Big moves and senior level / global appointments at Goldman Sachs, UBS, Nasdaq and German financial technologies investor group, Deutsche Börse…to name a few.
Big moves and senior level / global appointments at Goldman Sachs, UBS, Nasdaq and German financial technologies investor group, Deutsche Börse…to name a few.
An advanced degree is certainly helpful in any business climate-no one disputes that. But degrees do not guarantee success and true entrepreneurs and leaders often have other special talents and virtues that empower them to achieve great success. I work with many executives who do NOT have their advanced degree and some have no college degree at all – and they share with me in confidence that they worry about the perception of that.
To be sure we are looking at the picture of success with eyes wide open, let’s take a look at just a very small list of executives (in no particular order) who did NOT obtain their college degree:
Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Corporation
Anna Wintour, English Editor-In-Chief of American Vogue
Sheldon Adelson, CEO and Chairman of Las Vegas Sands
Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft Corp
Steve Jobs, The late Co-Founder of Apple
Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress
Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle
Arash Ferdowsi, Co-Founder of Dropbox
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook
David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue Airways
Susan Lyne, CEO of AOL’s Content Brands
John Mackay, Founder of Whole Foods
Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell
Telecommuting is becoming more common – even at the E and C suite levels! 75% of large companies allow it – and now there are executive job opportunities for the 100k+ executive too – allowing them to take advantage of the work/life balance that telecommuting provides.
Added to this – executives that have this flexibility generally perform better as they are allowed to self-calibrate their daily focus and balance. There is ample evidence this sharpens creativity and increases overall career satisfaction.
Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs states: “Director, Vice President, CFO, CEO–these job titles aren’t typically associated with remote work but they do exist.”
Below are 15 executive-level telecommuting job listings and their respective industries:
1. Vice President of Research–Education
2. Director of Professional Services Operations–Computer Software
3. Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Meeting Management–Travel
4. Vice President of Capital Markets–Financial
5. Executive Director–Non-profit
6. Vice President of Consulting–Market research
7. Director of Program Management–Hospitality
8. Vice President Client Portfolio–Recruiting and Staffing
9. Customer Vice President–Consumer products
10. Director of Network Management–Healthcare
11. Director of Divisional Operations–Veterinary
12. Vice President of Finance–Technology
13. Medical Director–Healthcare
14. Director of Proposal Management–Education
15. Vice President of Academic Content Development–Publishing
Do you want a simple yet powerful way to secure bigger job offers?
In searching for your ideal position, are you taking the “I’ll know it when I see it” route? Well, this kind of haphazard job search usually results in a lot of time spent searching the Internet and changing your resume in an attempt to make a match with all the various positions you are going after. What’s worse, you may soon find yourself wondering why your efforts aren’t paying off in job interviews.
When you start your job search without a clear focus, it’s difficult to leverage yourself in the market to the extent necessary to get results. You may be a very talented and deserving career professional, but if you are letting your job search “control” you, you’re probably not going to be happy with the results you get.
The good news is that getting focused is much easier than you might think. It’s also the most important step you will take in finding and getting the job you really want, because it’s what drives all your other activities.
Some of the benefits you will experience by developing your focus include:
There are two sets of criteria you will benefit from focusing on. One is what I call your “driving motivators,” and the second is the criteria that defines your dream job.
Step #1: Identify Your Driving Motivators
Think of these driving motivators as the top three things you must have in order for you to feel like your next move is one that meets your needs.
Sometimes your driving motivators will run counter to your dream job, and that is okay. Give yourself permission to define these because they will affect your job search.
Your driving motivators can include how much money you need, a city or state you need to stay in, or an industry you absolutely have to “get out of.”
Now you need to identify what you love to do most, what excites you, and what you are best at in your career; basically, all those things that make you want to jump out of bed and go to work each day. Let’s call this your dream job.
To identify your dream job, start with a list of things you love to do. Another way to look at it is to ask yourself what you are doing when you are at your best.
Step #3: Identify Particular Jobs and Industries
Go to any major online job board and type in the positions and the industries you are interested in.
When you find the job or jobs that really excite you, print them out, highlight the keywords and phrases that you are resonating with, and add them to your “dream job list.”
These techniques are subtle and refreshingly easy, but don’t underestimate them! You will be amazed at the powerful results they will produce for you.
With your driving motivators and your dream job lists side by side, you have two distinct areas of focus to build on. This is the first and most critical step to taking control of your job search so you can land the job you really want.
Using these simple techniques will help you keep an emphasis on your skills and abilities as they relate to the position you are interviewing for, and set the tone and pace for a bigger and better offer!
Question: I am so burnt out and literally loathe my job. I have been dreaming about changing industries for over 2 years and I know I will just keep getting more of the same the longer I procrastinate, but I just can’t seem to take that step forward. I highly doubt I can get what I want in this economy and I don’t have a clue how to go about getting hired in an industry I am not qualified in. Can you help? – George C., Minnesota
Answer: George, I have helped so many people over the years that shared that same story! It is frustrating to be in a rut, but I commend you for thinking about the future – you have taken the first step. Most often, people who are happy and satisfied in their careers are ones who have done some soul searching, figured out what they really wanted, and then did what it took to get them there. – Mary Elizabeth Bradford
How to Begin Creating Your Plan
When first creating your career plan, allow yourself to brainstorm. You must begin to get what’s in your head out on paper, so you can start to come to terms with what’s important to you, what you need to get rid of, and what might be holding you back.
I should mention that money is often the jailer that holds my clients hostage so many times. “I can’t change careers or positions because I really need the money I am making now.” If this is your position as well, I would challenge you to first come up with a plan and a timeline for changing that situation. Even if the goals you map out are a couple of years away, the power of writing down your goals and working toward them – either solo or as a family – is profound.
Sometimes we think we will have to take a pay cut, but guess what? A focused plan for a career transition and a powerfully written functional resume can do AMAZING things for you in the money department. The better you look on paper and the better you interview, the more your potential companies will want you. Often I help clients change industries and they take NO salary cuts AT ALL! They are always amazed.
Tips for Brainstorming
Write out all of the things you dislike about your current and past positions. This is usually an easy one to start with, as most people are really clear on what they don’t like!
Now, throw that piece of paper away. It’s gone. Time to let those things go and focus on what you do want. If this sounds too “woo woo” for you, just wait… you will be surprised how this process helps you to move forward!
Establish Your Career Parameters
Write down your “driving motivators.” These are the two or three things that MUST happen in your next move – they are essentially fixed, such as geography, industry or financial needs. Be honest with yourself.
Next, brainstorm on your secondary career parameters. These are things you would like to have, but it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t get them.
Finally, it’s time to define your dream job. Picture a blank canvas that you can draw any picture that you like on. Crystallize your vision of your dream job by closing your eyes and thinking about what your dream job means to you. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
And so on. Treat this as a creative and fun experience. It’s a good idea to send your thought gremlins that tell you all the reasons why you can’t do this on a coffee break so you can have a clear head and an open heart as you begin.
Now identify three things you can do right now to get you moving in the right direction. Do you need to hire a resume writer to help you? Do you need to join an association that will open up a window to the people you need to know in your industry of choice? Do you need to join some groups on LinkedIn that are in your new industry of interest (you can “hide” your groups if you don’t want your current employer to get suspicious)?
Break your goal down into manageable steps. One step builds upon another and small steps lead to change and growth more quickly than we often anticipate!
Every successful project first begins with a well-thought-out plan, and your success largely depends on the components of that plan.
For example, depending on your personality, you may subscribe to the method of “I will know my dream job when I see it.” Personally, with my creative personality, I empathize with this method (which is not really a method as much as it is just intuition). However, this is a poor choice for planning a career move.
Here are the things you must know BEFORE you begin writing your resume, and for that matter, your entire job search – if you want to ensure any kind of purposeful direction and control over its outcome:
Your Career Goals
This is a statement about where you want to go and the goals you want to reach in the next 3 to 5 years. It’s really, really important that you give yourself some time to focus on your answer and write it down.
It’s amazing how oftentimes when we put career hopes and dreams on the back burner (i.e., in the back of our minds), we simply cannot have anything more than a foggy idea that is unfocused, not ready, not purposeful, and not exciting. The simple ACT of committing to focus on what YOU want and writing it out is a simple, but powerful step forward on conscious and subconscious levels. It’s also the precursor to a highly targeted, powerful, and effective resume.
Your Driving Motivators
What are the bottom-line needs you have to meet to make your next career move? A different position, a new industry, more money, a new location, or more work-life balance? List your top three.
Your Dream Job
Your Target Market/Title/Position of Choice
Whether you are changing industries or staying in the same industry, you will want to write down your target market and what position you are pursuing. If you apply for multiple positions in multiple industries, you will soon find yourself changing your resume to match every different position and getting spread way too thin with very few good results.
If you are looking to change industries, here is a tip for you: the easiest way to check out an industry for its career potential is to connect with people in those industries who can answer your questions and give you the mentoring you need to decide whether or not to move forward.
Other Important Career Parameters
Now you want to list all the other parameters important to you. This can include travel, benefits, work environment, future opportunities, company type (i.e., traditional, growth oriented, family friendly, etc.), and anything else that is relevant.
This article from ChangingCourse.com was just too good not to post. The step-by-step advice Brian provides for branching out on your own is spot on. Enjoy!
By Brian Kurth
The realization you’re in the wrong career does not hit like a lightening bolt. Rather, it festers within you for a long time, slowly worming its way into your consciousness, until one day you realize you’ve known it all along. For years, I sat in a ninety-minute-each-way commute in Chicago rush hour traffic to/from my telecom job in product management. I dreaded every Monday. It never occurred to me I could start over. It never occurred to me I might be an entrepreneur at heart, and I could create my own destiny. However, after the dot-com bubble burst left me on my own, the thought of another position in my field was finally too much to bear. I left my career and my horrible commute behind, and embarked on a new journey filled with questions, uncertainty… and elation.
It’s romantic to think the heavens will offer up a sign letting you know when the time is right to unleash your entrepreneurial spirit and start your dream business. Unfortunately, reality often doesn’t work that way. Launching a business is risky, and those risks can easily overwhelm your senses and weaken your confidence. The fear of failure pervades your psyche, and when the safety and security of your family is on the line, happiness seems like a selfish luxury you can’t afford to indulge.
Many people live their entire lives this way. For others, their work frustration grows a little every day until they realize their need for happiness is suddenly greater than the fear that comes with making that change. Once fear can be overcome – or at least overwhelmed – that’s when great things can happen.
However, merely conquering your fears is not nearly enough to ensure success in starting your own business. You might have all the desire and motivation in the world, but there are still many steps that need to be taken, and many questions that need to be answered. So once the desire outweighs the fear… then what?
1. Start Researching
Starting a new business demands acquiring a vast amount of information that literally no one can figure out entirely on his or her own. Luckily, our modern world is packed with resources and assistance for dedicated and passionate entrepreneurs. If you’re willing to take the time, you’ll find the facts you need.
The Internet – As recently as ten years ago, compiling information on a given topic would mean an exhaustive process of scouring books in a library and talking to strangers on the phone. Luckily for entrepreneurs, the Internet has blown it all wide open. It is the entrepreneur’s best friend.
The business you are considering might be new to you, but it’s important to realize that it’s not for others. Get on the Internet and find everything you possibly can on your newly chosen field. Read it all, take notes, and write down questions that arise. Any piece of information you can get is one tiny step closer to being ready for your big change. But don’t get stuck in online analysis paralysis. At some point, it’s time to take the next step toward becoming an entrepreneur.
A Mentor – There are people who work in your dream business who are willing to help you on your journey. You may need to find them in another city and may even have to sign off on a non-compete clause to get their advice, but they’re there for you. Find several people who work in your newly chosen field, and initiate discussions with them. Tell them you admire what they do, and ask if you could learn from them as you look to make a career change. When someone agrees to be a mentor, schedule a visit to their workplace where you can observe the process in action, take copious notes on all you see and hear, and ask a ton of questions. When starting a new business, there are absolutely no better lessons than those taught from someone within the field. They’ll tell you everything you want to know, plus much more you need to know.
2. Raise Money
One of the reasons why people so often fail to leave unpleasant work situations is the money; they simply earn too much in the job they hate, and fear a dream business of their own wouldn’t provide the same level of security. This is a legitimate fear, but there are things that can be done to mitigate the risk until the income matches the level of happiness and desired lifestyle.
Save Up – Change doesn’t have to happen all at once. Merely planning for the switch can improve the situation in the short term. Put money aside out of every paycheck so you’ll have a nest egg for when you finally decide to take the plunge.
Find Outside Funding – No matter how much money you’re able to save, it might not be enough to get a business off the ground. Luckily, there are other avenues for raising the needed capital. Look into finding government grants, private investors, or even bank loans to help you get started.
Set Some Limits – No matter how strongly you believe in your new business and your ability to make it work, you don’t want to throw all your eggs into that basket. Be careful about putting up your personal assets as collateral. Keep some of your assets – be it your home, your pension, your 401K, etc. – off the table. Don’t invest your entire net worth into your business. In the event that something goes wrong, it will be a HUGE comfort to know some of your assets are protected.
3. Get to Work
Once the research is done and the money is raised, it’s time to get to work. New businesses take an extraordinary amount of time and effort if they’re going to make it. Don’t be afraid of the hours, and don’t shy away from the commitment. Remember: eighty hours in a job you love is still FAR more rewarding than forty in one you hate.
There will, of course, be obstacles along the way, but with enough passion, dedication and foresight, anything can be overcome. Keep reminding yourself you deserve to be happy, and your dream business is ultimately worth the time and effort it takes to get there. And once you do, you’ll never dread a Monday again… and as I like to say, everyday is a Friday!
About the Author
Brian Kurth, a former “Dilbert,” worked for the phone company in Chicago. After realizing there was more to life than telecom calling plans, he founded VocationVacations (ChangingCourse.com/recommends/vocationvacations). He is the author of “Test-Drive Your Dream Job – A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding and Creating the Work You Love” (Hachette, 2008) and is a sought-after speaker on how to pursue and attain one’s dream job and lifestyle. He has shared his wit and wisdom in appearances on NBC’s TODAY Show, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and FOX News, and has been featured in articles in O, The Oprah Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine and many more. Kurth co-executive produced “This Job’s A Trip” for the Travel Channel in 2006. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Kurth lives in Portland, Oregon.
Certainly you have seen wildly successful people who achieved a great deal in their careers – all the while making it look easy. Do you ever wonder how they really got to where they are? Perhaps you think they just had that special something or were super-incredibly dedicated or especially gifted and talented which effortlessly raised them to great heights.
The truth is more often than not high achievers and people that reach their personal and professional goals have a plan and a simple strategy for doing it.
If you have dreamed about changing careers or industries but have held onto that dream for so long and done nothing about it, then I have good news for you. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Here are a few tips to begin to make the shift from dreaming to action:
Tip One: Don’t Push – Be Pulled
To break that inertia that has held your dreams hostage for so long begin thinking and operating from the place you want to be. Accept and embrace that you want to move forward in the direction of your goals. In other words, picture your dream job in your mind, and give yourself permission to step into this world. This will automatically pull you forwards, closer towards your goals.
This can start with something as small as a magazine subscription relating to your new industry, purchasing a book, taking a class or finding and talking to an industry mentor.
Tip Two: Surround Yourself with Experts
If you put your focus on getting closer to people who are already successful in your industry of choice you will move forward fast! These are the people who have the answers to your questions and if you have ever reached for a goal before, you know that mentoring only has to result in just one idea that changes everything (in a good way!).
Step out of that place of uncertainty and wondering if things really could work and into a place where you can empower yourself by being educated, mentored and empowered by others! The best place to do this is a trade association, social networking group or a group of people in a company who are willing to mentor you.
Tip Three: Invest In Yourself
Do you know why business owners have business coaches or why corporate executives have performance coaches? Because they know that an objective opinion – help from someone who has been there and done that – will help them to easily and quickly solve their professional problems and overcome whatever obstacles are in their way. No one would do it if it didn’t work!
And here is something else they don’t do: they don’t wait until they are ready. They move more often well before they feel or think they are ready! So invest in yourself, in a coach, an expert you need, a seminar or a class to keep yourself always learning and being the best you can be as it relates to your professional goals!