Last year I left Careershifters after approximately three and a half years working in this organisation. It all went so fast that I didn’t have the time to properly acknowledge and thank the people who’m I’ve shared so many great moments.
As 2019 kicks off, I want to take the time to thank Richard Alderson, the founder of Careershifters, for the opportunity to contribute to this great organisation. I also want to thank Natasha for your enthusiasm, aliveness, for sharing so much knowledge around coaching people that are going through career transitions and for each and every inspiring article you write. I also want to thank Sab for being so caring for the people that come asking for support and guidance.
Also thank you also to all the coaches that have been coaching in our workshops and courses. Anna, James, Maria, Angie, Sara, you all make and many others. You have made a big difference in the lives of many hundreds (if not thousands!) of people. Also many many thanks to the development team in India for their great work.
I’m really proud of the great coaching programs and products we have build together. These have helped thousands of people start taking action towards work they love.
I’ve learned a lot during my time in Careershifters. From the coaches I’ve learned how you can support people through their career change and be a stand for them in their way to discover work that works for them. From Richard, how to run a small team and business, and create a space for everyone to share their thoughts and feel free to speak up. From Natasha, how distinctions can make a difference in the way people see their reality in the context of career change. From Sab I’ve learned to bring empathy and learn how to listen to customers. From Swarnendu I’ve learned a lot about Marketing Automation, Drupal and Infusionsoft.
During these years I’ve also learned that career change is hard. And it hard not only because you are thinking about changing your work industry, but also because with that change comes also a change in identity. Changing jobs is in a way also accepting that you have a new “self” different from your current “self”. This journey can be really scary at times, but you come out on the other side with more peace of mind and knowing yourself much better.
The three career change principles to navigate Career Change that I have learned by heart from Careershifters are:
* Don’t do it alone: Change in general is hard, and discovering who you want to become in the future can sometimes be a roaler coaster. In the process, you need to look for people that support you during this exploration process and make sure you can trust them. If you are having troubles with your health you would go to a doctor, so why not go to a career coach when having trouble with your career? Getting professional career support will enable you to explore new possibilities. You will get support you to get unstuck when things get tough, and cheer you on when things are moving forward.
* Don’t think it out, act it out: Being in your head is what happens when you try to figure out what to do next in your career. You think, and think, and think some more. You scroll job sites to see if that job you would love just happens to appear out of the blue. Thinking, unfortunately, is a closed loop. You think the same thoughts that lead you to the same places. Taking action, in the form of getting out into the world and exploring new environments that are unknown will give you more insights into things that might resonate with you. In this video from Hetash Patel he talks about acting out different identities in your life, and seeing how in this acting it out you start finding yourself.
* Look for people, not for jobs: If you want to do a career change, then you must look for people. Herminia Ibarra explains in her great book “Working Identities” that it’s essential to get out into the world and meet new people when exploring new careers. Talking to new people is the only way to open your mind to new possibilities, and finding clues to what you might “want to become”.
As we grow and mature, we value new things in our live. Acknowledging how we have become enables us to explore new identities, and that includes our working identity.
When I first came across Careershifters I was exploring new possibilities outside the corporate world. At the time I really valued having time with my family, specially with my recently born son, who at the time was 1 year old, and working in a small organisation.
I also valued working with people who believed in the mission of helping people do work they love. I also valued having the flexibility to work remotely and at the same time work in a startup environment. I valued having the freedom to travel and be in new places, not just for one week, but for months, and immerse myself in the culture. I valued creating almost everything from scratch and having to define many parts of the business without all the bureaucracy of classic corporations.
After me and my wife traveled for a couple of months, we settled in Madrid I had my second child, and I also started to run Product Tank in Madrid.
Although I did not realise at the time, with this new life, new values also started to emerge. I started to value working with modern technology (I did courses on Ruby on Rails, TDD, BDD, Docker and Big Data) and I started to miss the financial stability I had from previous jobs. I also started to value learn a lot about the local product management community and started to want to be part of that community myself. Also, although in the past I enjoyed working 100% remotely, I also started to appreciate having an office and a team to go and meet each day.
In this exploration Globant emerged. Globant was aligned with most of the things I currently value, and also Globant valued all my knowledge in product and technology. Although it might seem a weird statement, it’s thanks to Careershifters that I had the tools to be present to the shift and have the tools to make the shift!
To close this post, I want to say that I will be forever grateful for the opportunity of contributing to this great organisation, and will have Careershifters close to my heart!