Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Three “P’s” of a Successful Career Change

When the term "thought leader" is attached to some names it can stand as the poster child for oxymorons, however, when it is attached to Pete Weddle, it helps to clarify what the term really means.

In his commentary that appears in his newsletters, various columns, as well as his books, Pete is normally not just ahead of the curve when it comes to career and/or recruiting issues, he often can be the first person to identify them.

In the case of the piece that appeared in his newsletter of April 5th, I am too far behind the power curve to know if Pete's observations would be classified as simply some thoughts on the trend of career changing or if he is starting a discussion on it by offering it up as a trend to watch.

If you held a gun to my head, I guess I would tag it as commentary on an already identified trend, but either way, it is worth a read.

The degree to which people these days, are changing not just jobs but careers has been something that we have been hearing about from ExecuNet members for quite a while. Time was when any executive thinking about doing something like this would have been considered a candidate for the out patient mental health provision of their medical plan. Not so any longer.

There are, of course, lots of factors that enter into this type of change as a serious option for many of us. Some that come to mind immediately are: dying industries that have been replaced by technology, the impact of 911 on people's priorities in life, or the excitement and motivation that comes from being your own boss, and there are likely many more that could be added.

The fact that people are motivated to try, does not, as Pete points out, make it easy. Indeed, it adds another complicating component to trying to manage one's career.

While the three P's that Pete offers to those who want to take a serious look at doing something like making a career change are by no means a "universal solvent" they do stand as sound advice of the first order.


Lane Cavalier said...

I would take it a step further, in today's economy and change induced by both technology and multinational-ism, I would think that an executive who isn't at least thinking about making a career change as a part of their "self-review" is the one who should be considered as a candidate for the mental health provisions.

Dave Opton said...

Well said Lane, well said!

reinkefj said...

I am in my company's mental health plan (i.e., just sit there, we'll twirl a reorg, and you'll be driven nuts). I'm not thinking "career change", so much as "getting back to basics". It seems that, for all of the "forward thinking", the lessons of the past have been forgotten. It's as if the five year cycle of turnover / layoffs has introduced what I call "Organizational Alzheimer's". So things like high availability, recovery, security, and usability are all being "rediscovered" as new concepts. Now, when I was a consultant, I really enjoyed collecting on those "reeducation engagements" (i.e., "yes Mister CIO, I too think it would be nice to have a disaster recovery plan and for XX00$/hour I'd be happy to help you?"; ditto security; ditto availability)!! You just have to wonder what the cost of all this churn is to our society, economy, and national competitiveness? Maybe it's me and I should stay in a Holiday Inn Express.