So … you have your first meeting with a Career Consultant after exiting an organization. What do you need to do to prepare? We’ve put together some tips for preparing for the start of your new journey.

1. Self Assessment

How are you feeling about this next stage? Are you excited; does the world seem like a new place just waiting to be explored? Or, are you feeling emotionally drained and in need of a break? Or, do you go back and forth between the two? Perhaps you have financial concerns? Or, maybe you’ve had some negative reactions from friends and family regarding your situation and/or the current economy. Be prepared to share details of your current situation with your Career Consultant. This information will help them suggest a path forward that is customized to you.

2. Research

Learn a few things about the person and organization that you’re going to be working with. Check out the organization’s website and LinkedIn page. Check out your Career Consultant’s LinkedIn page. What can you learn about them? Does the organization have other lines in their portfolio? What types of experience and training does your Career Consultant have. What can you learn about them that you would like to explore further in your first meeting?

3. Prepare Questions

After going through a self assessment and doing some research, prepare some questions. These could be wide-ranging and could include some big picture questions around a career change, or more tactical questions about LinkedIn, resumes, or interviews. If you’re not sure what’s next for you, then share this with your Career Consultant. They will probably have some exercises, assessments, and/or tools to help bring clarity. Ask specific questions about your program and the specific support components that are available to you.

4. Take Notes

You will probably have a lot of information coming at you in your first meeting. Be prepared to take notes and ask clarifying questions. Track your thoughts and ideas as they come to you. It is not uncommon at all for ideas and long-forgotten contacts to suddenly come to mind.

5. Next Steps

Summarize your meeting with your Career Consultant and be sure everyone is clear about each of your deliverables. Set deadlines. If you tend to procrastinate, set up your next meeting now so that you have a meeting deadline to meet.

That’s it! If you follow these few simple guidelines, you will be off to a great start working with your Career Consultant. Remember that you Career Consultant is a guide. They are there to ask thought-provoking questions, listen to your answers, and share experiences. They will also assist with some tangible takeaways. Ultimately, your efforts will have the largest impact on the outcomes.

Visit our Career Transition page for more information.

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