Bill, formerly a lost, uneducated autoworker with a fear of change, successfully transitioned his career into an industry he loves and built a whole new professional identity he’s proud of. In fact, Bill became such a hot commodity in his new field that he experienced what we refer to as “The Best Job-Seeking Dilemma” – being caught between two great opportunities. His story is so profound and relatable that we thought we’d share how Bill turned his life around.
BILL’S CAREER JOURNEY
Bill began his career as a customer service representative in banking, where he was first downsized. At the time, he had no higher education, let alone a career direction. What he did have was an “in” with the auto manufacturing industry. Seduced by career stability and a healthy paycheck as well as the persuasion of family and friends, he took the job. On a rainy day in 1997, Bill became an autoworker. Did he love it? No. But it was good money and the structured lifestyle left little room for surprises, and Bill didn’t like surprises. During his two-year lay off, Bill lived in “status quo land” and maintained his wait-and-see mentality. When he finally received his walking papers in 2007, Bill was shocked, lost, and confused about his next step.
Although he spent ten years in an industry he hated, he took advantage of the time to earn a B.A. in Business. With a degree and ten years of experience in general labor that he didn’t intend to use, he essentially entered the workforce as a 38-year-old entry-level candidate. And so we’re back to the million-dollar question: how does a person who is naturally resistant to change begin a new career journey? First, Bill worked on developing a positive, growth mindset to get his feet wet and train his brain to become open to new possibilities. Taking a career assessment and utilizing our resume service gave him a new level of insight into his own work behaviors and motivators, which fueled the exploration phase of his job search. In the end, he was profiled as a perfect match for the position, Buyer, and, after interview coaching, secured a temp role to gain further experience in his new field of choice.
BILL’S TURNING POINT
Bill was thrilled to discover that he enjoyed every aspect of his new gig – negotiating with vendors, working with customers, and conducting extensive product research. However, after six months, he also learned that it wasn’t in his nature to be confined to a 9-to-5 workweek. Because Bill was making serious ground in his professional journey, taking the safe route offered by a structured schedule was no longer desirable to him. Bill found a niche occupation that allowed him to work from home, travel, and engage in those same professional activities he grew to know and love. After five years of developing his expertise and building experience in his new industry, he was finally ready to take his career to the next level.
After two months of resume submissions and interview rounds, Bill found himself being courted by two great companies. He asked us how he should proceed. First, it’s important to note that employers seek candidates who act like business partners. With that in mind, Bill kept each company in the loop on in his job search to avoid any unwanted surprises. Company A responded to Bill’s application first with written offer pending while Company B just started the interview process. Company A offered a different product line than what Bill had worked with in the past, while Company B offered the same product line he had dealt with throughout his five years of growth. Since company A requested that Bill make his decision within a certain time frame, he told Company B about the offer. Needless to say, Bill took the first offer from Company A, which was clearly the better choice to grow his career.
TACKLING THE BEST JOB SEEKING DILEMMA
Reflect on the decision. A great way to decide between two opportunities is to ask yourself: If I take this position, will it add diversity to my experience and enhance my background and if I lose it, will it add diversity to my experience and enhance my background? If both answers are “yes” that’s a sign that it’s usually a good business decision.
Be honest about your job search. When in doubt, always be honest about where you are in your job search so you’re not looking over your shoulder in the future. And if you do decide to take an offer, let the other company know right away that you’re no longer seeking employment.
When I asked Bill what advice he would offer to job seekers, he said, “Don’t be afraid, do different, take a chance, and open your life to the possibility of change.” Bill is living proof you can transition your career, even if your natural behaviors tell you differently. To gain a new professional outlook and manage your job search like a pro, sign up for our FREE Webinar: Spring Clean Your Job Search tomorrow at noon.