“WHAT IS IT THAT I NEED TO DO?”
“WAS THIS JUST A WASTE OF TIME?”
“HOW DO I MAKE A CAREER CHANGE WITHOUT HAVING THAT BACKGROUND EXPERIENCE?”
There are so many questions that plague people that have decided to take the bull by the horns and make a career change for themselves.
The ups and downs that they encounter before they make the official jump to a new job position, organization, industry, or business venture are sometimes glossed over once they find success.
But, people that find that success as they transition to a new stage in their career know all too well the hard work, the endless days and nights they were kept awake at night, and the energy it took to put in the work to get where they are today.
One of those people is Cesar Ponce de Leon.
We had the pleasure of working with him as he took on the challenge to move from his previous job in legal affairs to a role at an organization that spoke more to his heart and true life calling.
Cesar ran into a few stumbling blocks along the way, but with the right tools and resources he was able to find success in his career transition.
His story of hard work and non-stop effort is one to take note of, so we’ve put together an outline of his biggest challenges and the process that he followed to guide him through to reach his career goals.
Check it out!
CAREER CHANGE CHALLENGES
The biggest challenges that Cesar faced when he realized that he wanted to leave his job were:
1. Jumping from the legal sector as a paralegal to work at a non-profit organization in a role that helps people change their lives — a completely different focus in an entirely different industry, but nonetheless his ultimate career goal
2. Figuring out where to start his job search to find that new role
Even with those specific challenges in mind, Cesar was ready to get moving on his career change and did what most people getting back into the career search game do:
HE SEARCHED FOR JOB DESCRIPTIONS THAT SOUNDED CLOSE ENOUGH TO WHAT HE WAS AIMING FOR ON INDEED,
AND HE APPLIED, APPLIED, AND APPLIED.
BUT, just like the majority of everyone else getting back into the career search game, he didn’t hear back from a single place he applied to.
Nada. Zero. Zilch.
ANOTHER OBSTACLE —
JUST WHEN HE GAINED A LITTLE TRACTION BY TAKING THE INITIATIVE TO JUMP RIGHT INTO HIS NEW CAREER SEARCH…
Cesar soon came to the realization that maybe he underestimated the whole new career transition process.
He was faced with the fact that his career journey wasn’t going to be as easy as he had thought.
Not only did he have no background experience in non-profit work, but nobody was returning his inquiries for the positions he had applied for.
Cesar began to hit some of those internal road blocks and mental barriers that naturally come along with the career change journey — don’t worry, that is normal.
Cesar was beginning to feel feelings of fear, detachment, anxiety, and stress about the fact that he had no experience in the field he was hoping to move into. He found himself stuck and unsure of what to do next.
REGAIN FOCUS AND PERSPECTIVE
He took a step back from being paralyzed by these new challenges and decided to become more proactive about his career search and went right back to the drawing board.
And, just like all High Performers, he refused to settle and realized that he couldn’t make this change on his own and began research on career coaching programs and stumbled on an episode of the Happen to Your Career podcast.
He decided to reach out to HTYC to help him reevaluate his career transition.
IF YOU’RE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO SHARE YOUR STRUGGLES. YOU HAVE TO REACH OUT. DON’T KEEP THEM IN. IF YOU KEEP THEM IN MOST LIKELY YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE ACTION. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE PROACTIVE AND THAT’S JUST GOING TO DELAY YOUR PROCESS.CESAR PONCE DE LEON
Cesar enrolled in Career Change Bootcamp and found that the program offered him the framework that he wasn’t able to develop on his own. He found the program helped him:
- Overcome his fears by providing strategies to get over those “hiccups that he was going through“
- Follow a step-by-step process that gave him the confidence to reach his end career goals
- Target the specific jobs and organizations that fit his ideal career
- Create a script to reach out to the right people at the right organizations
- Supported him along the way whenever he lost motivation
HTYC gave Cesar a structured outline to follow that ultimately gave him the results he was hoping for.
Below, is a case study of the step-by-step process Cesar followed in order to make this career transition a success.
The biggest obstacle that Cesar had to get over before he could really move forward with his career change were the barriers that he created in his own head.
Cesar had him ask himself:
Will you do whatever it takes to get out of there?
Working with HTYC made him realize his own fears, get to the root of the cause, and accept those feelings as he worked through those fears and forced himself to take action.
Cesar began looking at his career change in a new light. He discovered that:
IF YOU WANT SOMETHING, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO ACCEPT WHATEVER CHALLENGES COME.
Once you accept those challenges you have to be willing to fight for them.
With a different outlook on his career transition, Cesar went to work and learned to “do things with fear” to get the results he wanted.
I HAD TO COME TO THE REALIZATION OF SAYING, ‘OKAY, OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING, I NEED TO START TAKING ACTION.CESAR PONCE DE LEON
Knowing your strengths helps you focus the lens of the skills and talents that you can offer an organization to benefit their end goal.
Cesar put in the work with the exercises offered in the CCB program and used recommended resources like the StrengthsFinder test to assess exactly what he could offer organizations as he continued his career search.
Figuring out what you want, need, and value in your career (and life) will help you continue to hone in on not only what new position will fit the your new list of “must haves,” but finding those values will also get you more familiar with the type of organization you should be looking for to match your wants, needs, and values.
Cesar put a lot of thought into his values and what type of ideal job position would fit his (and his family’s) lives.
What he did to start was make a list. He wrote down his past job experiences and began thinking about what he liked about them and what he didn’t like. He went on to further evaluate (based on the information that he got from looking into his past) and created a list of what he did want and all of the absolutes that his new role and organization would have to include and why.
CREATE IDEAL CAREER PROFILE
With Cesar’s new lists of strengths and values in hand, he was able to move on the the next step — creating his Ideal Career Profile (ICP).
This is where he took his list of values and prioritized which of his values were most important.
With this newly filtered information, Cesar was able to match his values with job priorities to narrow down the roles he was most interested in pursuing.
He also identified the non-profit organizations that were more aligned with his values.
Cesar was now armed with a targeted list of organizations and a solid understanding of the role he would like to have at any of the non-profits he identified. He also had a new sense of hope with the creation of his ICP.
By being able to identify and hand-pick the organizations he wanted to work with, Cesar understood exactly what he was looking for and wasn’t going to stop working until he got it.
REACH OUT TO ORGANIZATIONS
Cesar’s final step was taking that list of organizations that he identified and reach out to them.
His goal was to establish a relationship with the right people in these organizations and let them know who he was and what he could offer them.
Cesar used the HTYC script resources and tailored them to fit his needs to bypass a lot of gatekeepers within his top organizations.
I HAVE TO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING PROACTIVE AND PRACTICAL TO GET TO THE DECISION MAKER.CESAR PONCE DE LEON
He implemented the “Relationships Before Resumes” method of developing and fostering a relationship with one of executives of his top organization.
What is the Relationship Before Resumes method?
It’s the process in which you:
- Establish yourself with the important people at an organization
- Personalize the relationship you develop by digging deeper than asking for a job
- Give love, to get love
Most of the time, the way you stand out in a sea of job applicants is by being human.
Cesar quickly discovered that the one thing that people want to see more than your skills is your character.
When you show genuine interest in someone’s life outside of work, they are more inclined to remember you for that and keep you in mind for things that come up in the future.
That is exactly how Cesar was able to differentiate himself from the rest of the job hunters.
IF I LET MY EMOTION DRIVE ME THROUGH THIS PROCESS, THEN I’M NOT GOING TO GET ANYWHERE.CESAR PONCE DE LEON
Today, Cesar is four months into his job at the #1 non-profit organization that he had his eye on.
That’s not to say that’s just because he got lucky.
He put in the work.
He developed a relationship with key people at the organization that best fit his values. He volunteered at the organization to showcase his skills. He was given project after project, and finally once a position opened up. He was the first person they called.
He followed the process and not once did he try and rush through to land any job he was able to get.
In fact, during the process, Cesar received another job offer, but had to refuse as he was already working along his process and developing a bond with the executive at the organization that he now works for.
He didn’t even blink an eye when he turned down that other job offer. With his work in determining his strengths, realizing his values, and creating his Ideal Career Profile, Cesar fully understood himself well enough that he knew EXACTLY what he was working towards and why he was doing it.
His ICP helped him identify and guide him to the career that was ideal for him right now.
It wasn’t an easy journey to switch career from one industry to another, but it is possible.
If you are willing to overcome your fears and accept your next career goal challenges, with a little help and guidance you can happen to your career, too.
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