Setting Your Career In Motion

After several years of experience, mid-level professionals get ready for the next move

had become too routine. At Interior Architects, he spends his days facilitating the design developments of the firm’s other architects and senior designers by transferring their sketches and ideas to computer generated, 2-D and 3-D renderings, and eventually into construction documents.

“I really just enjoy being creative. It’s really rewarding to see something that you’ve designed come to life, be constructed, and then have people come in and enjoy it,” Samuel says. “One day I’d like to have my own architectural firm. I’d like to be responsible for and reap the glory for a project from its inception to its end.” Samuel would use a spare bedroom in his home to start his business until he is able to purchase a building for his firm with rental space for other income-generating businesses. He has already contracted his services to two clients, hoping to add an anticipated $20,000 to assist him and a former co-worker, now his partner, in starting their own firm, which would target low-end commercial and high-end residential customers.

If you’re considering starting your own business, Smith suggests first developing a professional reputation by moonlighting your skills and developing your own set of procedures and formulas to impress your clients. It makes for a safer and more efficient transition from the corporate to the entrepreneurial world. It would be poor professional behavior to implement your present employer’s tools or solicit its clients.

Gather as much information on the business aspects of your industry as possible. As an employee, there are many operational tasks taken for granted. Who are the industry suppliers? How competitive is the industry? What are the day-to-day operational costs? Conduct informational interviews with representatives in every area of your business, from accounting procedures to installing phone lines. Request 15 to 20 minutes to speak with a senior-level partner or entrepreneur to find out what problems they faced when starting their business.

BEFORE MAKING ANY TRANSITION:
Do your homework. If you’re thinking about making a job switch, find out as much as you can about the financial health of a potential employer. Track the history of the position you’re vying for. Ask these questions during the interview: Is this a new position? What are the company’s expectations for this position? What are its challenges? If you’re thinking about starting your own business, be certain to fully determine the economic climate in which your new company is expected to function. Will your company meet the challenges of the industry?

Invest in career counseling. It can assist in a number of different areas, including career transition, contract and salary negotiation, and business etiquette. Fees for a professional career coach can range from $100 for a half-hour session to $250 for an hour.

Take a test. Even though mid-level professionals have been working for more than a decade, they still may not fully appreciate the assets they bring to a potential employer. A behavioral assessment test can help you determine work compatibility based on your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values at www.myjobcoach.com. It takes 10

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