The decision to make a career transition can be exciting, but at the same time intimidating.
Add in a global pandemic that’s upending industries worldwide and you likely have extreme new levels of conflicting personal concerns. While the most optimistic may contend that times like these are teemed with opportunity for personal growth, we know the day-in, day-out process of a career change may lead to exhaustion or even flat-out paralysis. That’s where we can help.
We remember a time when professionals took comfort in the prospect of a linear career path. Graduates were poised to enter the job market after acquiring new skills and knowledge and, for the most part, their expectations were met. Then, years ago we shifted our approach and began to teach our clients about how the conventional career ladder was evolving.
In an address to Harvard Business School graduates, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said, “look for impact, look for mission. Move sideways, down, on and off.” She recommended, “evaluate what you can do, not the title they’re going to give you. Do real work. Don’t plan too much and don’t expect a direct climb.”
No matter where you are in your career, the job market today requires vision, agility, stamina and a lot of imagination. In my experience, each of these qualities is vital and can be strengthened with diligent work, just like building muscles. You can train on your own, but you may need some additional motivation and accountability to realize your greatest potential.
That’s why my colleagues and I have launched Fortuna Careers.
We’re offering personal, expert coaching specially tuned to your unique next steps. We’re passionate about helping people connect to their greatest potential and we’re confident our expertise will help you build a strong self-narrative while also leveraging a fresh networking approach that will benefit you for years. We bring decades of combined experience from within the Career Management Centers at schools including Harvard Business School, Wharton, INSEAD, London Business School and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
There are several patterns I’ve noticed while supporting rising professionals, in my role at Fortuna, as a former Associate Director at Fuqua, and launching an alumni career coaching program at North Carolina State University. When I’m approached by clients considering a career change, their first focus is often on the current job market. Understandably, they want to know which industries are hiring and what roles are in demand. In reality, that information is fairly easy to find and won’t lead them tremendously closer to their goals. Even though research is important when making a career transition, you will need about half as much information on the job market and about twice as much about yourself. Self-reflection and self-assessment are key to your success in the short- and long term.
“Not allowing yourself that time and space to be introspective early on is a missed opportunity,” says my Fortuna Careers colleague and expert coach Sharon Joyce, former Berkeley Haas Associate Director of Admissions. In addition to her years of MBA admissions experience, Joyce is a certified CliftonStrengths coach. She serves to ground candidates in an understanding of what makes them unique and uncover new possibilities for their professional prospects.
“For most of the people we’re working with, have been incredibly successful in both academics and career to date. The missing piece at the outset is often thinking deeply about the next step and being able to express this from a place of authenticity and depth,” says Sharon.
When you take the time to work with someone and articulate what’s most important to you, you put yourself in a position to choose more intelligently. You also position your networking efforts to be vastly more effective. Of course, part of converting opportunities into tangible job prospects requires learning how to be both strategic and purposeful in activating the connections that create opportunities and open doors. Given that the networking process is deeply relational, navigating opportunities and activating networks during social distancing mandates requires new tactics.
In response to how to leverage your efforts and maximize your success in a career transition, we designed Fortuna Careers modules spanning six key services within three core objectives:
- Building a strong foundation:
- Creating a Career Vision
- Personal Strengths Assessment
- Activating your search
- Job Search/Networking Strategy
- Resume Review
- Enhancing your professional presence
- LinkedIn Development
- Interview Prep
Just as the job search itself isn’t linear, our flexible modules and services can be customized to support each client’s unique needs – whether you’re looking to pivot into a new industry/function, build your confidence with networking and personal branding, or make meaningful changes amidst the global pandemic. They can be taken together for maximum impact or a la carte to offer you specialized support when you know what you want.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Reinventing Your Career in the Time of Coronavirus, author and London Business School professor Herminia Ibarra emphasizes, “In the end, when it comes to reinventing your career in this time of crisis, remember this important point: The time to get going is now — but don’t go it alone.” We couldn’t agree more.
“We believe that now, more than ever, the world needs your talent and creativity,” says Judith Silverman Hodara, Co-Founder & Director of Fortuna Admissions. “Now is the time to step up, not back, from the prospect of making a bold change that will activate your greatest gifts.”