5 key steps for a successful professional reconversion

Reconversion Job

From the HR manager, who became a star florist, to the ex-lawyer at the head of a small empire of muesli, including a trader recycled as a chef, there are many examples of successful career reconversion. Which is not surprising since figures show that 85% of the French consider it’s a good thing to change trades at least once. (Odoxa survey). And how about if you also took a 180° turn?

Careful, the manoeuvre is not that simple. In her book Réinventer sa vie professionnelle… quand on vient de la commence (Reinventing your professional life….when it has just begun), published in December by Eyrolles, Marion de la Forest-Divonne today has become a coach in personal and professional development, guiding step by step those who, like her, want to make the big jump. Here is her method, in accelerated mode for those in a hurry.

1. Make an appointment with... yourself !

Changing jobs is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before jumping on the desk of your boss, singing loudly, “Goodbye, President” or slamming the door loudly to breed lamas in the Larzac region, take your time to allow your project to ripen. Do you really feel like gearing into a “reconversion” programme or is this just a passing fancy, requiring just a few adjustments (ex : working from home) ? Marion de la Forest-Divonne likes to remind her clients that it is important to give yourself a moment of break to pinpoint your motivations and needs (autonomy, freedom, recognition, evolution, time…). Once the rendezvous is taken, listen to “your little inside voice”. Your intuition often has the best advice, allow it to express itself.

2. Identify your qualities

identifiez vos qualites

Without any false modesty, what are your qualities: those for which you are recognized and those you wish to develop? At this stage, no question of coming out with the spiel traditionally reserved for recruiters (perfectionist, curious and co.). Before determining what you want to do, Marion de la Forest-Divonne recommends to identify who you want to be. Morality, be honest with yourself.

Exercise: list of adjectives you feel characterize you. Circle the 3 you feel most strongly about. For each 3, explain why this word describes you so well (ex: “persevering because I have the willingness to reach all the goals I set for myself”). Finally, answer these questions: what could be possible for me if I managed to put these 3 words at the heart of my life and what can I do differently tomorrow? You necessarily have talent—use it !

3. Draw me…your ideal life

Pull out your pencils. Use a white sheet of paper and allow your aspirations to speak out. What would your ideal life look like? Sketches, words, texts, stickers… let yourself go. Then take a step back. What is important for you in this ideal life? What contributes to your blossoming?

And to go even further. What is ideal work place: office, boutique, on the road, at home… ? What setting are you looking for? Are you ready to move around? What would your ideal day look like? How much do you need to feel financially secure? What would be your level of responsibility? What are your priorities regarding your personal life? Entrepreneur or not entrepreneur? Project yourself as much as possible. Marion de la Forest-Divonne encourages the persons she follows to confront their desires with their professional options in order to define the good match.

4. Make your inquiry


Take a close look at the different possibilities in front of you. Are you afraid to sidestep your vocation? Consult the list of trades supplied by the site of ONISEP, the most complete according to our expert. And keep in mind that “50% of the trades that will be hiring in the next 5 years in France don’t yet exist,” according to Emmanuelle Duez, founder of the counselling company Boson Project. This should widen your prospects. To explore the various possibilities, do not hesitate to make contact with persons in the specific trade you are considering. They will open your eyes on the other side of the decor, which might encourage your choice or on the contrary dissuade you. And if possible, try to test the job you are aiming for. The PMSMP (period of actual trying out the situation in a professional field) is accessible for free to those looking for jobs.

5. Time for a 180° turn

Before going into action, make sure you are anticipating the transition phase properly. According to your current situation (CDI, CDD, independent...), the decisions to be made and the status and financial consequences will not be the same (quitting, conventional rupture, time off to create your own company …). Look into all this ahead of time. Then, elaborate a retro-planning to define the follow-up chronology. This will make things much more concrete. Your new life is waiting !

livre reconversion professionnelle

Taken from: Réinventer sa vie professionnelle… quand on vient de la commencer, by Marion de La Forest Divonne, Published by Eyrolles €19.90. More info for coaching sessions on marionlfd-coaching.com/marion

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