The two paths to career change that bring the most success

I was sitting in a coffee shop with a potential client. Clarice had been in the audience at a talk I had just given on the paths to a career change.  She worked in banking and was finding the atmosphere stifling.

We started with a bit of chit chat where I learned she was a single mom with 2 teenaged daughters. Whew! That is a highly stressful place to be!  It was clear how much she loved her children and she wanted to be a good role model for them.

But, she knew something was missing.  She was hungry for a different career that offered flexibility and security, one that would allow her to provide well for her daughters and still have time to be present in their lives.  And clearly intelligent, she could use a challenge.

Beyond that, she was unclear, so she hired a really good career coach (that would be me!) to find her way forward.

When career-changers approach a career coach, they might be aware of the career they want, but not know how to get there. That’s actually more rare than you might imagine. In Clarice’s case, she had only that vague feeling of restlessness and discontent.  

That’s all you need.

The two paths to career change that work

When it’s time for a change, it helps to know what career transition paths have the best chance of success. These two both work:

Follow your bliss.  We need something to live on, but we also need something to live for.

When we visualize a Dream, we can get pretty starry-eyed. Depending the comfort level of risk-taking and financial grounding, forging a path toward a first love can be wildly successful … or not. That’s the nature of risk.

I am the last person to suggest you stay safe and small.  If your calling is to create, you must create. Create a business, create art, create a non-profit to support a heartfelt cause, it does not matter what you are called to create.  I will support you to the ends of the earth and teach you to build strategies to minimize risk.  

This is heart work and you must answer that call. 

Dance to the left:  We could also take the body of knowledge you’ve built up in your career so far and tweak it a bit.  We look at the kinds of things you do now, identify the transferable skills and what you love best, then shift to do more of those.

Clarice used this method to craft her new future. We began by looking at the things she did well; it was clear that she loved getting to know her clients. As a new accounts representative, that was the best part of her job.

She was also well grounded in financial markets and how they work. In her spare time, she had joined a women’s investment group and was making strides in learning to invest on her own.  Investing was fun!

As we worked together, she commented offhandedly that she really loved her insurance agent and thought that industry might be interesting.

Time to put it all together.  

Clarice interviewed her insurance agent to discover what that work was like. She learned that there was an investment branch of that insurance company and her agent referred Clarice to a colleague.  As it happened, there was an opening for a portfolio manager (at a higher salary than the bank) and Clarice began her new career.

Every person is unique and everyone has their own unique path. There are breadcrumbs to lead the way.  After helping hundreds along their path, I can teach you how to follow yours. 

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