Three years ago, I decided to ‘take a leap’ of faith: I said goodbye to my career in media and advertising and said hello to a new world of executive recruiting. I celebrated my work anniversary by posting a reflection of my accomplishments over the last few years on Linkedin. My post went viral with over 5.5 million views and now 50,000 people want to know how I did it. Instead I’m going to share it with you.

Most of us have experienced a time in our lives where we are paralyzed by fear, literally standing in our own way, bounded by fear of the unknown, fear of instability, fear of losing. But for me, many life-changing experiences taught me to focus not on the fear, but on what has to be done in the moment — taking things step by step.

My first experience with change was at the age of 5 when my parents separated and I bounced back and forth between two houses. As a teenager, I watched my father go from a fifth-degree black belt martial arts instructor to a man battling Multiple Sclerosis, a disabling disease of the central nervous system, who needed a cane to walk down the street. In college, my family lost our house, our car and soon my dad passed. Life forced me to embrace change.

Three years out of college, I was working as a media strategist for one of the largest advertising and marketing agencies in the world, OmnicomGroup. I was responsible for developing media campaigns for huge companies like Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. My days consisted of doing tasks such as identifying target audiences, brainstorming media stunts, negotiating with vendors and submitting and revising (and revising again) proposals to WB executives.

Anyone who’s worked in an advertisement agency knows that the fast-paced, high-volume, deadline after deadline driven workload can make two years easily feel like double. Tired, but also in forever search of growth, I began opening myself up for new opportunities. I considered moving over to the studio side or working for an online publisher, pitching proposals to media strategists like myself.

After quite a few interviews in the industry, I somehow found myself sitting inside Green Hasson Janks, a top ranked regional public accounting firm, interviewing for an executive recruiting role. Not what I expected! A sales position in the accounting and finance sector, which included business development, understanding accounting/finance functions, providing hiring and career consultation, negotiating fees, salaries and compensation packages – this position was completely out of my wheelhouse.

There I was, facing another huge change — but this one was voluntary. I weighed the pros and cons and did all that I could to make sure I fully thought it through. As much as I wanted to predict the future, I couldn’t. I had to trust that everything would work out, just like it always had. At worst, if I took the position and completely tanked, I could always go back to media planning. I had excellent references and strong relationships with quite a few people still in the industry, which I thought of as a safety net.

I leapt. With work ethic and drive, I was determined to make change work in my favor. Nevertheless, I couldn’t have imagined that after my first year of working as an executive recruiter that I would be nominated for Rookie of the Year and inducted into the President’s Club. Nor could I have ever imagined that I would be promoted to director in my second year.

How did I do it? Media planning prepared me for executive recruiting in ways I didn’t expect. I was accustomed to working long hours, which came in handy as I tried to play catch up, learning a new job and industry. For a long time, I was the first one in my office and the last one to leave. I was also used to multitasking and working on multiple projects. I was able to keep calm when I had multiple searches running simultaneously, and I didn’t let much slip through the cracks. I was comfortable with learning new technology platforms, and I quickly learned the recruiting database tracking system for all of our client/candidate information and activity. By my third month of recruiting, I became the go-to person for all things database and technology related. Simply put, I realized many of my skills were transferable.

Most importantly, I was a “sponge.” I wasn’t afraid to ask for help from my peers and my managing director. I asked lots of questions and made sure that I understood not only what I was doing but also why. I involved myself on projects that weren’t mine to gain the experience. I volunteered to sit in on meetings, screen resumes, send emails and so many other tasks. Additionally, I found a mentor in my managing director. It started by keeping him clued into everything I worked on and by providing him with frequent updates, sometimes multiples a day. Later, we became partners on many searches and learned to leverage each other’s strong suits, which yielded higher productivity and more business.

Last but not least, I gave my new career a fair chance. Within my first year of recruiting, my friends and family would ask me, “So, how do you like it?” My response was always the same, “I haven’t quite decided.” I was careful not to decide too quickly. I have been working since I was 15 and out of all the jobs I’ve had, recruiting had the largest learning curve. There were days I felt lost, and it was difficult for me to measure if I was succeeding. While I was hitting my goal metrics, there were a lot of ups and downs beyond my control. I later learned to ride the wave and recover quickly from disappointment. Most importantly, in my toughest moments, I didn’t submit to any defeating thoughts.

For anyone who relates to my story, here’s my Top 11 list, with a bonus:

1. Don’t let the unknown scare you. Try your best to be adaptable and have a positive attitude towards change – voluntary or involuntary.

2. Ask yourself, “What can I happily see myself doing?” Sometimes, we can be so unhappy in our current situation that the grass easily looks greener on the other side. Be selective and take into consideration your interests and your strengths.

3. Make an honest list of the pros & cons of your current and your prospective careers. Think about what you’re going into as you move forward, and what will you leave behind. And don’t take for granted the little things that can be important, like the office environment, office location, company/industry perks, etc.

4. Take a look at all your career options inside and outside your industry.

5. Get a second opinion from someone who truly knows you. Talk out your options, your concerns and your game plan with someone you trust (friend, family, colleague, mentor).

6. Network – reach out to someone who is doing the job you want. Find out what their day is like, what they enjoy most about their job and what challenges they face.

7. Make sure your next move will put you closer to your end goal.

8. Look for people not just for jobs. Who you are working with is just as important as what you are doing for work.

9. Make a plan and consider a timeline. Is there a particular time of year that would be best to make the switch? Is there a way you can slowly transition from your current career to your new one? Map out your career change.

10. Understand that when you change careers, sometimes that means you’re starting over. Be prepared to put in the extra work and effort to understand your new job and industry. Focus on your strengths and the transferrable skills you can use to help get ahead while you’re in the process of building new ones.

11. Allow yourself time to adjust. Some transitions take longer than others. Be patient and try to avoid jumping to any defeating conclusions.

Bonus: Finally and perhaps most importantly:

VIEW SOURCE:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/break-the-future/2017/04/17/how-to-change-careers-and-kill-it-at-your-new-job/#32aea9eb5ac4

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Millennials, Here’s Why Job Titles Don’t Matter Anymore

I can’t tell you how many times my Dad used to ask me about what exactly it was again that I was doing for a living.

Coming from the “black and white” world of accounting on Wall Street, he wasn’t satisfied with my answer that didn’t fit neatly into a box like lawyer, doctor, or teacher. As the founder of an online community, I was proud of my work and wanted badly to convey to my Dad what I was up to—but he always seemed to respond with a blank stare followed by defeated resignation.

 

 

What I’m finding is that I’m not the only one having this problem. In fact, the majority of the millennials I talk to today are opting for work that’s not clearly defined.

The millennial worker today wears many hats—whether that’s copywriter, marketer, sales strategist, or bookkeeper. We’re adaptive to the shifting demands of a fast-paced work environment and the skills we need to learn are often just a Google search away.

This week on the Unconventional Life Podcast, I interviewed one millennial woman who’s on the leading edge of nontraditional work and thriving.

Meet Tash Price, the business developer and manager of Engine House VFX, an award-winning UK-based 2-D, 3-D, CGI and VFX animation studio who has served clientele like BBC and Sony. Engine House VFX covers a wide range of projects within advertising, gaming, architectural visualization and film. Their work has been featured online, on TV, at events, and in films and games.

“You’ll get into the conversation of what you do for a living and you’ll say animation and people can’t quite seem to grasp it. They’ll quickly move on and they seem confused by it because it’s not the standard job role,” Price says.

But according to Price, the conversation doesn’t have to stop there. Rather than moving on, you can educate others about what you do in a way that promotes connection and redefines what it means to work in the 21st century.

I spoke with a number of other millennials who are finding fulfillment in nontraditional job roles, and here’s what they had to say:

  • Job Titles Don’t Reflect Lifestyle. In the past, jobs were much less integrated than they are today. Going to work meant punching in a time card at on office for a designated number of hours. Today, technology enables millennials to work seamlessly from their devices so that being “on” and “off” the clock is less rigid and more fused with lifestyle.
  • • Eric Termuende, an entrepreneur, speaker, and the author of Rethink Work, says, “With the capabilities of technology increasing so quickly, the ability to work from more places, using more devices, longer hours every day makes the job less about the seemingly limited title, and more about the holistic experience. In many cases, the title doesn’t encompass the life Millennials are living as a result of the job (or jobs) they are doing.”

Price’s animation studio is embodying this new “integrated” work model. ”Instead of having hundreds of people sitting behind a cubicle we have a small core team and we work with lots of freelancers who are based all over the world. It means everyone gets the lifestyle they want and we can hand-pick the artists we want for the job. We’ve got people working in Turkey, Sweden, Iran, the US, the Netherlands, Japan,” she says.

  • Job Titles Act As Constraints. Today’s millennial workers may have bigger ambitions than previous generations. Just a few decades ago, only a marginal percent of American workers held a college degree, and the majority of women preferred to stay at home.

As millennials tackle a host of global issues, both men and women are rising to the occasion with a shift towards businesses that do social justice. 92% of millennials believe businesses should be measured by more than profit. Undra Robinson, a millennial entrepreneur, says “Millennials believe our potential in life is limitless and want to change the world, and job titles only add constraints. They are polar opposites.”

Millennials Aren’t Motivated By Job Titles.

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Three Questions To Ask Yourself If You’re Thinking About Quitting Your Job

New year, new job is the tune most people start to sing around this time of year.

And while I’m the number one advocate for leveling up and going after the life and career you deserve, the job hunt is not for the doubtful or uncertain.

When you’re not sure whether you should stick it out or run for the hills, you end up with one foot in and one foot out: kind of trying to impress your boss and kind of searching around for something better – that limbo dance is rarely ever effective.

So, before your write down, “Get new job” on your New Year’s resolution list, it’s worth asking yourself these three questions so that you can go into your job hunt 100% committed, without any hesitation.

The right questions to ask before you start your job hunt.

1. Have I stayed at this company long enough to make an impact?

How long have you been working there? Have you been there long enough to make a difference? Have you given yourself enough time to rack up accomplishments or deliver results? Have you developed all the skills you need to succeed in your position?

It’s easy to want to jump ship the moment you feel unhappy or dissatisfied at work. But, if you were to update your resume today with your current position, would you be able to relay the achievements and contributions you’ve made in your position thus far?

If the answer is no, you’ve probably haven’t been in your position long enough. Or, quite frankly, you probably haven’t done enough.

Especially if you desire to land a more senior position in your current industry, you can’t attain more, if you haven’t developed and refined your skills at your current level.

If you know you haven’t made the most out of your current position, it may be time to shift your perspective. Instead of focusing on the exit sign, start evaluating the components that you need to improve and look for ways to develop in those areas, then focus on doing those things consistently and effectively. Search for ways that you can make a difference. Take initiative. Work on creating a list of achievements you can add to your resume so that when you do leave, you can have something to show for your experience.

However, if you’ve been at your company for some time, if you can count on your fingers and toes the results you’ve brought to the table, and if you’ve started to take on responsibilities outside of the scope of your current position, then these may be signs that you’re ready to switch gears and start your job hunt, especially if you’re itching to do something else.

2. Is there still room for me to grow at this company?

Is there a promotion on the horizon? Does that promotion excite you? On a scale of 1-10, how certain are you that you can land that promotion, considering your skill set, accomplishments, office politics, and other formal and informal rules and circumstances? Do you like the career path that senior leaders and others have taken in your company to get to where they are today?

If there’s still room for you to grow in your company in a way that excites you and empowers you to become your best self, then rather than scrolling through Indeed on your lunch break, it may be worth going above and beyond to pursue that path.

This could mean seeking that promotion or going after a lateral move – a position with the same or similar title and salary, on a different team or in a different department in the company.

However, if your company is ridden with office politics, favoritism, and other things that leave a funny feeling in your stomach, then it may be time to consider other avenues for growth, at a different company.

Even more so, if you’ve reached the point where you can say, “Yes, I may be able to grow here, but I’m not happy with my career and would rather do something else,” don’t hold on to what’s no longer for you. Start your job search in pursuit for something better.

3. Does this company and position still align with the career goals I have for myself?

 

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