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Home » Talent

You only live twice

Submitted by on Tuesday, 6 August 2013One Comment

You Only Live TwiceThere’s a book doing the rounds in the career guidance world called You only live once which encourages us to break out of the career traps that we may have found ourselves in and live a more fulfilling professional life.

We certainly think that it’s well worth a read. But what of us post-YOLO-ers who have perhaps been through one or more major career changes already and may have lost hope that such change is possible again?

We have some good news for you…

…You only live twice!

To many of our readers the classic James Bond movie comes to mind. And we feel it’s still relevant because Sean Connery (who played Bond in that movie) resigned no fewer than three times from the Bond franchise to take on new challenges.

So if we sometimes feel like self-destructing like the spacecraft in the movie, or feel like we will meet our untimely end at our desks like some unfortunate Bond bad guy, here’s some good news:

· Ronald Reagan started out as a radio broadcaster, was enlisted in the army, moved into acting (where by many accounts he did not succeed to any great degree) before moving into politics at age 37 and finally becoming the Governor of California at age 56 and thereafter US President.

· Colonel Sanders was something of a drifter who held a variety of jobs before opening his first roadside diner age 40, went on to experience a rollercoaster business career before finally hitting it big when he sold the Kentucky Fried Chicken for $2m age 74.

· Harrison Ford started out as a screen star, quit TV to work in construction as a carpenter, and then went back to Hollywood when enticed by the first Star Wars movie to make it big in acting.

The bottom line? Moving between vastly different jobs may not be as disconcerting as we may think.

The One Thing you need to know about career success – and happiness

There’s one thing that it’s really important for you to know when considering career change – and that is that what leads to the greatest job satisfaction is making sure your role uses your talents every day. So important is this concept that Gallup have identified it as the number two engagement driver at work.

Talent Factor

Career satisfaction, then, is not about the knowledge you gained at school or university or the skills and experience you have picked up along the way, but about aligning your tasks to your talents. (We show you how you can do that in a previous post here).

Career Change at 30, 40, 50…

The problem, as we know, is that if you change your job too much employers may see that as a negative. So when you are frustrated at work with your career direction, it pays to get clear first on what exactly it is you are looking for. Demonstrating that to a new employer is often a plus. Can you answer these questions (one of which is routinely asked at Harvard MBA enrolment)?

· What are your strengths at work?

· What is your greatest weakness?

· How do you deal with work that plays to your weaknesses?

If you are thinking of making a career change, we have created an infographic shows you the steps that you can take to get clear on precisely these kind of questions.

Companies – take note!

If career change is stressful, and feels like walking onto a James Bond movie set with the bad guys firing at you from all direction, spare a thought for the alternative – those who don’t even live once!

We are talking about are the zombies that work within companies and who are completely disengaged. As the latest Gallup survey has shown, that’s a whopping 60% of us!

Because of the costs of disengagement at work ($1.2tr globally by our estimates), companies – and HR departments especially – need to be more proactive in providing fulfilling and challenging career paths within their organisations. Not for CSR factors or because it’s a ‘nice to have’, but because it makes compelling commercial sense.

What you can do now to solve the career crisis

If you are an individual and would like to discover your talents and receive career guidance, please have a look at our talent assessment here.

If you are a company and would like to find out more about how to create an engaging career path in your company (and beat the zombie syndrome), feel free to have a look at our Career Path Solution here.

Creating an engaging career is everyone’s responsibility – let’s get to work and make it happen!


Talent Technologies | Taking your Talent to a Higher Level


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