You CAN Change Directions

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Continuing on our journey to fantastic personal brands, it is important to understand that you CAN change fields if you want to.  As adults, it is easy to focus on the bills that need to be paid, and the families that need to be taken care of all while forgetting that there is something else we yearn to do.  You can make a change.  It may not be easy but it is certainly possible.  Change is a popular theme that you can use to your advantage.

I recently read an article at The Little Pink Book, the number one online resource for America’s working women called, “Time for a Drastic Career Change?”.  It struck a chord with me because I know a few people who are transitioning to totally different careers at this very moment.  They are scared, excited, worried, and exhilarated all at the same time.  I also know a few wonderful women who have already made drastic career changes.  Do you know what the common theme is among them?  They are happy.  They may have struggled for a while but the hard work paid off because they are doing what they enjoy.  As a result of their authentic happiness, their personal brands continue to bring opportunities to them.  The article says that one should plan ahead, train, and prepare to be successful.  Here’s five things I’d like to add to the list of things to keep in mind when making career changes:

  1. Visualize where you want to be.  If you can’t see it, no one else can.
  2. Don’t worry about making mistakes.  Life is a process.  You planned ahead for mistakes anyway right?  🙂
  3. Network as much as you can.  You might make a friend along the way.
  4. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be.  Read their articles and follow them on twitter if you can.
  5. Have fun!  That’s what will keep you motivated to move forward.

One public career change that has been on my mind is that of Cathie Black.  Ms. Black transitioned from being the chairman of Hearst Magazines to the newly appointed New York City Schools Chancellor.  What is the connection between running a magazine empire and running New York City public schools?  I don’t know.  Ms. Black has no teaching experience nor a master’s degree.  Yet somehow, she was able to get a waiver that allowed her to run the school system of a major American city.  Ms. Black also wrote a book entitled, “Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life).”   In essence, she has been an author, the president of a magazine powerhouse, and now a Chancellor of Schools.  I do not know if she will do a good job running the NYC public school system.  I don’t know if she was the best choice for the job.  What I do know is that it is possible for one person to do many different things.  You may think you aren’t capable, aren’t qualified, or don’t have the time.  If you want it and you can see it, you can do it.  So what are you waiting for?

Want to share your story about how you made a difficult career change?  Comment below or send me an email.


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