Thinking about a career change

Three months ago I left my job of 14 years, where I’d worked on the same product with many of the same people since I started part-time in college. There were a lot of things that I had loved about that job, and a lot of things that I still thought were great, but I had this growing sense that it was time to move on. The only problem was, I had no idea how to do that. Of course I was aware of some of the basics — I hadn’t been living in a vacuum — but I didn’t know firsthand where to start and how to proceed.

I set out analyzing my feelings, figuring out what my options were, and creating a plan for how to go forward. I rarely use pen & paper anymore, but this was one of those tough brain-dumping exercises where I needed to blurt ideas out freely on a pad, then spend time later exploring them and fleshing them out. After lots of days & hours working through the ideas, tossing some out and adding new ones in, and talking them out with Chrissy and others, I settled on a plan that I could believe in.

My next step was to document the plan, and to keep revising it as I went along in my job hunt. I didn’t get very far with that: fortunately, I found a great new job very quickly. So I guess I could say that the plan worked very well, or that I just had dumb luck and never really put the plan to the test. Either way, I thought the plan was useful in building my confidence and in focusing my sights on a specific goal. If you’re interested, see below:

The plan in LucidChart: (Click Open this Example to zoom in.)

Click the image below to see the chart full-size, or download it as a pdf file.
job and career change plan

If you’ve read this far, maybe you’re in a similar spot. I know it’s a very scary place to be, but it’s also exciting to have such an opportunity to steer your future. I hope my chart can help you in some small way, and I wish you the best of luck!