How do I know I am making the right decision in my career transition?
How do I know if I have the skills for a career transition?
How do I get hired in a field I’ve never worked in?
At Crosworks, our goal is to continually educate and help to identify your strengths, talents, and goals as you put your career plan into motion. One of the ways we do this is by hosting webinars with exceptional guests to help answer your questions and concerns regarding your career and what you can do to maximize your talent and your life. On June 17th, we hosted a virtual webinar panel discussion about Career Transitions, tackling these questions and many more. We gathered three guests with extensive experience on changing careers, what it takes, and how to execute it. Our panelists offered tips on how to gain confidence, knowledge, and support when making a career transition along with things to look for when deciding to take this next step on your career path. Hosted by Crosworks Leadership and Career Strategist Deb Mitchell, we dug into the concerns and fears that can hold us back when making a career transition.
- Docia Myer-Boylen | President Handyman Connection of Golden CO
Docia has conquered several career transitions throughout her adult life. Beginning her journey in corporate America in Sales & Marketing and Customer Experience, she took the company public and then transitioned to a franchisee of the Handyman Connection in Golden, CO, leaping into construction and the home improvement space.
- Tom Katzenmeyer | President of Greater Columbus Arts Council
Tom adds expansive value to our conversation with giant leaps from politics to retail to education, and then finally landing in the greater arts community. Working for the Ohio State Government, Tom gained many positive connections through networking and eventually moved to a position at Limited Brands, ultimately holding the title of SVP of Investor, Media and Community Relations. From this, he jumped to The Ohio State University managing University-wide communication and reputation, making his most recent move to become the President of the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
- Sarah La Asmar | Director of Systems Training and Product Creation for PVH
Sarah joins our conversation with unique insight on what drove her to make a jump from the education field to her current corporate America position with PVH. Beginning her career in the Columbus City School District as a teacher and curriculum creator, moving to more learning and development, and ultimately landing in her current position as the Director of Systems Training and Product Creation. Sarah also is a Pilates Instructor, making us wonder how she finds the time and energy to accomplish so much!
Crosworks Career Transition Tips
When contemplating such an important change, Crosworks has put together a list of tips and things to consider prior to taking those next steps.
- Develop a Vision
- Have a Mental Picture of yourself achieving your goal
- Understand your real-world considerations
- Acquire needed training
- Remain flexible about salary
- Take small steps toward your goal
- Turn challenges into gifts and opportunities
Listen to Your Inner Voice
When asked why our panelists decided to make their career transitions, there was a common theme; they listened to their inner voice. Each one of our panelists acknowledged there was something inside of them telling them there was “something more.”
For Docia, she knew she wanted to work for herself and consciously asked herself “What’s next?” Working with a career coach, Docia recognizes the value in having a coach help you listen to that inner voice, evaluate your risk, and make the right decision for you.
Sarah added to the inner voice topic by saying “At the end of my teaching career, there was clearly something else I felt I should be doing.” She goes on to say, “When you know, you know. People say that often, but it’s really true. It’s about listening to that inner voice or intuition that says ‘Okay, it’s time to make the change, there is something out there for you,’ and really being willing to listen to that and follow that path.”
As you start to listen to your inner voice, you also need to be practical. Blending your aspirations, the practicality of your situation, goals, and circumstances are important as well. This is where researching, networking, and working with a career coach becomes incredibly valuable.
Find Your Strengths & Apply Them
When we look across each one of our panelist’s careers, there is a common thread that may not be as obvious to an outsider but remains constant. Part of considering a career transition is identifying what it is you love to do. What makes you happiest in your career, or what makes you say, “I haven’t worked a day in my life, because I love what I do.”
For Tom, his love for working with people, building relationships, and networking led down his specific paths. Each position he held required him to establish and maintain relationships with others. This helped him move seamlessly between careers, as well as helped build soft and hard skills that can be applied to any position he held.
Docia recognized that her common strength and passion was working with people and helping people. This motivated her to take the risk of packing up her family and moving to Colorado and pursue her career transition into the construction field. With this company and in this field, she is successful while working with people who need her in the community.
Sarah’s love for learning and teaching has spanned all her positions. From the educational system to training, to teaching Pilates, this is a common thread in all her career choices. Identifying that and applying it to her next move was a must to remain happy and to flourish in her work.
Working with a career coach, you can hone in on your strengths and align them to your passion. Your coach can assist you in identifying and applying your strength to your passion and to your next career move.
Conquering Your Fears and Building Confidence
It’s human nature to fear change. To get comfortable in your current situation and not have the courage to risk that comfort for possible growth, contentment, and benefits. Part of transitioning to a new career is really balancing your inner voice, fear of change, and building your confidence. After discussing this delicate balance with our panelists, we were able to identify some key takeaways.
- Ask Questions. Education will lessen your fears and build confidence, so investigate and research. Knowledge is power.
- Network. Listen, learn, and meet key players in the field who can help you as you make this career change.
- Hard skills can be learned. Soft skills and honesty get you in the door, hard skills can be taught.
- Trust yourself. If you know what you want and you are willing to work for it, you’ll figure it out.
- Work with a coach. A career coach can validate you and your choices and help you to build confidence and be realistic about expectations and fears.
Before we ended our webinar, we asked our panelists to pass along any valuable career advice they received that had stuck with them throughout the years. We loved their answers and hope you can reference them as you take risks, open doors, and create change in your professional lives.
Tom: “Helping others succeed, you know, encouraging my folks, let them have the opportunity.”
Sarah: “Know your worth…being able to recognize when someone is valuing you versus using you.”
Docia: “I was given the advice to leave a company and come back because I wasn’t going to advance any further…don’t be afraid to leave if you hit a standstill.”