Do significant transitions in your career make you anxious, afraid, or stressed?
Career transitions are tough. Sometimes it helps to pick the brains of people who have been there and done that—experts who have assisted hundreds of people to find more success in their careers.
The following five people are experienced coaches, mentors, and consultants. I’m happy they agreed to participate and share some of their wisdom with me.
(As a side note, I can hear my coaching professor saying, “Eric, a coach is not the expert; the client is the expert.” And I totally agree. But I believe a coach who has listened to hundreds of clients has knowledge worth sharing. So they are “experts” of sorts, in my opinion).
If you’re thinking about a career transition or already making a shift, I hope this helps with your preparation and decision making.
Online Marketing Expert
Name: Henneke Duistermaat
Bio: Henneke is a copywriter and business writer coach. She’s on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to add sparkle to boring business blogs. Henneke is the author of two 5-star rated books about writing and blogging, and she’s a regular contributor to popular marketing blog Copyblogger.
Q & A:
Eric: What advice could you offer to help improve the confidence of people trying to build their brands and expand their online presence?
Henneke: In 2012, I started building my online business almost from scratch and at first I felt completely overwhelmed by the online world. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have an email list. And my social media presence was negligible. What helped me build confidence was to focus on a limited number of activities. I had learned how to write blog posts, so I focused on building my brand by guest blogging for well-known marketing blogs. I became active on social media but didn’t try to be everywhere, initially focusing on Twitter. It’s easier to get distracted online and feel like we’re missing out by not being everywhere. My advice would be to focus on a limited number of activities, experiment, and adjust along the way.
Contact Info: Get Henneke’s Free 16-Part Snackable Writing Course for Busy People and learn how to enchant readers and win more business.
Resume and Interview Skills Expert
Name: Michael Feeley
Bio: Michael is a life & career coach. He was a recruiter in New York City for over 20 years, partnering with top Fortune 500 companies and boutique firms in the fields of entertainment, finance, advertising, non-profit, real estate, publishing, and fashion. He has helped thousands of people to be truly happy in their work.
Michael works with creative and business professionals, HR Specialists, CEO’s, other coaches, educators, doctors, musicians, and writers.
Q & A:
Eric: In your Huffington Post article titled “How to Write a Successful Resume and Win the Interview” you give some great advice. What advice would you offer to an anxious job hunter before they go into an interview?
Michael: The key to a successful interview is to be yourself. You’ve prepared and practiced, now relax into the interview and be who you truly are. See the interview as a conversation between two or more people. You’re just talking; answering and asking questions. It’s your opportunity to have people know who you are and what you want. Be hopeful. Be positive. Be confident. Remember: You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. You’re discovering if this job is the right step for your career – doing what you want to do with your life.
Contact Info: Michael assists people to answer these questions: Who am I? – Why am I here? – What do I want? To learn more about Michael please visit his website: www.MichaelFeeleyLifeCoach.com.
Lifestyle Business Expert
Name: Mike Sowden
Bio: Mike is a student of archaeology turned freelance writer and storytelling consultant, working location-independently as he travels round Europe. He has written for Problogger, CNN Travel, Mashable, Gadling, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his blog, FeveredMutterings.com, has been mentioned by World Hum and Lifehacker. His chosen travel style is misadventure, and he likes to spend his spare time getting lost on lonely English hillsides and dreaming up crazy new ways to sell his stories.
Q & A:
Eric: What is the biggest challenge facing people who want to transition into a lifestyle-type business?
Mike: The shift from job security to wild uncertainty can be an emotion-ravaging hell – and also incredibly liberating. I’d recommend picking up a copy of Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields to get a head-start on this. And I’d say, ignore the idea of chasing “your one true thing”—finding the singular passion that will define your entire lifestyle career—because that’s way too much pressure at the beginning. Stumble across it later while doing a ton of great work that puts food on your table. Get paid first, ask questions later, and let the job teach you what you’re destined to do.
Contact Info: Get Mike’s Free Email Course on storytelling for bloggers.
Leadership and Management Expert
Name: Jenn Lofgren
Bio: Jenn is a leadership and executive coach passionate about developing inspirational and daring leaders worth following. She holds numerous credentials including Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and Certified Human Resources Professional with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta where she also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. She is also a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. She works with leaders on understanding how they hold themselves back and builds the personal awareness and resilience habits needed to move forward in their leadership.
Q & A:
Eric: What advice could you offer to an anxious person who has just been promoted to a management or leadership position?
Jenn: It’s normal to feel anxious and stressed about moving into any new role. In fact, we’re neurologically hardwired to resist change and stepping into a leadership role for the first time is a significant career change. In most other career changes, you would go back to school and learn about the new role before taking it on. In the case of leadership and management, you’re being thrust into the new role to learn as you go. The first step is to acknowledge your feelings and find someone to talk with about them. Do you have some mentors in your life at work or away from work? Talk with your leader and get clear about their expectations and the strengths that you bring to the role. Identify the sources of your worry, anxiety, and stress and create a game plan for closing any gaps. Are there areas of the business you need to learn? Do you know how to coach and develop your team members or how to delegate effectively? A first leadership role can be both exciting and unnerving all at the same time. Have support around you, acknowledge and address your feelings, and create a learning game plan. If you do that, you’ll find your worries begin to decrease and your excitement and resilience increase.
Name: Tina Dias
Bio: Tina has over 25 years of experience in Business Operations and Human Resources and is a recipient of Rio-Tinto-Alcan people award for her work in Strategic Work And Talent (SWAT) teams focusing on business turnarounds. In 2009, Tina started her leadership development and coaching practice. She is a dynamic, artistic, creative, and adaptable individual who can custom design and facilitate leadership and coaching programs to meet her clients’ needs. As a professional certified coach, she utilizes her determination, passion for excellence, high standards, contagious positive outlook, and high emotional intelligence to help individuals and teams create their own awareness and insight into the best opportunities and choices available to them.
Q & A:
Eric: What is the biggest struggle facing new entrepreneurs, and how do you help them overcome it?
Tina: I believe the two struggles people have transitioning to entrepreneurship is the fear of not making money and the fear of failing. As a coach I don’t advise them, I simply ask the questions to work through whatever challenges they see and help them be prepare for the realities of entrepreneurship. A question I would pose to people wanting to become entrepreneurs is to ask them: What is your first 5 year plan? It is important to have a budget (what will they live off as they develop their business), a marketing strategy, and resilience to maintain the course.
Contact Info: Contact Tina about her coaching, facilitating, or speaking services at TinaDias.ca.
There you have it. Five experts and five pieces of great advice.
And since I wrote this article, I get the last word. So here’s my 2 cents:
Like most things, you’ll learn by doing—not staying stuck in your head and overthinking. Whether you want to start your own business or get promoted to a management role in your company, go after it. Do something everyday that gets you one step closer to your goal. Build momentum. Win or lose, at least you won’t regret having been too afraid to try.
Thanks again to Henneke, Michael, Mike, Jenn, and Tina!