Nine Transition Tips for Your Career

Transitioning to a new career requires a mixture of faith, courage, inspiration, and support.  The end results are exciting and often unpredictable.  

Here are nine takeaway tips you need for a career transition from Eric Horwitz '90CC, the head of the Columbia Alumni Career Coaches Network and a full-time executive career coach and life coach.  

1. Access supreme humility.

Whatever position you got to in your job over all those years, understand that now you've got to start over.

2. Six month income rule. 

Make sure you have six months of income in the bank, in cash, before you start out on a new thing.  You need time to move into a new transition period.

3. Go back to school, or the school of hard knocks.

Whatever you've learned today, by the time you start on something new you'll need to learn all new things.  And you'll need to be willing to learn new things.

4. Make a 3-year plan. And don't expect it to work.

Give yourself three years to do something new.  At the end you might find that you're doing something totally different that you love, and that's ok.

5. Get positive help. (And not from your parents.)

However you got here, your parents had a very big role in whatever it is you became, so the idea is now get help, but get it from your peers, a coach, but not just your parents.

6. Patience and fortitude.

Be very patient. And know that you're going to have down days. 

7. Understand where you are in the immigrant story.

For example, my grandfather was a tailor. My father was a doctor. I'm a businessman. And my daughter wants to save the world. The idea is you look at where you are in the immigrant story to understand where you are in your family's story. 

8. Write down your aha! moment.

Write it down. Create a journal. Really think about it.  Describe the story to yourself - what that aha moment was - because after that aha moment your brain is going to tell you all the reasons why that moment wasn't true.

9. Take a deep breath.

When everything goes wrong, which it will, go to yoga. Do something healthy and calming for yourself.


For Eric's full talk, visit the podcast section of The Low Down and listen to episode 2 (January 5, 2016): Careers: The Net Appears. Also available via iTunes, Soundcloud, and other podcast platforms.

Eric Horwitz '90CC is a life and career coach with eleven years’ experience coaching corporate executives and entrepreneurs to personal and professional success. His focus is helping executives design a career and life plan that maximizes their strengths and identifies areas for personal and professional improvement. Once identified, the improvements are put into action and a sustainable lifestyle is maintained. His personal mission is to inspire himself and empower the willing with truth and compassion to achieve the best of what is possible.

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