Top 10 Career Transition Questions: #5 Should I discuss my career change with my family?

Top 10 Career Transition Questions: #5 Should I discuss my career change with my family?

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Blog post by Career Transition Coach, Greg Moore

This blog is part of a series addressing some of the most compelling questions for those that are beginning a career search. During the last 6 years, we have been asked hundreds of questions related to career transition and best practices. Here we are distilling those queries down to the 10 most critical need to know responses. Here is #5 of 10, discussing the support of your close personal relationships.

What is my plan to share my job change or transition with my personal relationships, including my family?

One of the most critical elements in creating an effective job change strategy is building a strong support network. For most people, this begins with family and close friends. With this group, one should feel comfortable sharing plans and strategies. They can then be on “alert” if they see or hear anything that could be helpful. Even more important, they can serve as a supportive “sounding board” and can help keep energy levels high – which is critical during a career transition.

We often have the occasion to coach clients around this sensitive and emotional issue. It is not unusual to hear, “I just really do not want anyone to know that I have lost my job.” The perceived fear is that one of your closest relationships might regard you as weak, or even worse incompetent. Frankly, this emotional energy is wasted by far too many professionals. Even in a great economy, millions upon millions of private sector professionals find themselves in career transition. In 2014 alone, more than 26 million professionals were looking for a new role.

Some people going through a job change don’t want to share the news with anyone. Perhaps out of embarrassment, or just a feeling of awkwardness, some prefer to play it “close to the vest”. While we understand, this approach is not recommended. Start with family and friends and go forth boldly with your job search. Develop a list of at least 10 of your top relationships and reach out right away. Your closest relationships care about you and will often go to great lengths to give you an advantage through a key introduction or even a brief note or phone call on your behalf.

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