Many face challenges when dealing with transitioning from one career to another or deciding whether to explore new opportunities within their chosen career.
A constant worry is whether they will be successful or not. At times they may be thrown into a situation of seeking new opportunities with very little warning and have to swim hard to land new ones but can be overwhelmed with feelings of fear and insecurity. The challenges faced are real, and when communicated to others, it could be difficult for them to provide meaningful support. Whether seeking a job in a specific career or not there are a few things to consider that can prove helpful.
Recently, I developed and facilitated a Career Coaching and Networking Workshop and the attendees represented a cross section from various industries, beyond FinTech. The group included a former executive assistant with twenty three years of work experience at a prestigious law firm who was laid off with a four week severance package. Also an technology professional who was seeking tools to make a transition from a full time job to launching a new training consulting business. Career coaching and networking is not only for those who are transitioning from one career to another, but also seeking to obtain skills to make a transition in the future. I call it exploring “Plan B”. For example, another participant was gainfully employed but in a job that was a “dead end” with no opportunities for either advancement or challenge, and wanted to make a change in the future but did not know how. She was provided with a new plan specific for her journey.
The workshop discussed several individual topics ranging from Building Your Personal Brand, Skills Assessment, Use Your Skills to Launch Your Next Opportunity, Resume Builder, One on One Coaching and Defining Your New Career. The topics provided the skills needed to build the confidence to pursue new opportunities. Let’s look at one specific topic discussed.
Building Your Personal Brand
Some of the audience was confused initially with the definition of building their own brand. So I asked when you think of the words Volvo or Gucci what do you think of? The response was unanimous, namely, both luxury and quality. But what do people think of our individual brands, I asked? The audience was not certain so we engaged in a few simple exercises which consisted of preparing a list of our personal SWOTs (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and discussing the findings among the participants in the room.
The result of this exercise was the participants realized they have more “strengths” when they reviewed their list with their assigned partner. At times we shy back from our strengths and focus on our areas of weaknesses. This can cause us to be paralyzed and not move forward. The team interaction developed the reinforcement necessary to expound more on the attributes where we excelled and attention was given to “soften” the weaknesses through mitigation or elimination, if possible.
The next phase was focusing on the both opportunities and threats from our individual plan. Many of the attendees brainstormed on the areas of opportunities in their respective field. One attendee realized there were opportunities to leverage her skills to contact professionals in her industry but outside as well, based on the brainstorming unit covered, she realized her list expanded to include entrepreneurs, marketing executives, CEOs and more. We later explored the various threats that could erode potential opportunities and create doubt and concern.
Based on the personal SWOT Analysis the attendees were prepared to define their personal brand to build the foundation for their next career or transition. At times when we are involved in a job situation that can be stressful, it is difficult to focus on areas to make changes because we can be overwhelmed by our doubts and stress. Taking an objective view takes time and this is when our support system can prove beneficial.
The group sessions helped to provide objective feedback for the attendees to view their situation and build the confidence to move forward rather than shrink backwards. One attendee who recently was unemployed felt they needed to focus on work that was low paying thinking the opportunities were extensive and felt making a transition in his chosen field would be difficult and time consuming. This assessment was based only on supposition and not fact so the group feedback suggested him to focus on opportunities in his field with thirty years of work experience first before embarking outside where the salary and benefits are lower.
In summary, career and job transitioning creates additional stress and potentially can erode our self confidence if we are not careful. Reaching out to others that are in our current situation or familiar with it or have an understanding of endeavor can be helpful. The Walker Group recently launched the Careers and Networking Linkedin Group to strengthen the community of persons currently undergoing career transition or seek to expand their network. Your participation and feedback is much appreciated.
Wayne Brown focuses as the bridge between FinTech and financial institutions, working with FinTech companies and banks to find and create mutually profitable opportunities. Our varied market segments enable us to identify synergies and opportunities to stimulate growth as we partner with our clients to build their business. Wayne has helped fifty five people land jobs in banking, IT, FinTech etc and is paused to help others benefit from his experience. For more information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in touch and join our FinTech Virtual Lunch Linkedin Group