A self-interview on my process of career change
What are the reasons you decided to leave your previous career?
My need to work in something that I like, something fulfilling. I felt that finance was not for me anymore after 17 years and I was looking for something more centered around people.
Which factors played a significant role in your decision?
I received a good voluntary exit package that could sustain me. I felt confident and I had the support of my family.
Did you have a plan B?
Did you have an idea of where you were going? What area of work you would pursue?
Since you didn’t have a plan B, what was the key driver that helped you take the final leap?
The need for something different, plus the financial package helped.
How did you feel the 1st day off from work?
Happy but also felt a bit lost.
What were the challenges you had in the beginning?
I wanted to keep busy, finishing up my to-do-lists, all pending tasks, to fill up my day. As soon as I got everything done, then I didn’t know where to begin.
Were there moments where you had to support your decision towards others or moments of doubt if this was the right decision? How did you handle these?
Yes, several times I had to back my decision towards my family and my friends. But I never had a single doubt. I always tried to show them that all this is good for me and that they should trust me.
How did you handle the reactions of your family and friends? Was it hard?
I was absolutely clear that I am not going back to Finance. Sometimes it was hard to convince them. Then I decided that there was no reason to convince THEM. I had to keep going with my plan.
How did your everyday life change? How was your schedule?
Quite a few times I felt I was wasting my time watching TV, or on social media. I added the job search as a task on my daily schedule. I was going to the gym and I hired a Professional coach. I also travelled. I stopped using the alarm (I forgot about it!) I would take walks or drive around on weekdays. I had Never done that in the past. Never, since I graduated from university.
What actions did you take to land a new job or to find what you would like to do as a profession?
I registered on every job board I knew, I uploaded my CV to most of the Executive search firms and I activated the Premium account and “actively looking” option on Linkedin.
What goals did you set and how many of them did you accomplish?
To try to find a job that would sustain me financially. Not to be lazy or inactive, but stay focused on my goals with my coach in order to get clarity on what I like to do. To try and cut back on the expenses (my rent, bills, subscriptions).
Did you ask for support from an expert e.g. professional coach or from someone with experience in the field of your interest?
Yes, I hired a professional coach. I think that was one of the best decisions I ever made!!
How did the coach help you?
She really helped me set goals, hold me accountable, to not feel lost anymore. To really look inside me to figure out exactly what I want. As I am saying this, I get chills down my back, but truly this is the hardest part. But when you figure this out, a whole new world opens up.
When going to a job interview, how did you handle the question “Why did you leave your job?”
My response was that after 17 yrs I decided to work in something more meaningful, more people-centric, to work in something that would impact the lives of people.
Which skills do you think were important and helped you in the process?
My communication skills, being clear and determined to figure out where I am going. My organization skills and my deep and strong will to make it.
What would you do differently if you had the chance to do it again?
I would have hired the coach way sooner and before deciding to leave, in order to prepare.
Out of this whole experience, what was the best take-away?
My faith in myself, my excitement to follow my dreams.
Out of this whole experience, what was the biggest challenge?
To take the decision without a plan B. That was totally outside of my comfort zone.
What would be your advice to someone who is thinking of changing career?
To do it!!!! Only when someone quits, can one start exploring what it is one wants to do. Even at the age of 40, you can still change career. For me, staying in the current situation was far more exhausting than being in the uncertainty of the unknown.
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