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Worksheets and Exercises

When 12 Steps to a New Career was published, I knew it would be difficult for readers to use the worksheets in a 6″ x 9″ book and I also knew that I would want to periodically update some of them. Consequently, all the career change worksheets in the book are listed on this page. You can download them at no cost.

The worksheet numbers match the chapter number and document number as shown in the book.

Chapter 1: Take Stock

Identifying Your ValuesWhen you start considering making a job or career change, you need to think about what values are important to you. Your wanting to make a career change may be because your values are not being met where you are now or your employment situation is changing in a way that you do not feel is consistent with what you would like (i.e., your values). Whatever the reason, this worksheet can help you to focus or re-focus your search and it will be a crucial test you can use when you are assessing whether a new opportunity is consistent with your values.
Download: Worksheet-1.1-Identifying-Your-Values

Chapter 2: Achievements

Categories of AchievementsThis worksheet can help you to brainstorm some words that might trigger some thoughts on areas of achievements.
Download: Worksheet 2.1-Categories-of-Achievements

Writing Achievement Stories (Worksheet 2.2)
This is THE most important exercise you need to do and do well. It will provide the basis for the following:

  • Describe what you are best at doing so you can leverage that into your conversations with others when you are networking.
  • Form the basis for your resume that shows you as a resource for others, especially if you are making an industry change.
  • Enable you to tell success stories of your achievements so that employers will recognize you as the resource they need.
  • Identifying your most important achievements and being able to succinctly and clearly describe them to others will be the foundation for everything else that you do in your career search.

Read more >

Chapter 3: Skills

Skills with TangiblesThis worksheet will help you to identify and describe your skills with tangible, corporeal things.
Download: Worksheet 3.1-Skills-with-Tangibles

Skills with IntangiblesThis worksheet will help you to identify and describe your skills with information, ideas, data or thoughts.
Download: Worksheet 3.2-Skills-with-Intangibles

Skills with PeopleThis worksheet will help you to identify and describe your skills with different individuals or groups.
Download: Worksheet 3.3-Skills-with-People

Job ProfileThis worksheet will help you to review your past jobs to discover any skills you might have overlooked and it will help you to prepare for networking and interviews with employers and recruiters when they ask you to describe your experiences and successes.
Download: Worksheet 3.4-Job-Profile

Your Preferred Skills (Worksheet 3.5)
You now need to pull together all your skills from the various worksheets you previously identified so you can organize and prioritize them by the ones you are most passionate about wanting to use.  You may find that some of your best skills may no longer be the skills you are most passionate about using.  This exercise is critical because your networking, resume, and interviews will all need to focus on the skills you are most passionate about wanting to use going forward. The first worksheet below is an example of how to prioritize your skills and the second one is a template you can use to help you to prioritize your preferred skills:

Chapter 4: Career Options

Personal Living Preferences – Before you begin your search, you should decide which issues affecting a job location are most important and which ones would be nice but would not be a job killer. Think about you personally and for your family. You will not impress employers or recruiters if you wait to make that decision when a potential employer makes you an offer.
Download: Worksheet 4.1 – Personal Living Preferences

Workplace PreferencesDuring your career search and certainly before you accept an offer of employment, you will need to consider whether the new employer or the workplace environment will be a good fit for you. You are likely to be asked some specific questions during your networking about your specific preferences or, alternatively, situations you want to avoid in a future opportunity. If you reply that you haven’t thought about that yet, your network will not be very energized to help you.  This worksheet will help you get started thinking about what you want or, alternatively, you want to avoid in a new opportunity.
Download: Worksheet 4.2-Workplace-Preferences

People PreferencesMaking a transition in mid-career means that you already know the personal styles or characteristics of people you like working with that motivate you to do your best and the styles or characteristics of those that you do not want to work with again. This worksheet will help you to describe the people that enable you work at your best. It will also serve as a resource when you are interviewing to help you to ask about the company’s culture and the personal characteristics of people they want to employ.
Download: Worksheet 4.3-People-Preferences

Preferred job – Completing this exercise will help you to describe your ideal job by building on your preferred skills and your preferences for the ones you want to use, where you want to use them, and the people and groups you want in your work life. You may create more than one if you are in a situation where you have a preference for more than one ideal job.
Download: Exercise 4.2 – Ideal Job Profile

Chapter 6: Resumes

Personal Information InventoryComplete these two worksheets before you begin networking or prepare your resume. The form will help you to capture and record information your network, recruiters, and most importantly, potential employers are most likely to ask. Preparing this information in advance will demonstrate that you have anticipated their questions and will be able to give accurate and thoughtful responses.
Download inventory: Worksheet 6.1 – Personal Information Inventory

Before you give or send your resume to others, use this checklist to make sure others will be impressed and will view you positively.
Download checklist: Worksheet 6.2 – Resume Checklist

Chapter 10: Interviewing

Preparing for Employment Interviews (Worksheet 10.1)
Learn how you can enhance your success when you have an employment interview by understanding the thinking process of interviewers and learning how to prepare in advance by anticipating the questions you are most likely to be asked.
Read more >

Post-Interview NotesDo not expect to be perfect at interviewing when you first start out. Immediately following every interview, use this form to critique how it went. If you do this, you will improve your effectiveness at the next interview. If you wait too long to do this, the freshness of your experience will be lost and you will not remember who you talked to or what you need to improve for the next one.
Download: Worksheet 10.2 – Post Interview Notes

Chapter 11: Negotiating Your Salary

Calculating Your Salary Requirements (Worksheet 11.1)
Before an interviewer asks you what salary you expect, complete this worksheet to help you determine your salary requirements.
Download Worksheets:
–   Excel version: Worksheet 11.1 – Calculating Your Salary Requirements (Excel)
–   PDF version: Worksheet 11.1 – Calculating Your Salary Requirements (PDF)

Chapter 12: Creating Your Strategic Plan

Contact SheetYou will be contacting many people during your job search and you will find it will be very difficult to keep track of everyone. You will need to have follow-up meetings with them to keep them current or to obtain more information or additional referrals. You may have agreed to do something or they may have agreed to do something for you. Keeping track of everyone, when you last met and plan to meet again will be an administrative chore you must do well. If you forget someone or fail to keep them current, they will cross you off their list, forget you, and most certainly won’t help you.

There are computer apps you can purchase to do this if you are comfortable using one. Be careful, however, not to spend too much time learning to use a computerized contact app when the purpose is to keep in contact, not learn another app. Here is a form you can print and use:
Download: Worksheet 12.1 – Contact Sheet