An Interview with Florida career coach Deborah Shane, whose new book Career Transition – Make the Shift: Your Five Steps to Successful Career Reinvention, was just released.
CLM: Tell us about the principal themes in your new book.
DS: The principle themes address the lessons I have learned through several career changes and transitions over the course of my life. The one I made in 2006 was more significant because …I was over 50. What I’ve learned is this:
- Everything you need is already inside of you.
- Don’t be afraid of change; embrace it as an adventure.
- Believe in the value of who you are and what you do.
- Do whatever it takes to set yourself up to succeed today.
The five step process I created is designed to help and guide people from where they are to where they want to go.
- Discover-your career passion now.
- Uncover-your key skills, qualities and intangibles.
- Reinvent-how you apply and use them.
- Rebrand a fresh new version of you.
- Rebirth and re-launch by marketing and branding yourself (both online and in person.)
CLM: You made a voluntary choice to change careers to get to where you wanted to be. During this recession, many people were forced to make involuntary changes. In your mind, is there a difference in how you approach change when it’s not your idea?
DS: No. Change is change regardless if it was forced or voluntary. The process of finding a meaningful work life, getting back into the workplace or launching your own business is all about defining the what, why and how. You have to have a vision, plan and purpose.
CLM: Do you recommend that people think about career shifts now, even when the economy’s recovery from this recession may not last?
DS: There are many solutions to unemployment. Entrepreneurship is one of them that is exploding now. People need to look at other industries they can transfer their skills and experience to. This can actually be quite exciting. With all of the tools and resources for marketing and communications, if someone can identify a marketable and bankable niche, has a phone and computer, they can easily start a business. There are amazing business websites and blogs that provide FREE content that can help. The key is to get into motion and action. Become a great ‘relentless changer’. It’s one of the most valuable skills of our current world.
CLM: Many Baby Boomers (and others) are terrified at the thought of leaving what feels like secure employment for the unknown of self-employment. What advice can you give them that will help with the fear of the unknown?
DS: The fear of the unknown is always going to be a part of change. I dedicate a chapter to fear because it is a BIG real thing. Most fears though are NGIR-not grounded in reality! We make mountains out of molehills as an excuse not to take responsibility for our lives. Baby Boomers need to trust their value more, but MUST get relevant with regard to technology and the social media platforms. There is nothing more valuable in the workplace than a “relevant baby boomer.” Thinking something is secure that actually is not is a big liability. Embracing radical reality today is the only way to live in it.
CLM: It sounds like you were always confident that you had talent and that your gifts would be well received in the world. What do you say to the average worker who is not clear on what his or her gifts are?
DS: Yes, that is something I was blessed with. I knew what my strengths were and always used them and developed them. Everyone has them though – this is where the five steps are so helpful. The questions and exercises in the book are designed to show people that they have passion, have done great work, have valuable skills, have brought value, and can apply all that to their ‘what’s next.’