have to do something similar.

You start networking. Networking takes a few different forms. One is to test your hypothesis of your area of interest. Talk to people who are doing that kind of work to see what they do, how they go about doing it, and whether the reality of what the professions like matches up with your actual interest. Think of it in terms of informational interview as much as real networking.

Maybe you start gaining some basic experience. For some of you, you can start doing some things part-time or as a sitosterol or side gig where you start working in your new field. For example, if you work in retail, and you have an interesting product management or marketing products, you might try to do something on the side, not for a lot of money because you need the experience, but try to do some freelance work.

From there, click in terms of the mentor. After you get a mentor? There are a lot of different ways. Along the way of doing informational interviews, I think you can spot some people who are potential mentors who you could ask for advice.

Learn some basics about job hunting because the skills they had to find a job are different but complement the ones needed to do a job.

Lastly, I think most of you will need to be flexible. That's because the notion that you're going to instantly move into your new profession I believe is fantasy. Even as you talk to so many people, you're going to get conflicting information that's going to make you question whether or not this is the right field.

I think being flexible as you learn what it is really like is going to be a key.

Then, there is the leap of faith. Ultimately, you're going to have to take a leap because, the fact of the matter is, you can't know everything.. You can't question it. You are ultimately going to have to take that leap that allows you to move ahead.

Lastly, and I think this is the big one, you need someone to talk to. I think frankly, most people did coaching during a career transition. You need someone to talk through how to approach this, places where you are stuck, I hate using the term, "hold accountable," because there is a punitive quality the most people associate with that... Be able to talk with about what is going on during this transition to help you keep moving the needle forward.

That's because when you think about, this might take you 6 months or a year. It may take you longer than that. In doing so, they're going to be times when you're going to start making excuses to yourself about why you can't do it, Why it is impossible.

A good coach (and I'm going to raise my hand here) can help you through this time of transition and not allow you to sell yourself short, offer you strategies that can be helpful. There will allow you to keep moving forward in the new direction.

You may not know the right course instantaneously but the idea is to be moving and in action and start learning what you need to in order to find the right spot.

If you're interested my coaching, email me at In the subject line, put the word, "Coaching." I did, job search recruiting for a helluva long time, now I coach people in searches to help them land things. To be clear, I no longer do recruiting. I coach people through their professional transitions.

I hope you have a great day. Take care!


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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