Case Studies: Career Transition

 

Human resources to non-profit management

After working in the marketing department of a large international firm for 10 years, this client hired me because there was no satisfaction in the career; in fact, she had been promoted several times, but had found herself in charge of a large IT roll-out that meant she spent most of her time every day working as a project manager that simply tried to keep the schedule on track, but without any real understanding of the barriers facing the engineers and software designers. Realizing that she could keep doing this, be highly paid but stressed and miserable, she eventually decided to return to school for an MBA. She is currently employed by a nonprofit organization seeking to educate Americans about human rights.

 

Museum education to entrepreneurial grant writer

Within one month of working with me, this client had determined that her employment environment was actually toxic, and the time had come to strike out on her own. Within three months, she had written a business plan, gotten some seed money, legally organized the entity and found some clients. Now entering her second self-employed year, she says, “I cannot even begin to imagine doing anything else.”

 

Teaching to human resources

After struggling for years to make ends meet on a teacher’s salary, and with a marriage in the offing and plans for children, this client decided that the time had come to make a change. Initially, he felt that there was nothing else he was suited to pursue, but in looking at his interests and talents, it became clear that promoting diversity was actually a passion. He is now employed by a large bank, where teaching awareness of cultural issues around diversity is important both within for the employees, and without, for the employees dealing with bank customers in a sensitive way.

 

Case Studies: Academia

Graduate student

After 10 years of struggling to finish her PhD, and nearing the end of the time when her course work would still count, one client hired me to keep her on track with her writing schedule. She began working with me in October at the recommendation of her advisor, who held out little hope that the goal of finishing in the spring could actually be accomplished. There were many issues to work through, including confidence in her own expertise, how to handle difficult committee members, and what to do about getting permission of the people she interviewed for inclusion in the dissertation. All these issues were successfully handled, and not only did she turn in her actual final thesis on time, she was able to attend her own graduation in May, just eight months after she started working with me.

 

Professor leaving academia

After making a career of academia, and nearing retirement, this client contacted me with a great fear and trepidation about what to do once his teaching career was finally over. “I’ve never done any thing else,” he said, and claimed to have no interests or hobbies outside of academia. We began working toward a phased retirement program, so that he would not have to leave academia “cold turkey.” He discovered that he did actually have interests outside academia, including theater, history, traveling and writing. In the end, he realized he had a lot of experience writing academic books, but wanted to write a more popular book. He is currently working on a history of theater in America.

 

Professor becoming an entrepreneur

Social media was her specialty, but she was bored by teaching it to students and feeling like the information she had garnered never reached a wider audience. Her writing skills were well honed, and she transitioned them into writing a blog within the space of three months. Now she is a consultant on social media for some large medical establishments making excellent money.

 

Professor moving into government work

A young professor of archaeology, she was underpaid and undervalued, struggling to raise a young family with a husband who had a business of his own to support. The constant pressure of finances made her realize that she needed to find something else. After working with me three months to clarify her goals, she began to target US government jobs. Within three more months, she had landed a job as a high level cultural resource manager, making three times her original salary in academia.

 

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