Struggle If You Must During Career Transition, But Why Should You?

"If you can't change your fate change your attitude." - Amy Tan (b. 1952) U.S. writer Struggle if you must, but it is so much easier to tap into your creativity to seek a solution rather than devote energy into what's wrong. Going over and over the undesirable situation is so natural to most people. They think that reviewing and repeating what's wrong will deliver an answer that will make things all right. WRONG!

We are transmitters with our thoughts, feelings and actions. Getting all three to be in alignment is the tricky part of getting it right. We may change our thoughts and spoken words to positive statements, but if underneath those words are opposing beliefs then there is conflict between what we want and our belief.

To advance forward is to advance to new perspectives by developing new competencies in both soft and hard skills. What is meant by soft and hard skills? I see the hard skills as those that are produced. They are measurable, quantifiable and can be observed outside of self. They have empirical evidence. For example, when a client of mine has a goal to make a career transition into another field of interest and she/he has succeeded, it is obvious to everyone who is familiar with him/her. It is measurable in that the client did break away from one profession and moved into another, which could be seen by others.

Along the way the client had milestones, which were specific, measurable, achievable, reachable and within a specific time period. The client was agreeably held accountable for doing the necessary work to reach their goal.

What are not seen in making positive transitions are the intangible soft skills. These soft skills make all the difference in whether you succeed or not. When you are making a professional transition you must build soft skills to win. If you keep doing what you are doing to get better results, you are operating from what you already know. You need to learn new competencies in both hard and soft skills. Soft skills are neglected in our society. We have become "information gatherers" to tell us what to do, but not build our self-leadership in making transitions with soft skills.

It is like so many people adorn their bodies with beautiful clothes and designer accessories while neglecting to take care of the body holding up the clothes. It won't be long before the body breaks down faster than it was built to last, because the owner of the body was more concerned with the outside and not connecting self care with outer care. When you build the intangible soft skills along with the tangible hard skills, and believe you can achieve what you are aiming for, you have built a tightrope to carry you safely from where you are to where you want to be.

To reach the success you desire, soft skills are the necessary part of the equation. Some of the soft skills to build are:

  • Creativity/Imagination - to develop outside the way things are to new possibilities
  • Curiosity - opens up the right brain hemisphere to new perspectives
  • Confidence - coming from strength
  • Courage - to move forward regardless of limiting circumstances
  • Clarity - is the root to building desired result
  • Attitude - the right attitude brings right action
  • Manners/Etiquette - politeness to a gift to others and self
  • Self-awareness - discovery of self is priceless to your success and leadership
  • Values - what's important to you are your values
  • Willingness - to be all you can be and taking action
"Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them apart." - Confucius (551-479 B.C.) Chinese thinker and philosopher

Career Transition Questions:

  • What career do you see for yourself in the future?
  • Is it a career that you believe you should pursue or one you want?
  • Do you have multiple ideas about which profession to choose? Then how do you choose?
  • What is your next step to being true to yourself in having the career where you make a difference and enjoy doing?
Tips to Soft Skill Development:

  • I strongly recommend to stop listening to the news, which keeps emphasizing how bad the job market and economy is right now. All that does is reinforce negative thoughts with negative thoughts creating more of what you don't want. Ask yourself: By listening to this downbeat information, what is the benefit? What is it costing me to ingest this negativity into my thought system?
  • You know that wherever you go, there you are. Most of what you brought into the present is worry, fear, and anxiety over what is next. When you judge the future from who you are and have been, you are ignoring who you are the possibility of becoming. Create a future from a possibility that is calling you forth and commit to developing your soft skills to help you get the measurable results you want.
  • It is not unusual to have an "identity crisis" of self. You may have been operating with a title and job that you have allowed to define you. That belief is a limitation. If you are being held hostage by an identity which is going nowhere, then find resources such as a career transition coach to help you get on track.
  • Remember you are the captain of your ship. A captain needs a crew to sail. Find the resources you need to sail and remember: Anything Is Possible!


Theresa-Maria (“TM”) Napa – of Right Track Coaching - is dedicated to helping professionals and executives increase their winning percentage while taking fewer steps and producing better results. Her career has included positions as executive assistant, vice president of operations, director of marketing & administration, and business owner with substantial experience in leadership, marketing, client development, and execut...

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