Recently I was having lunch with one of my clients who successfully made a significant career switch. After six months in his new position, he is happy to report that all is going well. Here is what he learned.
WORKING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Starting on his first day in the new job, he was respectful of the team and system he was joining. He fully embrace the reality that he is the new guy and they are either going to accept or reject him. How this would transpire fell squarely on his shoulders. Therefore, he spent the first few months, observing, asking questions and building rapport with his direct reports and peers. This allowed him to better understand how things have been done and why. Once they realized he is there to support them and not denigrate how they operate he gained their trust. The more secure and trusting the relationship, the more he was able to create a positive impact by leveraging his expertise to elevate the work product. Admittedly, this was a challenging process for him. His natural inclination would be to come in and start interrogating and tearing apart what he inherited. With great restraint, he followed the strategy that we devised in preparation of him starting his new position. He is having an impact from the inside and bringing others along on the journey.
LOSE THE WEIGHT
Since starting his new job, he lost twenty-five pounds. With the new job came a renewed dedication to going to the gym and healthy eating. The result of this concerted effort is he looks and feels great. In hindsight, he said he would have lost the twenty-five pounds before starting his job search. He believes it would have given him extra energy and a self-confidence boost while going through the rigors of a job search.
HAVE A PLAN B
He is the first to admit that he is doing great and all turned out well. He found a job that he likes with a company and team where he can have an impact that aligns with his values. But he was pursuing one option. If it had not turned out as planned it would have meant starting the process all over. In retrospect, he realized this was a risky proposition. At no other time, does he not have a back-up plan and yet when it came to his career, his future, his livelihood, he placed all his chips on one bet.
These three tips will put you in the best possible position for success when activating a career change. I hope you found them helpful. Would love to hear what you think.