Go to Menu The Library Vacation™
By Nick Corcodilos

Part 1

People often make the mistake of asking a headhunter, "What new career should I pursue?" It's important to understand why that question will lead a headhunter to hang up the phone.

Headhunters rarely recruit people from one career to another. Headhunters' clients would never stand for it. A headhunter's clients want the best people who are already doing a particular kind of work to come do it for them. Consequently, headhunters usually move people within a career domain, not outside it.

Nonetheless, when I offer to let people "ask the headhunter", this question comes up all the time. (Too often, people ask it after they've spent thousands of dollars on career counseling.)

Pack a suitcase for one.
I believe the choice of a new career is a very personal decision. The best career counselors might give you some food for thought, but I believe that the motivation a person needs to tackle such an enormous, life-altering challenge lies -- almost by definition -- within himself. The search has to be self-directed. In other words, you'll never find what you're looking for if you let someone else point you toward what he thinks you're looking for.

If you want to make a profound change in your career, you've got to buck up, put on a sturdy pair of boots, and go searching on your own. There's lots of philosophizing to do on this subject, but I'd like to suggest one idea that might help you find your own way to the future.

I call this approach to career change The Library Vacation™. It's a little corny, it's very simple (though not easy), and it's so obvious that few people ever think to do it. It's also incredibly powerful because it is rooted in who you are.

Destination: Off the path.
Take at least three days off and spend them at the library. (A week is better.) Go into the periodical stacks. Forget about job hunting or careers. (This is the vacation part.) Read whatever you feel like. At first, you'll start with magazines like People, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, foreign newspapers and so on. Then, you'll start checking out various specialty and industry-related periodicals. Just read stuff that attracts you.

  • The best way to find a new path is to let your motivation lead you. Leave your skills, your college degree, your experience and your credentials behind. You can haul them out later, when you need them. For now, they're irrelevant.

As you follow your gut, you'll start to see trends in the sorts of industries and product areas you're reading about. That will tell you something: this might be your path... 

This popular article has been revised and expanded into a full section of Nick's new book, the How Can I Change Careers? Answer Kit.

Please click for more information and to view samples from the book, and to learn how to change careers successfully using the methods described throughout Ask The Headhunter.

This 36-page book includes a crib sheet to help get your career change on track—and to help you keep it there!

Check it out now!

 

NOTE: The Library Vacation is a trademark of North Bridge Group, Inc.

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