Marc introduces the common themes of the eight career changes or pivots recapped in this episode. First, they had an idea, and did not act on it. Second, there was a moment or event that vaulted them into action. Third, no matter how well they planned it, things did not turn out as planned, and they needed to adapt as they went along. Marc reviews some of their stories, with clips characterizing the three phases in common. He shares some guest clips for each of the three phases.
Listen in for a variety of experiences and tips for pivoting to, or changing, careers.
[3:08] Marc interviewed Dr. Joel Dobbs in Episode 3. Dr. Dobbs was an accomplished pharmaceutical executive. Now he has a portfolio career that includes consulting, teaching, and coaching. He planned this out well. Dr. Dobson noted that his life was half gone, and he was inspired by the book Halftime, to do something different.
[5:28] Dr. Dobson took a pause to reflect, and sought things that would lead to a new life of significance, to give back. He thought about doing something very different.
[7:26] Marc interviewed Mike O’Krent in Episode 7. Mike went from a carpet store to chronicling people’s lives in video interviews with Life Stories Alive. Mike tells how he started chronicling Holocaust survivors’ stories for the Jewish Federation of San Antonio — for one project ending in 2000. When it was over, he went back to his carpet sales.
[10:02] Marc interviewed Jennifer Winter in Episode 28. Jennifer was VP of Sports Sponsorship for Turner Broadcasting, and hated it. Everyone told her how great her job was, so she stayed 21 years. Impending layoffs started her thinking about a change.
[14:12] Marc introduces the next phase, vaulting into action, with more from Mike O’Krent. Mike’s business coach had him write a list of items he both enjoyed and did well. As he read the list to the coach, he was directed to reread certain items, and lit up with the Holocaust interviews. The coach asked, can you make a business like that? [16:47] Marc interviewed Kay McManus in Episode 32. Kay was a business professional working for technology companies before she was laid off in 2009. Now she is the CEO of Kay-Kan. Kay says being laid off was what moved her to act. It turned out she was able to serve the managers at her past job as a freelancer. Then she went full-time.
[20:33] Marc introduces Vicki McCullough of Sequitur Marketing, his guest in Episode 11. Vicki was laid off multiple times, and finally decided to be her own boss. She explains how she started. After she tried the job search route to no success, she started contract work in marketing. Then she told herself, this was the time.
[22:18] Marc had two guests who made multi-step pivots. Elizabeth Rabaey was Marc’s guest on Episode 20. Elizabeth also helps Marc on the mailbag episodes. Elizabeth worked for an environmental engineering company, on air and water permitting. After multiple pivots, she is a marketing professional for a large mining equipment company.
[23:16] Elizabeth networked into a project manager position at a company larger than her first one. Elizabeth got involved in marketing and branding there. After a year, her old company reached out to her for marketing, and she worked for them for three years.
[29:32] Towards the end of 2016 Elizabeth was looking on job boards, and found a marketing coordinator position for an international company. She went to the company website, applied for the job, and her engineering and marketing backgrounds got her hired very quickly. She works from home, with the possibility of international travel.
[32:06] Marc interviewed Thom Singer in Episode 15. Thom was a business development professional who worked for a law firm until the 2009 recession, when he was laid off. He then launched his career as a keynote speaker and MC. He had already been speaking on the side, but the layoff motivated him to make this his profession.
[32:36] Thom’s background prepared him to train other law firms. But, because of the recession, they stopped hiring outside services. Associations of all kinds still held their meetings, and so keynote speaking became the biggest part of Thom’s business. He was unable to get the rates per speech he needed, and his mortgage didn’t shrink.
[34:30] Thom was losing money. The family went through cash reserves and credit cards. In a few years he caught up to his previous salary, but then had to work off three years of debt. In six and a half years he was at a stable level. A bad quarter still makes him nervous, but then the next quarter is fine.
[35:34] Marc interviewed Mike Martin in Episode 24. Mike spent most of his career in industrial sales, but that career sputtered out. Mike shares his multi-step pivots, from teaching school, to driving trains, to being a drone pilot instructor.
[37:36] Mike got his teaching certification just as massive teacher layoffs hit Texas. So he finished his bachelor’s degree in aviation. He took a job at a small airport, but didn’t like it, so he looked at other transportation, and found an opening as a train operator in Texas. He passed the test, aced the interview, and was sent to train operator school.
[39:30] Mike got an RV, and parked it at an RV resort near the train school. In 10 weeks he had a certificate, and was assigned to wash trains until a route came up. He got an assignment to burn in new trains, with their computer systems. Then he started testing the signal systems on a new route. When the new route opened, he ran the PR train.
[41:37] With the new line open, and new confidence from training operators, he returned home. When he looked around, he saw activity in the drone world, and that’s where he landed. He took 25 hours of training, and started training others to fly, for Dart Drones. He could not have planned his career path, and made corrections on the way.
[44:43] Mike encourages career pivoters to pursue their dreams and never give up. The first avenue might not work out. Work the industry deep and wide.
[45:23] Marc’s final words: Please pick up a copy of Marc’s book, and write an honest review on Amazon.com. He is working on the audio version next. Marc is also working on the Career Pivot Community membership website. Watch for updates in the coming months.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, by Marc Miller and Susan Lahey The paperback and ebook formats are available now. Marc is recording the audio version of the book, and he plans to have it available in September.
Marc is taking on new clients. Contact Marc, and ask questions at: Careerpivot.com/contact-me or call at 512-693-9132, and leave a message with your email address. Marc will respond with a link to his calendar, to find a time to talk.
Show Notes at Careerpivot.com/repurpose-career-podcast
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