Career and Knowing If It’s Time To Move On

Have you reached a point in your career where you feel it is time to move on?

This morning I participated in the Learning and Development Chat on Twitter (#LDInsight.) The question posed was a really interesting one:

“How did you decide that a career in L&D or OD was for you?”

It was fascinating to see the many and varied routes through which my many L&D/OD connections have arrived in their current roles and careers.

I shared a little of my own story. My career started in Personal and Corporate Banking in the days when human beings made lending decisions rather than computers! I initially got involved in training through my membership of an external organisation Junior Chamber International which at the time was the largest out-of-hours management training organisation for young professionals.

Continue reading “Career and Knowing If It’s Time To Move On”

Aligning Your Purpose and Career – Questions To Ask Yourself

In terms of your career have you considered how it aligns with your purpose in life? Do you know how to find your purpose? If you posed that question to people around you, I suspect that the majority would likely answer no. It’s because there is a world of possibilities. People are often afraid to try something new out of fear of the unknown or because it is all too easy to settle for the here and now. They often don’t know how to go about looking for what they should be doing.

If you want to find your “Purpose” then you need first to ask yourself if what you are doing now is satisfying. Put aside the bills and your salary slip for a moment. Do you get a buzz out of getting up every morning to go to work? How do you feel on Sunday evenings, assuming you start up work on Mondays? Do you dread having to get up in the morning on Monday, or does it excite you?

Another problem is you may feel stuck doing something in which you don’t believe. Suppose you work for a company that isn’t living out its values or pays lip service to them. It pays well, or it is safe and comfortable and that is why you stick with it. You even like many of the people who work there. You need to ask yourself if you can continue to work in an environment which doesn’t fit well with you.

You will also need to ask yourself what will it take to make changes to get out of your current situation and into something you enjoy. It may require going back to college or perhaps undertaking some online training. Luckily, nowadays with the explosion of learning opportunities online there are many options available, and many of them are cheap or free.

If you find that the path is well laid out, ask yourself are you’re willing to put in the time and make an effort? If not, you haven’t truly found your purpose. You either need to continue what you are doing or find another path. Keep reflecting, challenging yourself until you reach a point where you are willing to put in the effort.

Your Career and Purpose Don’t Necessarily Mean The Same Thing!

You should keep in mind that your career is not necessarily your purpose in life. It may be a part of it, but for many people, there is a need to look a lot deeper. For instance, you may love helping others out and feel that is your purpose. If your current career doesn’t focus on helping people, this can help you determine where to look to make changes. Try to find organizations where you can make a difference.

If you go this route, you will align what you want to do for your career with what you feel is your purpose. That will make your new career choice fulfilling. It can give you a reason to want to get up to go to work, which is fantastic.

When you focus on aligning your career and your purpose together, the decisions needed to establish your new path becomes much more natural.  Yes, you could of course randomly pick a way forward. However, it’s more likely you will succeed when you fit your career with who you are or who you want to become.

Changing Careers – They Have Done It!

Changing careers is something that people think about but it can be quite a scary concept! I have been talking to a number of people over the last few weeks who have been considering whether they should change the focus of their careers. Seeking a new role or changing career is one of those things that people do tend to consider at this time of year.

I am sure you will have come across people who have “fallen into” their current career and have stuck with it because of the security the regular income brings. They often find themselves frustrated as time goes on that they are not following a career that would really fulfill them and allow to work in an area that they would enjoy and feel they were adding value to the world around them. You may be one of those people?

Pondering on this set me thinking about some of the people from history or that we know today who have changed their careers.

There are many examples of people who have have taken the plunge and moved from thinking about changing careers to changing their lives and careers completely through knowing themselves and what they were capable of. They also had the courage to change direction and make the most of the opportunities presented to them.

Changing Careers – These People Did It!

Julius Caesar

In 49BC, Caesar, though a great commander, was told to disband his legion and return to Rome – most likely to retirement or even death. He disobeyed orders and instead crossed the Rubicon River into Italy. His power grew through his great talents and love of the people, and that one act led to him becoming the Emperor of Rome and first in a long line of Caesars.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon was not even French, but become Emperor of the French within a decade after seizing upon the opportunities for power that had resulted through the French Revolution. He transformed himself from a corporal of artillery to the greatest general the modern world had ever seen, and he made every member of his family a king or ruler in Europe.

Arthur Wellesley

Arthur Wellesley was born in Ireland, a second son who would not inherit his father’s estate, and so would have to make his own way in the world. He was a talented violinist, but when the family of the girl he wished to marry turned him down because he had “no prospects,” he burned all his violins and threw himself into a career in the army. Around 20 years later, he defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and became the Duke of Wellington. He also became the prime minister of Great Britain.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was a retired politician writing books and painting watercolors in the 1930s, but the rise of Hitler in Germany so alarmed him that he became a tireless opponent of the Fuhrer even though he was nearly 60 years old. He became Prime Minister in 1940 and led England through the horrific war and on to victory in 1945, when he was 71.

We have many modern examples of people who thought about changing careers and went on to be wildly successful:

  • Walt Disney was a newspaper editor
  • Ellen DeGeneres was an oyster shucker
  • Harrison Ford was a carpenter
  • Andrea Bocelli was a lawyer
  • Chef Julia Child was a spy in World War II

Sylvester Stallone was a deli-counter assistant and lion cage cleaner at the Central Park Zoo. Desperate to give his family a better life, he penned the screenplay to Rocky. Hollywood loved it, but he insisted he would only sell it if he got to play the lead. And the rest, as they say, is history.

What drives people like this to success? It’s often a sense of purpose or destiny. It’s knowing what they want and finding ways to get there. Let’s look at one way of accomplishing this in the next post! In the meantime are you thinking of changing careers? What are you going to do about it?