midlife career change

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Great Career Moves Ezine

5 Best Kept Secrets of Successful Midlife Career Change

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Success Stories



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Can you relate to these stories?

Some clients can't afford to go public with their success stories.  After all, not everyone wants her boss to know she's thinking of a career change! Your decision to consult me is personal and confidential within the limits of the law.  These stories come from real people -- details changed or full names omitted.  You'll find signed testimonials on my home page, coaching page and subscription page.

And some former clients can't allow themselves to be listed, but are available as email and telephone references. 

"Where should I move myself and my career?"

Problem: "I came to Cathy with one main goal: to put together a list of places where I would love to live and to start to prepare to move there.

Success: "I was amazed. Within a very short time I had not only completed my relocation goal, but I was starting on an important long term goal. Long term goals always seemed so far away and nebulous to me. It felt so good to know what I could be doing toward this long term goal now and be excited about it.

Crisis Averted:  "I also am well on my way toward living a life that truly reflects me overall." -- Sue S., Chicago

"My job is going away"

Problem: At fifty-two, "Lance" realized his twenty-year job would end soon. He might have six months, a year, perhaps two years. He felt extremely stressed by the uncertainty and the low morale that had spread through his Fortune 100 company division. When he called, his question was, "Should I just walk away and pursue my dream?"

Success: Lance began to explore creative ways to use his job as a vehicle to move forward. We came up with a time management plan so he could explore a business opportunity while remaining on the payroll.
Most important, Lance had a sounding board. He learned he could walk away from the negativity that was permeating his workplace.

Cheers: After our very first consultation, Lance emailed to say, "I can't believe what happened. I feel like a great weight has been lifted and I'm happier than I've been in months."
 Redirecting a high profile career

"My job disappeared and nobody will hire me"

Problem: "Ursula," a corporate vice president for community relations, was known all over her large midwestern city. She was a frequent guest on radio and television programs and occasionally contributed a column to the local metropolitan daily. When her company was purchased and she was fired, the story made headlines in the business press and even garnered television coverage.

Challenge: Ursula really wanted another corporate job with benefits and an office. But she soon realized she was too well-known and too controversial to get hired. Her resumes were returned with a note: "Why would you want to work for us?"

Success: Ursula resisted exploring freelance options, but after we broke down the process to bite-size pieces, she agreed to try. After a few hesitant steps, she began to attract clients - including some of the executives who didn't want to hire her.

Cheers: Six months after we first talked, Ursula sent me a copy of the press release she wrote to announce her company's official opening.

"Did I take the wrong job?"

Problem #1: "Kyle," a senior sales representative, initially hired me to serve as his secret weapon during a job hunt. Unlike many job seekers, he had offers for interviews and eventually for positions. His challenge involved deciding where and how to interview and how to manage the offers and counter-offers. He also had to learn how to deal with recruiters.

Success #1: Kyle landed a great job, but...

Problem #2: Two weeks into his new job, Kyle began to think he had made a huge mistake. He wondered if he was being set up to fail. His boss had redesigned his territory and his responsibilities. Kyle was ready to jump ship and give back his sign-on bonus.

Success #2: Kyle needed an objective sounding board so he could maintain a positive image among his new colleagues. We came up with a plan: Kyle would play detective in his new company and also find ways to keep his options open, in case his worst fears proved to be true.

Follow-up: After three months, Kyle had negotiated some changes in his new job. And he was working on a long-term "get more marketable" goal.   

"Need to make a life-changing decision right away"

Situation: "Nancy"built up a successful financial services business. She was getting a little bored when a phone call came out of the blue: an offer to buy out her company at a very atttractive price.

Problem: Nancy was ready to jump. But she wondered what she would do afterward. She had fantasized about working in the arts but hadn't really investigated. She would have plenty of money, but would need a new career to maintain her expensive lifestyle as a single parent in an urban area. She was scared.

Success: After a single Power Hour, Nancy realized she really wanted to leave her business. We created a plan so Nancy wouldn't wake up the day after the business was sold, wondering, "What now?"  

"I'm taking several months for a major career change"

Problem: "I worked with Cathy for several months. During that time my life was in a state of transition. I have been offered jobs internationally and have had to decide what is the best move for me -- or whether to start my own business. My thoughts, hopes and dreams were all constantly changing because I really did not know what I wanted to do.

Process: "Cathy has been so supportive and understanding through all this from being an objective outsider, to being a great sounding board. I have learned new insights into myself along the way, and her great follow up call summaries provided a concrete list of things to work on for the coming week so I could get clear on what I wanted to achieve.

"I must have driven her mad with all the emails I have sent her requesting feedback on pieces I was writing for my website. Her feedback was always concise and straight to the point. She helped me make my writing have much more impact. She gave invaluable feedback and got me to write from my heart and the results were so much better.

"Having an academic background myself I also respected her integrity, depth of knowledge and wisdom gained from years experience. She pointed out words in my language that were not supporting what I wanted to do which I was not even aware of using. She challenged me to set deadlines but also encouraged me to have fun and take more time out which I very much needed.

Success: "I have now decided to pursue a long dream of starting my own business and just beginning with defining the market, my website, and all that I can offer.

Cheers: "Thanks Cathy for all you help, guidance and support."

A.Q., Melbourne, Australia

One liners:

"You seem to have a great sense of keying in on what is important." -- Ellen F., Fort Lauderdale. FL.

"You've helped me get a lot more focused." -- Carolyn M., San Francisco Bay Area, CA.

Next: Now that you've seen what happens when I work with clients, here's my bio and background story.