Transitional Jobs – 5 Simple Steps

Published on September 24, 2006 by in Career Coaching


Often times clients start a job search and get confused with the right place to start. Should they first start with finding their dream job? Should they stay in their current job while looking for another? Of should they find a transitional job?

A transitional job is one that you take if you are between jobs or you find that you cannont tolerate your current job anymore. It’s the job you take to make money so you can keep up with your expenses and buy time while you contemplate what you really want to do.

The problem with transitional jobs is that they often end up becoming the job. It’s like the guy you date after you break it off with a serious relationship, except you fall into just dating the transitional guy. So, here are some tips about how to keep yourself honest:

1) Create an expiration date: Make a commitment to yourself on when you want to leave your transitional job (e.g.- By Feb 15th I’ll have found my ideal job). Put a date in your calendar and remind yourself to ask yourself some hard questions: Does this transitional job still work? What have I done for finding my dream job? Can I let go of this job yet?

2) Decide your priorities: Will your transitional job be one in which you want to get your feet wet in a potential new career? Or is it purely about money? Or is it a bit by both? Be clear with your priorities.

3) Write a job specification: What do you want your transitional job to be? Be clear with exactly why you are doing the transition? Is it just about doing something mindless for a couple of hours a day? What don’t you want your transitional job? What types of places will you/will you not work in? What kind of flexibility will you need?

4) Commit to the long-term: With your new work schedule make sure to carve out time to find your dream job. Create a plan and routine that will give you some time to explore, research, network, and think about your longer-term career.

5) Cover your expenses: Create a budget and figure out how much money you need to support your monthly expenses. If you don’t know how to create a budget take a class on budgeting

The key is to establish clear boundaries with your transitional job and to keep your eye on the prize (your dream job).
For more information about the author see Career Coach in Seattle

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