Transition vs. transformation | Connie L. Braun

By Connie L. Braun

Law360 Canada (December 5, 2023, 2:01 PM EST) --
Connie Braun
Connie Braun
Your job has been whisked away from you for one reason or another: a downturn in the industry or economy, major change in family situation, or something else. You might also be thinking that the time has come for a change in role, even a change in career. You might realize that the career in which you have started really is not for you and you want to find something else. There are different ways to approach what can be a very traumatic and chaotic interval in one’s life.

You could choose to try to transition your career. When you use this approach, it can be very superficial and is more likely to be short term rather than long lasting because you are reactive, desperate for a new job or to make a move to a new role. You focus only on your skills and what you can do today. You rush through the process and apply for anything that might fit your skills, disseminating your resumé randomly and widely in hopes of landing something quickly. You focus on getting ahead and quickly with little strategy. You are invited to interviews for a variety of positions and experience zero success, becoming incredibly stressed by the whole situation.

All this floundering is akin to surviving what may be a crisis in your professional life. You are adrift because no one wants you despite your talents, skills and experience. The usual method for finding a job and/or progressing in your career, the one you learned early on, is not working. Trying to go about this quickly, thinking that another position is just around the corner, making the transition within your career without changing your mindset and being open to the possibilities will result in continued loss and disappointment.

What if there is another way? A model that will help you to determine and achieve your true purpose. A model that will help you to reveal and represent your value to an employer and give you the words to express that value. This model is one where shifting your approach to career transformation makes an enormous difference.

Jackie Rafter, founder and president of Higher Landing, a Calgary company, pioneered a model of career transformation that provides professionals with the means to embrace opportunities to land higher by developing a career path that aligns with individual skills, passions and values but goes further. This model focuses on intensive self-discovery, merging your abilities and passions, finding your true value, strategic marketing and landing higher. It is a journey that requires significant effort.

Throughout the programs offered by Higher Landing, professionals are guided by the Logical Levels of Change, a career transformation pyramid adapted to help professionals make the shift from career transition to career transformation, a model that is now being adopted across professions throughout Canada.

The pyramid:

1. Begins with a professional who is in crisis, trying to survive a lost job or failed attempt to move to a new or different role.

2. Continues with the professional beginning to enumerate their abilities and skills, answering the question, “What can I do?”

3. Proceeds with the professional distinguishing interests and passions, answering the question, “What do I want to do?”

4. Moves ahead with the professional clarifying values and beliefs, answering the question, “What is important to me?”

5. Builds to the professional defining their identity, answering the question, “Who am I?”

6. Results in the professional expressing their true purpose, answering the question, “What should I do vs. what can I do?”

To progress through these levels of change successfully and determine your value, you embark on a journey of self-discovery and reflection. You grow and transform, becoming more purpose driven by answering more questions such as:

1. About what are you passionate and why?

2. What do you want to do, and how can you use this to distinguish yourself from your peers?

3. What is your value to others, and why is this important to you?

4. How would you like to be remembered?

5. What type of employer would appreciate your value?

6. How can you make it easy for someone to help you?

Once you can honestly answer these questions, identify who you are and the value you bring, you will be ready to establish your brand and take yourself to market. This means that you will strategically seek positions with employers that appreciate your value, acknowledge your purpose and embrace everything you bring to the table. Your due diligence and research will pay off with long-term gains. Be prepared to take the time, it is worth it.

Self-discovery and reflection like this are extremely hard work, both mentally and emotionally. It is exhausting as you ponder these questions almost exclusively over a period of several weeks. You may experience surprises and discover things about yourself especially related to how your skills, passions and values help to identify strengths, value, identity and purpose. It is more important than ever to take the time and make the effort to know yourself and believe in your value. Doing so means that you will find a way to create career security, the secret to success.

Connie L. Braun is a product adoption and learning consultant with LexisNexis Canada.
The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, Law360 Canada, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and 

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