Career expert gives tips on navigating a career change

For those thinking of a career change, preparation is key, an career coach says. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — Thinking about a second act? A career expert gives tips on how to navigate a career change.

Epicoach’s Bob Fleshner said that the first question to ask if you’re thinking of changing your career is whether you are leaving something or going to something.

“What’s the driving force behind your decision?” Fleshner said.

Once you’ve determined why you want to switch careers, preparation is key, he said, especially in overcoming potential deterrents, the biggest of which is fear of financial concerns — not having enough money or running out of money.

But, there’s also the fear of the unknown, Fleshner said.

There’s the saying that “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. But, what if what you don’t know is an angel, not a devil?” Fleshner said.

Once people overcome their fears, it’s important to determine why people want a career change and what excites them.

“I had a client recently say, ‘Well, I guess I could retire; I could get a boat and go fishing.’ Then, I ask him about his work and, ‘Oh! I got this project going on in Northeast!’ And it was simple,” he said. “I listen very carefully for enthusiasm in people’s voices.”

For people looking for meaning in their work, Fleshner reiterates that knowing people’s “why” is key.

“What’s important to them? What’s nonnegotiable? Why do you do what you do?”

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