7 Steps to Career Transition Success

Katherine Ann Byam
Harnessing the Courage to lead
3 min readAug 30, 2020


Career transitions fail a lot.

On average, each year 25% of the leadership team is in transition, and 46% of those transitions do not perform in line with expectation, this according to research by Gartner, pre-pandemic.

In typical circumstances, career transitions are challenging, especially as your responsibilities for the stewardship of the organisation increases. In a post-COVID19 world, what’s at risk just got bigger.

The stifled middle.

If you turned 40 within the last decade, you’re probably wondering what’s next for you. There’s a long string of digital natives entering the workplace, and many older, and in decision making positions who run after the next shiny thing, all the time.

You sit there thinking, but this makes no sense! Often you’ve got the solution, but no one listens, and when their way fails they blame you for being the blocker of it. Sounds familiar?

The young hustler.

If you’ve just left university, you are probably an engineer or at least data savvy, because you know that’s in demand now. You probably have in your sights working at Google, Microsoft, Tencent, Facebook, Alibaba, Amazon, or Apple, because its been drilled into you that these companies mean success.

It’s hard to deny this. If you measure success by billions in revenue and impacting billions of people, you’d be spot on the money. There’s almost no place better you can be.

Yet you need to be asking yourself what’s the quality of that impact, and whether or not your role will be doing enough to secure a meaningful future for people and our planet.

Everyone has the same basic demands of their jobs or careers.

Which of these are most important to you?

  • A sustainable income and reward?
  • Stimulating challenges?
  • Recognition for a job well done?
  • To matter and make a difference?
  • To add value?
  • To earn the respect of their peers and communities?

No matter the end goal, if you follow the next 7 steps, you’ll be able to address those challenges in a sequential and comprehensive way.

7 Steps to strategic career transitions

  1. Pre-plan your exit. Groom 2 -3 successors ahead of time, so that you can be released for the next opportunity.
  2. Know what you want and set a path to achieve it. Without this certainty and purposeful action, doing number 1 will only make you redundant (unless that’s your goal of course.)
  3. Have a strategy about that next job. This includes, social media, head hunters, and your network. This is a powerful tool even for internal moves.
  4. Build your digital brand — there is no avoiding this, unless your next step is to retire.
  5. Get your tactics right for the role itself, including the systems you will need to achieve your set outcomes.
  6. Once you get the role, get the onboarding right. The key here is to know what to look for, and you only know this by asking amazing questions.
  7. Refresh, test, and implement your systems based on what you’ve learned
  8. Bonus Step — Make a pitch. In the first 30 days, you need to pitch a transformational idea. Be ready for it.

In my signature course, I work with you to help you build your transition plan from the ground up you can sign up for the complimentary masterclass here.

If you like this work, follow me right here on medium, or pop over to my accounts on LinkedIn and Instagram.



Katherine Ann Byam
Harnessing the Courage to lead

Author, activist, coach and consultant for innovation and sustainable change. She’s the founder of Dieple Consulting & Where Ideas Launch.