Our process model for managing career change involves 6 stages.  Career change is hard, but the DAPPER™ Model helps you easily move from denying you even need a change through to realigning to your new career.  Read on to find out more.

The 6 Stage DAPPER™Model for Managing Career Change

Denial – This is the state of inertia, you do not believe you need a career change, you brush your frustrations and powerlessness aside and keep churning away at your current career, even though inside you know it is time for a change.

Acceptance – Things have gotten to a point at work where you realize you have to change, things simply cannot go on like this.  You only have one life and that life needs a refresh.

Planning – The key stage of self-analysis and soul searching, you commit to reflecting upon your passions, principles and what makes you happy in work and in life

Preparation – You now know in what general direction you want to head, you have a goal and now you need to prepare for change.  Skills, experience, and knowledge may need reworking to be ready for the career move.

Execution – You are ready to execute your plan, the job search begins, you reach out to your network, you build new networks you apply for new jobs.

Realignment – You have landed the job, you have started the business, you have a stream of freelance work that enables you to transition from old work life to new work life.

DAPPER - Stages Of Career Change Model - Chart
DAPPER – Stages Of Career Change Model – Chart

 

Denial

Many people remain in a state of inertia for many years after they first begin to realize that their work life is unfulfilling.  It may be that the career they have chosen has become monotonous or dull over the years.  It might not be the career, it could be the company they work for that has values that are not aligned to their personal values.  Businesses in decline, shrinking markets or otherwise in extremely competitive environments can develop an aggressive or highly political culture that does not favor employee well being.

Most employees will rationalize mass redundancies, political infighting or rough management practices by saying to themselves “this will not happen to me”.  Sometimes this type of behavior can actually change the way the employees behave, making them act more aggressively or politically.

The employee is in a period of denial, denying that what is happening is against their principles, and adjusting their principles accordingly.  Too much mal-adjustment of one’s own values causes stress, anxiety, and burnout.

You the reader may be facing this dilemma now, I know I have certainly been through this, and indeed this entire process.

Acceptance

Things have gotten to a point at work where you realize you have to change things cannot continue along this path.  The acceptance stage can be scary because it dawns upon you that acceptance of the need for this change means you have a lot of work and stress ahead of you.

The key here is to understand that as you move forward you will be designing and planning a better work life for yourself and more confident and satisfied person for your friends and family.  If you are happy and fulfilled at work, the place where you spend most of your productive life, you will be a better father, mother, brother, sister, and friend.

You have accepted that you have only one life and that life needs a refresh.

The only way to begin to reduce your anxiety of a career change is to jump head first into the planning process.

Planning

The key stage of self-analysis and soul searching, you commit to reflecting upon your passions, principles and what makes you happy and work and in life.  If your values and principles have been impacted it is time to rediscover them.  You need to unearth what makes you happy.

Key Questions When Planning For A Career Change:

  • What elements of your job did you really enjoy?
  • What tasks did you detest?
  • Which of your skills are the strongest and most transferrable?
  • How free are you financially, can you take a pay cut to be more fulfilled?
  • Do you have money set aside to invest in your education or certification in your new line of work?
  • What is your dream job, can you align your passions for golf, wine, food, travel, technology or writing with your future career?

Once you have created your plan, it is time to begin preparation for the move.

Preparation

The preparation stage is essentially preparing or equipping yourself for what lies ahead so you can achieve your career move.

You now know in what general direction you want to head, you have a rough goal or multiple goals and now you need to prepare for change.  The preparation stage can be one of the longest in terms of time and certainly, the largest amount of effort needs to be invested.  Retraining, certification, building experience all take a lot of time and effort.

Core Considerations When Preparing:

  • Which of your skills are transferable?
  • Which new skills need developing?
  • Do you need certifications for your new role?
  • Do you need some industry experience before applying for a paid job?
  • If there a local market or employers for your chosen career path?
  • Will you need to relocate?
  • How long will this take, can you stay in your current role for this duration?

At this stage, you can begin to build your new network in your industry or career of choice, joining meetup groups to learn and make new acquaintances.

Execution

You are prepared, you have done the research, you have attained the news skills and certifications you require, it is now time to execute.  Execution is essentially finding that new job.

Key Steps in Execution:

  • Building your new CV/resume
  • Probing aquaintances at you meetup groups
  • Searching for jobs online
  • Attending interviews

You are ready to execute your plan, the job search begins, you reach out to your network, you build new networks you apply for new jobs.

Realignment

You have landed the job, you have started the business, you have a stream of freelance work that enables you to transition from old work life to new work life.  This is the fruit of your labor, enjoy it.

Enjoy the leaving party and try not to leave a trail of debris in your wake.

DAPPER Model For Career Change Summary

I hope this model provides structure and clarify on the journey from old you to the new more personally fulfilled you.

If you would like guidance, coaching or simply someone to bounce ideas off on your great journey please contact us here.

support (at) greatworklife.com

 

Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.

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