Skip navigation
determination.jpg PeopleImages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Leadership Boost: Looking for a career transition? Read this first

A plan for restaurant leaders who are interested in new beginnings.

You have decided it is time to look for a new job (or someone else has decided that for you) and you’ve stepped into the Great Resignation. How you approach looking for that new role can impact your success rate. Here is a plan you can use while you look for what is next in 2022.

This plan will help you reflect, renew and organize your approach. Because it is always easier to remember steps in acronym form, this plan is called I RISE as a reminder that you are rising in your career. Here is what it stands for:

  1. Ignite Your Path
  2. Reveal Your Purpose
  3. Identify Your Value
  4. Synchronize Your Search
  5. Execute and Evaluate Your Results

Igniting your path is all about getting yourself ready. Dig out the last resume you used. It is time to dust it off and get it updated with the skills and experience you now have. As you revise your resume, you want to make sure that it includes both your achievements as well as the skills used in the positions you have held.

The achievements will be awards received; the size of a sale, region or portfolio; the patent you received; or the innovation you launched, for example. In listing out your experience and skills, clearly articulate what you have done versus leaving the reader guessing. If you managed a team, don’t simply put “managed a team.” You want to capture the size of the team, including direct and indirect reports and any specific information about that team that is relevant to the position(s) you are applying to.

Your contact information should include your name, phone number, city and state, email and the hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile. Your resume needs to be formatted to have consistency in the font, font size, indentations, margins, and use of symbols, and most importantly you should check it for spelling and grammar by reading it and not relying on spell check.

Revealing your purpose is a gut and soul check. This is where you map out what it is you want out of your next role, company, boss and yourself. Companies work on their annual operating plan when mapping out what they will be doing next. Consider this the time to detail out your career operating plan.

Once you determine what your plan will look like, you can then consider what skills and experience you have to match your plan and what you may need to work on. This is also a good time to reveal the contacts in your network that you can reach out to to help you with your search and list them out. This is called your Power Base list.

Talking about power, it is time to identify the value you will bring to your next employer. This is not about puffing up your ego; this is about knowing your worth and being able to communicate that in the interview process. You have strengths that make you who you are and contribute to you being an ideal fit for a role. Are you a visionary, activator, communicator, maximizer, strategic? Don’t know? There are assessments you can use to help you with this, such as Strengths Finder. You can also do an informal poll by asking friends and colleagues to give you one word that describes you at work and outside of work to get your brainstorm going. There are two very important things in identifying your value: First, stick to the truth and nothing but the truth, and second, do not diminish who you are; own it.

You have updated your resume, created your career operating plan, and are ready to share the value you bring. Now you want to synchronize your search so you have an organized way of tracking your progress. Using a program where you can create lists, capture notes and easily search through them will make this easier. Your lists will capture company names plus what you know about their people and culture, their products and services, their customers and competitors, and any job summary links you have for the respective companies. This list will include companies you want to work for, even if they do not have a current opening. 

When you apply for a position, this is also where you will capture the details of where and when you applied, including pertinent details such as passwords used to submit your applications. As you go through the interview process, you will continue to add to your search notes with information about who you are interviewing with, the interview process, timing and format, as well as keeping track of the thank you notes you have sent out after the interviews. Being organized is key to a successful search.

The last step in your search process is being flexible as you execute and evaluate. Why evaluate? Because you will learn through each application and interview where you can improve your approach to bring you closer to your new role. Think through how you are communicating verbally and non-verbally in interviews. Evaluate what you are writing in your cover letters, applications and thank you notes to determine what is resonating and where you may need to edit. How are the calls — yes, calls — going with your Power Base and is there anything you should change in how you are reaching out?  This step also gives you an opportunity to evaluate your career operating plan, once you have started the interview process, and determine if you want to narrow or broaden the scope of your plan.

You are ready to do this. The most important thing to remember as you RISE is that your mindset will determine your outcome. Having a positive mindset and a smile on your face will come through on every interview you do and every note you take. You got this!


Laura Bonich is the founder and CEO of The Leaders’ Lighthouse. Laura has over 20 years of restaurant and hospitality industry leadership and sales experience with brands including Burger King, H.J. Heinz, Campbell’s and more. Her areas of expertise are leadership development, solution-based sales and emotional intelligence. Laura also hosts the Nourishing Talk Podcast, published on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.