This final step of the LEARN Model is not the end of your journey, but rather another starting point as you launch yourself into your next career stage. Take all that you have learned and accomplished up to this point and reflect on your position in your organization. Ask yourself if the role you are in now is in alignment with your goals. Think about what growth looks like for you and how you see yourself advancing to the next stage. You might need to return to one of the previous stages of the LEARN Model, to gather more information or take further action. You might need to reach out for a coaching conversation or speak to a trusted mentor or sponsor.
Here are some tools to get started:
Create a Job Target
Now that you have done the work to Learn your current role, organization, and self; Evaluate skills and gaps; Act to intentionally grow and develop in order to fill those gaps; Reflect on what you have learned and still need to learn; you have two choices: Stay where you are and continue to grow in your current role, in which case you might return to the beginning of this LEARN Model; or, set a new job target. To do the latter, identify the job role, industry/type of organization, and location in which you hope to land a new job.
To dive deeper into launching a strategic job search and setting a job target, check out the following webinar.
If you have decided that you need to make a career pivot – a move into a different career path, organization, or industry – take some time to watch the following webinar from Wake Forest alumna Kristin Winkle Beck (‘97). In it, she describes the steps she took to make a pivot and provides actionable advice on how you can too. (Sidenote: Kristin is one of our Wake Forest Alumni Career Advisers and would be happy to share more about her journey with fellow alumni upon request.)
Update Your Marketing Documents
The cover letter, resume (or portfolio for creative roles), and LinkedIn profile are still the name of the game when it comes to applying for jobs. You can find multiple resources in our Wednesday Webinar library on Leveraging LinkedIn, How to Write a Cover Letter, conducting a Resume Refresh, and more.
Read this article on Designing a Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems, which includes a variety of examples, tips for creating a comprehensive LinkedIn profile, and free resume scanner tools to see how your resume document stacks up to specific job descriptions.
Download this resume worksheet if you need additional help formatting your document.
As you work on building your LinkedIn profile, be sure to look over this LinkedIn Checklist.
As you start to identify and research possible roles, organizations, and industries, be sure to keep track of your informational interviews, the jobs you apply to, and other points of contacts. Use this planning spreadsheet as a starting point, and feel free to download it and adapt it to your needs.
If you are a Wake Forest alumnus who has graduated from a College of Arts & Sciences program, you can ask for a coaching conversation here for further guidance and feedback on your search. If you graduated from any program in the Schools of Business, Law, or Medicine, contact your respective program for alumni career support.
Action Planning: Navigate What’s Next
As you make plans for what comes next in your career path, complete this worksheet.
No matter where you are, remember that growth and learning are lifelong processes. There is no end point, we simply begin again. Return to the LEARN Model: Get Started page to re-start the learning process.