Finding your Passion: Steve (Alexandra Levit 2009)
One of the more interesting candidates that Alexandra Levit (2009)interviews, Steve changed careers three times in the course of his life. He worked for his father’s company and discovered that really wasn’t what he wanted to do. Next he pursued life as a stock broker. He was captivated by the amount of money that he could make in this particular field. But as he got older, he really wanted more of a quality of life and decided to go into business for himself. He discovered his passion and ran with it. He put a lot of time and effort into his business, but because he was his own boss and it he enjoyed what he was doing it didn’t really feel like work to him. He also benefited financial because he took pride in what he was doing and was fulfilled and his customers knew it.
Quality of Life: Frank Dadah (personal interview June 22, 2012)
Frank was motivated to change careers to assemble some sort of quality of life as well as financial gain. Frank spent many years in the restaurant business. He had a passion for food and loved training and managing his employees. He worked for several national chains and opened up restaurants all over the east coast. He then decided to buy a restaurant with a partner. After a few years they sold it for a profit. While Frank had a passion for food and the restaurant business, he longed for normal hours, weekends off and a quality of life. He got a call from a staffing firm and became a recruiter. He had an opportunity to manage people and have a quality of life. While the industry has its ups and downs it’s a rewarding role and it allows him to spend more time with his family and still fulfill his financial goals.
Passion – Michael Suvak (phone interview June 1, 2012)
Michael knew that when he graduated college he knew that he wanted to get into psychology. He went on to get is Masters and PHD. While going to school he knew that he didn’t want to get into clinical psychology, but become a professor of psychology. He worked two jobs, went to school in the evenings and had a family to raise. After finally graduating with his PHD, he applied to a number of schools. He had a number of choices in mind. But due to the economy the number of vacancies greatly diminished. Colleges simply were not adding to staff and professors were extending their retirement. His relentless pursuit and dedication finally landed him a great teaching job and he didn’t have to relocate his family. So this story has a very happy ending. More often than not, people find themselves at a crossroads and out of work giving them an opportunity whether they like it or not to re-invent themselves.
As people get older it seems that their goals and objectives change. They know that if they do something that makes them happy, the financial part will follow. Quality of life seemed to be another big factor. People wanted to spend more time with their families and the reality is no matter how hard that one worked there was no guarantee that it was appreciated or rewarded. Since the recession hit people have been working longer and harder with a reduced staff and reduced salaries just to get passed over for promotion and even face layoffs it the company takes a down turn. Many older workers find themselves with the reality of changing careers. Some of their jobs are obsolete or they have a hard time getting hired so they have to make a career change. The role of a coach in these situations can really help support individuals and guide them through the process so they feel comfortable and confident with the decisions they are making. It’s often a confusing and scary time for individuals and the positive support of a coach and professional guidance can help build self esteem and make them comfortable through the career change process.
The seven common motivations described by Alexandra Levitt (2009) prove to be true. With all the candidates that there were personal interviews conducted, with along with the candidates that changed careers in Alexandra Levit’s (2009)book, most seem to share the fact that they had some time of setback. Each candidate was laid off, had medical leave or some life changing event where they were able to reflect on their careers and change their career path.
No matter the reason for the lay off; these are life altering decisions with many factors to take into consideration. A coach can really help guide an individual through these turbulent times. They can help them explore the different career options but also help them discover the “why’s” in choosing career. Exploring an individual goals and objectives and helping them get there themselves are crucial in making them feel confident in choosing a career.
There are a lot of factors to be considered:
- What are the financial ramifications?
- Does further education need to be explored?
- Do they want to choose a career that they are passionate about?
A coach really helps individuals explore all the options. They don’t give them the answers or persuade them to choose one career over another, but simply give them to tools to make decisions that will make them feel confident.
“Top 10 Reasons why People Change Careers”, Career Clarity 2007
“ A New Job A New You” Alexandra Levit 2009
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2008
“People Change Careers 5-7 times”, Recruit Group 2009
“What Color is My Parachute” , Richard N. Bolles 2011
B.Miller, American Demographic 1997
“Career Change Statistics”, Jullien Gordon ·2011
Brian Neubold, personal interview 2011
Michael Suvak, personal interview 2012
James Morrison, personal interview 2012
Frank Dadah, personal interview 2012
Jeff Gould, personal interview 2012