How Career Transition Coaching helps you through the three phases of career change

Transition coach and woman sitting on couch with laptop

More Resources

A career transition coach can help you make the passage to a new career

There are three phases you will go through in your transition to a new career, even before the job search stage.

Typically, if you handle the early phases well, the later phases are easier.

A career transition coach can help you to navigate these stages, so you can smoothly transition through your career change and not get snagged on unnecessary obstacles.

The three typical phases of a career transition are:

  1. Letting go of where you are now in a neutral way so you can truly move on to take advantage of new opportunities

  2. Becoming present-focused: embracing who you are and what you are meant to do

  3. Putting together a career action plan that manifests your Career Destiny

Lets explore how to navigate these three phases.

In this article: How Career Transition Coaching helps you through the three phases of career change, you will learn about:

A career transition is a passage fraught with challenges and pitfalls you need to avoid:

Changing careers or making an evolution in your employment path can be one of the most difficult things you will ever do. It can also be the most rewarding. There are best practices to follow to make a career change as smooth as possible.

I equate a career transition to a passage. 

There is always risk during a new uncharted passage. So you need to proceed as sensibly as possible.  If you try to take shortcuts, you could find yourself right back at the juncture you are started at. 

For example of pitfalls to avoid:

  • You don’t want to take just any job as a knee jerk reaction to your emotions; try not to act out of desperation

  • You don’t have to blow up what you are doing now! It’s not you! 4 out of 5 of things you are doing now will work – in the right new job or career situation

  • You probably don’t want to take another job just like the one you are transitioning out of, unless you really love the work

  • You don’t want to go for a college degree unless you are dead certain it’s the right move

In summary, you want to step back and avoid overreacting.

A steady, calm, even-handed approach is what you need on your path to the other side. The right career transition coach can help you manage this. 

The Passage: Phase one of a career transition is like crossing the desert

Girl looking into the beyond while walking in desertLook at the three stages of a career transition like you are making a passage through a potentially dangerous terrain.

When you cross a desert, you have to leave the comfort of the outpost where you are and  make a transit of 30 miles from where you started. If sandstorms have covered the trails, there can be a lot of uncertainty. 

This is phase one, letting go of the emotional state where you are now, so you can find new opportunities.

Even though you are following a map, there is a period during the passage where you are vulnerable and confused. Especially if you believe you are lost.

“Am I on the right trail?” you begin to ask. “The stars are guiding me to what I think is the right direction, but I am not sure. This is scary.”

Yes, it can be scary. Yet you know you had to leave where you were to find new horizons. You knew you’d need to embrace your courage if you were going to make the journey.

But the destination to the other side is essential for survival, and a chance to start the next chapter.

Let’s take a closer look at how to approach this phase of your career change passage to get the best results.  The first phase involves letting go of where you are now – in a neutral way – so you can truly move on.

Letting go of the self-limiting beliefs that may be holding you back

There are numerous reasons you need to make a career transition, some sad some happy. 

Some of these reasons are real, some are just your perceptions or limiting beliefs in yourself. Some are unfair. Some are for reason s beyond your control.

  • You may have been let go for lack of work or your business closed or moved

  • You may have been fired because of an antagonistic relationship with your boss or coworkers

  • You may be working, but you took a job for low pay, and now desire better pay

  • You may be making good money, but want a better quality of work environment (people, job function, commute etc.)

  • Dozens of other possible job, family or lifestyle reasons

Whatever the reasons are for your current emotional state, in order to truly move on, you must  let go of any blame, anger and hard feelings. This is the first  and toughest phase of your transition. 

A good transition coach can make sure they help you address these feelings, and give you the tools, but only YOU can make peace with it. (Beware of unscrupulous transition coaches who take advantage of your unsettled emotional state.)

You must clear away the baggage of the past in order to embrace the present. This means getting clear about the values and beliefs that brought you to where you are now.

You may have self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back. 

Letting them go is the only way to proceed towards your Career Destiny. This means developing the empathy to forgive yourself as well as others. Hey maybe that boss who irritates you is in the wrong career too!

I have tools that can help move on quickly if you can follow a simple formula.

Get my Free Negative Self Talk worksheet to start your way to eliminating limiting beliefs:

Phase Two: Embracing who you are and what career you are meant for

As a Career Discovery Coach, I’ve found most people are unhappy at work because they are not doing what they are MEANT to do. 

My Career Destiny proverb explains this well:

the career you are meant for

If you are not embracing who you are and what you are meant to do in your daily work, you can end up being frustrated. You may have a lot of job turnover, bouncing from one job to go into another, and ending up with the same situation.

Being in the wrong line of work like this can cause you all kinds of problems:

  • You are not motivated so you miss days, come in late, have low productivity

  • You are cranky, stressed, anxious and not happy or kind

  • You blame outside forces like your boss or coworkers, your spouse or family, or the company, when its not really their fault

  • You reach out for stress relieving activities after work, such as excessive drinking of alcohol, overeating, binge watching TV, working out at the gym for 3 hours a night, etc.

A good transition coach will help you embrace who you are so you are in tune with what employment will satisfy your needs. This will make you naturally motivated. 

You don’t have to change who you are


Many career changers think they have to change who they are to succeed. But no, you don’t have to “start over” or “change who you are.”

You don’t have to psychologically evaluate yourself with career aptitude tests or personality tests either.

You simply have to embrace what you are meant for – from a starting point of where you are right now.

Embracing who you are empowers you to be present focused, so you are not living in the past. Present focused is where you are your most powerful.

Getting to this point may involve removing limiting beliefs if they have been holding you back from making the right career choice decisions.

Phase Three: Manifesting your Career Destiny

Once you have dissipated the anguish emotions and embraced who you are and what you are meant for, in phase three you are ready to manifest your Career Destiny. 

The key to manifesting that destiny is to define the career role where you can be a superstar. When you are using your superpowers, you are at your happiest!

In what role can you
be the superstar?

Define Your Career logo

Transitioning you to your optimal career role is where a good career transition coach can help you best. So how do you find one?

How to find the best career transition coach who can help you to identify your career destiny

For something as important as making a career change to a career you will love, you really need a pro. 

One of the challenges you have in the career coaching industry is the inconsistency of results you will get. Some coaches are pros and others have just gotten certification. Sadly, many coaches are personality driven rather than process driven, even age or gender specific!

For example, there are some coaches who specialize in only helping women others who specialize in midlife career change. This is unprofessional. A good coach should have the chops to be able to work with anyone, not just one specific age group or gender. Don’t choose a coach with a limited paradigm like that.

An even bigger challenge I see is that most all career coaches use psychometric tests such as personality tests, aptitude tests, strong Interest tests or DISC tests. Even coaches with strong credentials and experience use them. 

But personality tests can stereotype you into a category box:

I believe personality tests and aptitude tests can constrain you to a jobs category and limit your choices, and I do not use them. 

Others may try to put you into a life coach program instead of career coaching. But a life coach can only help you if you know your goals or it can extend for months.

With all these red flags, and at an average cost of $500 to $2500, you want to find out specifically how a coach will go about helping you. Ask them.

A good Career Transition Coach should be happy to answer how they will guide you through phase three

A career transition coach should be able to answer how they meet these guidelines:

  • Do they have a consistent self assessment process that is the same for all clients? This reveals their integrity and professionalism. Because on your introductory call, you may be emotional about your transition and eager to jump on any solution. They should be able to explain exactly how they will help you before you commit.

  • Do they use career tests and aptitude tests to match you to a job? Many career transition coaches specialize in Job Search, not transition. They let career tests do their job for them. They might give you psychometric tests to take such as DISC Interest tests or other psychological evaluations, then match your test results to a job category.  You are simply put into a job box.
  • What career action plan do they use? You have the right to know what specific course of action the coach plans to use, especially if they use psychometric tests to evaluate you. They need to display their process on their website (they DO have their own website, don’t they?)

  • What experience or credentials do they have?
    • If the coach has a ton of certifications, how have they synthesized them in a way that will help you?
    • Have they written a book or developed a course on the topic of career change?
    • Do they operate a business, website and blog dedicated to career coaching?
    • Have they ever managed employees or a business? 

A good career coach should be able to answer all of these questions to your satisfaction.

They should have a process that works the same for everyone, not one adjusted based on your particular needs.

If you want a transparent approach to your career transition coaching

As a Career Discovery Coach, I am very transparent about how I transition you to your career destiny:

  • I list all my prices on my website and I detail what each career transition coaching course package includes from $99 to $297 complete, with no other hidden or added on charges

  • I have synthesized 25 years of business sales, marketing and individual coaching into an innovative process called Define Your Career Destiny. It uses proven business marketing concepts, applied to you as an individual. It is a practical way to define the career role where you can be a superstar, WITHOUT the need to stereotype you with invasive psychological evaluations like career personality type indicator tests

  • My process works the same way for everyone, from where you are in your life right now. I don’t have to give you psychometric tests before deciding on a course of action for you to take

  • I do offer a free career coaching consult, only to determine if my courses are right for you, and to insure you understand the process I use to manifest your Career Destiny

To find out more about how the Define Your Career Destiny process works, I offer a free Career Discovery and Self Assessment Guide.

It’s called How to Unlock Your Career Destiny.

Enter your name and email and I will send it to you instantly.

Unlock your Career Destiny today with my FREE Guide

In How to Unlock Your Career Destiny, I reveal the 5 secrets
that every job seeker must know to make a career change
to the job they will love for a lifetime.  
How to unlock your career destiny free report by Larry LaFata

Your career destiny awaits!

About the author

Larry Lafata

Larry LaFata is founder of defineyourcareer.com.

He is dedicated to help you discover your Career Destiny, regardless of your background, education or experience.

His innovative courses include Define Your Career Destiny one week home study course and Career Destiny Workshop for Friends.

Book Cover - How to Unlock Your Career Destiny

Get Your FREE Report

How to Unlock Your Career Destiny
The Five Secrets every job seeker must know to find the job they will love for a lifetime.sss

Larry Lafata, Career Discovery Coach

Larry LaFata is founder of defineyourcareer.com and the world’s only Career Discovery Coach. He is dedicated to help you discover your Career Destiny, regardless of your background, education or experience. His innovative courses include Define Your Career Destiny one week home study course and Career Destiny Workshop for Besties.

Your Career Destiny Awaits!

Why wait?

Get free info on how to discover your Career Destiny.

Leave your email and name and I’ll send you Free Report, How to Uncover Your Career Destiny

Larry LaFata, Career Discovery Coach "Coaching Makes Champions"