Forward Into New Careers
Changing professions can be both exhilarating and
frightening. For many people, the
decision requires new learning. For
those afraid to take the plunge, continuing to study – to take courses – is a
way to think you are moving forward, but really stalling out of either fear or
lack of knowledge about how to get where you want to be going.
Let me tell you about a few people I’ve worked with recently
who are in the process of making change – but seem stuck in the mud. They are
each still studying” their options.
bureaucrat to politician
A man, previously a government employee, now running for political office knows he is
not a marketing person, a writer, or knowledgeable about running his
campaign. He has already put his hat in
the ring and spent the money necessary (not a trivial sum) to be a serious
His next step is to prepare his ballot statement and the
rest of his marketing materials, including his website. He vacillates about spending the money
(considerably less than he’s already spent) to get his ballot statement
finished. I feel like I’m playing yo-yo
to his decision making process. I’ve
contracted to do this for him. If he
doesn’t move fast, he will lose the window of opportunity to get a statement on
His vacillation is because he is still slightly afraid of
taking the necessary leap. Too, making
the transition requires an expenditure of money. If he spends it he is truly making the
commitment – so he keeps vacillating.
2: From Mom to
I am in a partnership with a friend who was to be
responsible for getting our website (for this project) up and running. She could have hired an expert for about
$2,000.00 and it would have been done in a month or two. Instead, she has been “taking courses” (e.g.
studying) to learn – I know not what – and so far has spent over $5,000.00 and
almost two years time stalling – and our website still isn’t live.
This is a pattern for this woman, who through the years has
studied to become several different professionals. She gets the degree, the license, and then
finds something else to entice her interest.
3: From Employee
to Having Her Own Professional Practice
I spent some hours with a lovely well educated and
experienced woman who didn’t think she was ready yet to launch her
business. Talking with her, I was sure
she had all the knowledge and tools necessary.
She also had purchased her business license, had her fictitious business
name legalized and published, and had plied her craft many many times under the
supervision of others.
It was her lack of confidence in herself that held her
back. She was continuing to “take
courses” (e.g. studying) to become more expert.
While it is wonderful to take classes to advance your skills, there is a
point at which as one of the CEO’s I worked with said: “To freeze the features”. Stop being frozen in fear – and move
3: Targeting the
wrong target market
I’ve worked with two different physicians who, for different
reasons, no longer practice medicine.
Both of these men continue to go to career advise classes, (studying)
trying to learn where they should go next.
I spent only a few hours with each of them and we created a
Dr. A – really wants to focus on alternative medicine,
nutrition and health. He now has made
the commitment to go in that direction.
Dr. B – is really good with dealing with heavy emotional
problems and internal conflict. Instead
of his prior thinking to break into the high tech community, where he has no
credentials, we worked together and planned a marketing program for him to
approach hospitals and large medical practices.
In both these cases, the doctors had been stuck in a rut of
listening to career counselors who probably were poorly trained and lacking in
good interviewing and listening skills.
They were “studying.”
Success is the maximum utilization
of the ability that you have.
Labels: career development, fear of change, moving forward