Is it Time for a Career Change?
Do you think the grass is greener elsewhere? Sometimes it may be…sometimes not. But it doesn’t hurt to explore a career change. This week, I’m going to share the journey of three clients who came to me ready for a new challenge. This will hopefully provide you with some perspective.
In this ongoing series about coaching, we have already explored:
- Taming Your Inner Critic
- Avoiding Near Misses With Your Personal Brand & Network
- Being Bored in a Career That Doesn’t Have Meaning
Now we are going to focus on exploring whether or not it’s time for a career change.
I would like to introduce you to three clients who all came to coaching because they were ready to make a change. Meet Bailey, Kelly and Carter.*
*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.
Bailey: Bored & Burned Out
Bailey came to coaching after being in the same industry for over 20 years saying she was ready for a career change. She held a corporate director level job in energy that she described as a dead end. The company had been sold a few times. To boot, her sector of the energy market was drying up.
Bailey was ready to pull the proverbial escape hatch and jump out of the airplane. When we started working together, we quickly identified that Bailey’s role was unfulfilling and out of sync with her top values. Bailey was someone who wanted to make a difference. She didn’t feel that she could do that in her current position. To get started, Bailey began:
- Quietly putting out feelers to her trusted network
- Researching the best employers in the area in her target new industry
- Meeting with 3-5 people per month to network and ask for advice
- Completing short visualizations to gain clarity
The job search was going very well when things took an unexpected turn. Bailey was offered the CEO position with her current company! She thought long and hard about the decision, doing the pro/con exercise and talking with her spouse. Ultimately, she saw it as a way to serve others and help them grow in their careers – which aligned with her values. Plus, this provided the change and challenge that she was looking for.
Once Bailey assumed the CEO position, coaching pivoted and she began focusing on mentoring others, developing herself as a leader, and finding a CEO support group. On the personal side, Bailey set boundaries and began exercising again regularly AND making healthier food choices – all of which helped with her energy level. Bailey was also very intent on creating a great workplace, so we worked on some HR related areas as well.
Kelly: Competent, but Not Yet Confident
Kelly and I met at a leadership luncheon and started working together shortly thereafter to help him make a career change. He was in the tech industry at the director level and had been with the same company for over 15 years. He managed employees both in the US and abroad. It had been so long since Kelly had looked for a new job that he needed some help with the mechanics of a job search. In addition to researching organizations and networking, he also:
- Completely reworked his resume to showcase results and positive outcomes he had delivered in his current role
- Updated his LinkedIn profile
- Practiced interviewing skills so he was ready for different types of interview questions that might come up
- Got out of his comfort zone and began attending local industry events
It didn’t take long for Kelly to get noticed. Once he started getting interviews his confidence grew and so did his options.
Carter: Laid-Off and Looking
Carter and I met after serving together on a board of directors. He was early career in a managerial and highly visible role. Almost immediately after receiving a promotion, COVID-19 happened. Carter found himself like millions of other Americans and was laid-off. He was forced to make a career change. Being a “glass half full” kind of person, Carter saw this as a chance to pivot. He wanted to work hard and fast, so we met weekly and focused on:
- Identifying what parts of Carter’s previous roles resonated, and which ones did not
- Narrowing the scope to ideal companies that aligned with Carter’s values
- Finding people Carter knew either personally or through his network that could make introductions to hiring managers at those organizations
Carter began to see results almost immediately. He put in the effort and time to doing research and staying focused. Within several weeks, Carter had made it to the final interview stages for jobs that he was very excited about – jobs that aligned with his purpose and values!