Making The Most of Career Crossroads - Redundancy and Transition
Most of us find ourselves at a career crossroads at least once in our lives. Sometimes, this is by our own choice, and at others could be due to a redundancy for reasons not completely in our control. We interviewed Jane Jackson as part of our webinar series, a career management coach, corporate trainer, speaker and author who specialises in transition coaching – helping you make the right decision at that crossroads to create a truly satisfying and rewarding career.
Over the past 17 years, Jane has coached thousands of professionals in Australia and Asia, showing them how to practice self-leadership, identify their true passion, find their direction and develop their careers. She has a particular interest in helping senior executives though the emotional rollercoaster of redundancy, giving them the clarity, confidence and conviction to take the next step in their career.
By making coaching available through media such as Skype, Jane is on a self-proclaimed mission to make careers guidance accessible and affordable to the world. She also is on of Australia’s thought leaders in this space, featuring in the Huffington Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Women’s Weekly, CareerOne, Cosmopolitan Middle East, LIN Radio (US) and Eagle Waves Radio.
In this webinar she unpacked what career transition means to the accounting and finance community, and shared some practical, yet insightful wisdom on the best strategies for moving forward.
How Did I Get Here?
People reach career crossroads for two main reasons: The first is that they have reached the point where they’ve simply had enough of their job and are starting to question what else is out there that would be a better fit, and the second is that they were made redundant. People very seldom leave their jobs simply because they can’t do them.
The process for career transition is quite similar whether you’ve made the decision yourself, or had it forced upon you. But with redundancy, because it results in capable professionals suddenly finding themselves without a job, there’s often a greater need for confidence building and self-belief.
Sometimes redundancy can actually be a silver lining. Maybe you had enough of your job and you suddenly find yourself with a bit of a nest egg from your redundancy package. This is the perfect opportunity to take charge of your career and do something you really enjoy going forward.
The pressure comes when there’s been a redundancy and maybe you didn’t get such a great package so financially, you’re a little bit strapped. In any case it can be a confusing and emotional time.
The Vital First Steps
Redundancy can be very stressful, so stress management is the first thing we have to address. It’s essential to ensure you take care of your mental and physical health during this time.
It might sound unusual, but a full physical check-up is essential. After that, we can focus on exercise, eating well, and learning to meditate. Once your stress levels are under control, then it’s time to look at what it is that’s holding you back in your career.
Often you find that redundancy causes really capable, confident professionals to doubt themselves and their own ability. To address this lack of confidence and self-limiting beliefs, it’s a great idea to conduct an audit of your life – career, finances, physical environment and your relationships - because sometimes what’s holding you back is not career-related, it’s personal.
When Performance IS The Problem
Sometimes, however, redundancies are manufactured by the organisation due to a concern about the performance of the individual. Very often, the person concerned can be aware of this, and they know it could make them difficult to market when it comes to finding a job. It’s a scenario that creates huge doubts about your abilities. This is when the assistance of a career coach can really be important. You need to find a confidential and non-judgemental space where you can open up and admit to yourself what you think your failings could have been. It’s so important to acknowledge weaknesses, identify areas of improvement and, most importantly, be willing to make the necessary changes. Change always begin within, and employers are always looking for people who’ve got the right attitude.
Invest In Relationships Before You Need Them
You may not think you need a recruiter when you have a job, but it’s so important to nurture these relationships even when you don’t need them. The great thing about “good” recruiters is that they are experts within the industries they focus on, they know which roles are open, and they know about potential future roles. So, if you don’t have a good relationship with a group of trusted recruiters, you’re doing yourself a disservice. How will a recruiter know if you’re the best fit for their client if they don’t know you well enough?
Outside of recruiters, the same applies to our professional relationships. It is best to maintain relationships rather than jumping at them only when you need something. These days people can see it coming a mile off.
Perfecting The Pivot
Sometimes, we can be very good at our jobs, but we don’t actually like what we are doing. We get pigeon-holed, our enjoyment levels can fall, and we get stuck. This is when a redundancy can be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to reinvent yourself and take a career pivot. Jane reminds us that it is never too late to follow your passion. You can always make a new start and there are plenty of examples of professionals of all levels who have done just that!
To listen to the full interview with Jane, join The Outperformer. We share detail discussions with thought leaders and executives like Jane on techniques you can use to take control of your career as an accounting and finance professional.