Three Principles to Apply When Considering a Career Change

When I considered changing careers and transitioning from recruiting to coaching, I was scared. If the role, I spent a lifetime in one field and now is considering something that I thought would be completely different. I was insecure and decided to rule out options rather than focus on what to do next.

I did formal coach training which I discovered was geared more toward life coaching, something I discovered for most was pretty low-paying and extremely insecure. I also learned from coach training that schools focus on the craft of being a coach and do little to teach the business of coaching.

Fortunately, from all the years I spent in recruiting, I had a good sense of how to promote myself to stand out from others.

What I started to think about my transition and apply it to others, I realized that there were three underlying considerations for most people.

  1. Is there a market for what you do where you want to do it? Can you find work doing what you want to do where you want to do it? That could be either as an employee or freelancer. A member with marketplaces existing that allow you to do remote work with clients globally when you do the transition can you pick up work freelancing to get your initial experience? If not, do employers hire people with the skills that you want to use? If there is no work for what you want to do, what you will be having as a hobby, not a career. That’s okay. Some people make money from their hobbies. Just not many.
  2. Do you have a job search strategy? Most people spend their time flinging resumes at job ads like burgers at a fast-food restaurant. Constant action. Constant motion. However, unlike the fast-food restaurant, they don’t get results (interviews and hires). Quality job searches are heavily laden with networking. After all, statistics show that between 70 and 80% of positions are filled as a result of networking. That includes introductions to people that your network knows who you don’t. You will also need a resume, a quality LinkedIn profile for your new role, introductions to recruiters, many of whom won’t be able to help you, finding specialty and mass job boards that might have positions available for someone like you (a minor miracle but it does happen), as well as branding and building brand awareness.
  3. I can’t stress support enough. You will go through tough times as well as times where your head will swell to the size of a huge melon. Emotional support is a big need for people and you won’t know that you need it until you’re in the middle of it. In addition, there is concrete support about the search process that you will need, enough you have been successful job hunting before. You will be playing in a different sandbox with different rules to it. You can learn those rules through trial and error but that is inefficient. Find people who can advise you, even if you have to pay for the service.


There will be times where you will feel the urge to quit because you’re not getting the results that you want as soon as you want them. Your lack of knowledge and experience may feel painful to you. After all, if you are competent or even an expert at your current role and are taking a step sideways to something completely different, it can feel frustrating to not get the response, let alone the respect used to.

Your grit and perseverance will be tested. However, if you go into this transition knowing that there’s a market for what you want to be doing, have a clear and proven strategy for getting there as well as tactics and support, with time and patience you will find yourself in a new career.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020 



JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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


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