PLAN, NAVIGATE, TRANSITION
Accelerate Your Success
The Office of Alumni Relations and Office of Career Services collaborate to offer programs and services to graduates of all ages to help them determine their career paths, their job search plans, or ways to network with other Tigers. Alumni are encouraged to volunteer in support of fellow alumni and current and future Trinity students through mentoring programs such as Tiger Connections or 1869 scholars, or by serving as an employer/recruiter to Trinity student talent.
Career planning is a process through which individuals evaluate interests, values, and skills and match them to career-related options. Throughout the process, networking is the key. Connecting with other Tigers can provide direct advice related to your career goals.
The first task in career planning is information gathering. This requires assessing individual career interests, work values, and skills and gathering information about work environments (occupations or industries) that are a match to what one learns about oneself. This information is also used to make decisions about major selection and whether and where to attend graduate or professional school.
Once someone has enough information, he or she can begin making career planning decisions. The Career Services staff is available to assist with identifying and working through barriers to career decision making, such as misconceptions about careers, industries, or occupations; lack of experience or understanding with decision-making as a process; or other personal issues that may detract from being able to focus on career issues.
Developing the Plan
Individuals who develop concrete career plans are more likely to reach their career goals sooner than those that "shoot from the hip." Setting up a "formal" plan that includes goals, strategies, timelines and benchmarks can be remarkably helpful. A plan provides organization and to some extent motivation, since one is able to see progress as it is set out in the plan.
Career changes come in two flavors: your choice and not your choice. Regardless of how one gets to the point of a career change there are several important things to consider.
What is your satisfaction level with your current job or occupation?
How have your interests, skills, and values changed since your last occupational transition?
Using this information, it is possible to determine the direction of the career change; a simple job change or a more radical change in career direction.
Choosing to change career direction or even employers is exciting -- it is also scary and daunting. Whatever the reason, it is important to evaluate what are the specific reasons that you aspire to change paths. These reasons will help you communicate more clearly your intentions to yourself, other people in your life, your current employer, and your prospective employers.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of changing jobs or careers while on your terms is the time to create a plan. In planning, one can consider the questions to be answered in transition, the desired outcomes, and gather appropriate information and develop contacts to facilitate the transition. All of this without losing the material means of support (your current job) before you create the actual separation.
Even with a plan, and even though it is your choice, change is still difficult. Be prepared to deal with the emotions that come with any major life change. This aspect of career change makes it very important to have a good support structure in place that can help you in transition.
Not Your Choice
Among the most traumatic life changes for an adult is an involuntary separation from one's work. In the transition, it is important to address the shock and emotions that are inherent in such an event. Taking advantage of transition services, if offered, is often helpful even if those services don't produce the exact results you would like - because just having the support is important. If no assistance is offered, it is beneficial to find resources that specialize in assisting persons who are in this transition.
The actual planning process does not differ greatly from any other transition, but it will be especially important to formulate a strategy for addressing the question of why you are changing jobs or occupation. Networking is perhaps more vital in an involuntary separation because networking contacts can often intercede on your behalf, assuring the prospective employers understand your situation and your ability to contribute positively to their organization.