I have spent the last year leading a mid/late career transition program – which puts me in a room with 25-40 individuals that are committed to returning to work after being off between 6 month and 7 years. I am inspired and learn something new every day. Here are a few lessons.
- Add a little confidence, and talent emerges
- Add a little focus, and talent becomes a pretty compelling story
- Add a community that give support, encouragement, and feedback and the talent and story just get better
- Add a chance to actually work and use their talents for 60-80 hours , and the pride and passion that emerges makes the story even better (often a tears of joy kind of story)
It is not always a perfect journey because life happens, and setbacks seem to come in pairs for some reason.
A message for anyone who is not in this position and/or has never experienced this:
- Build and maintain a strong professional network (outside of your current company and within an area you are passionate about). This means pouring into two groups that get you working/interacting with people outside of your company and in an area you care about.
- Remember that you will be in this position at least once in the next 10-20 years. Don’t loose sleep over it, and if you are not doing #1 get ready for a tough-er journey.
- Read Linchpin by Seth Godin, then write down two things you will do differently over the next six months.
- Repeat steps 1-3 yearly.
If you are a leader thinking about what you can do to develop your team, see the first four bullet points. It is that simple.
I get inspired seeing talent emerge – – it is kind of like spring in Michigan.
FYI – another Shifting Gears cohort starts in 4 weeks. Here is a link if you know of anyone that would be a good candidate. There is also a great video so you can hear their stories.