443: Predicting Your Future: Looking Back Over Successful Career Changes

HTYC's own Phillip & Liz share career change lessons you can use now.


on this episode

Career change can seem scary and difficult because when you decide to make a career change, you don’t know how it will turn out. While you may not be able to see the future, you can still learn from career changes others made in the past and see where they are now.

Coaches Phillip Migyanko and Liz McLean share the top 3 lessons from people that have made successful career changes over the past 9 years.

what you’ll learn

  • Ways to increase your level of confidence
  • How to really be yourself – you don’t have to be 2 people anymore!
  • The difference between good (i.e. settling) vs. great
  • How to grow in a way that serves you the best

Success Stories

I know that you and HTYC are owed credit for teaching me to confidently articulate my strengths and passions – Thank you so much! These are skills that will grow with me and I will continue to refer people to your site so they can benefit as I have!

Cindy Morton, Chief Operating Officer, United States/Canada

I greatly appreciate your help in bringing this along because I wouldn't have had the confidence to negotiate and to be where I am today without the help of a lot of other people. You played a really significant role in it. I'm not going to be that everyday person that hates my job, I'm going to stretch and I'm going to aspire to be better and I'm not going to make that everyday salary. Thank you Scott for putting this out there for all the people that are trying to do a little bit better and trying to go a little bit farther. This is awesome. I love this. This thing that you do, the whole HTYC thing, from the paperwork all the way down to the podcast and just helping people understand that there is success out there and it is attainable but you've got to work for it.

Jerrad Shivers, Market Manager, United States/Canada

The role is meeting my expectations… totally owning the marketing function. And luckily the founder/president is always forward-looking – he just presented us a huge strategy doc for the next year. So there will be an opportunity for us to grow beyond our initial audience, which is great. I applied (against conventional wisdom!) and went through a lengthy interview process. I did use the resume/cover letter chapter quite a bit to customize what I used to respond to the ad. I also found that using the Interview chapter was super helpful in formulating “SBO” oriented responses, and I even used some of them in the interview. Having those “case study” type responses was really helpful and I believe cemented my candidacy. BTW – they hired me completely over Skype and phone! I never met anyone from my company (in person) until last week at a conference.

Erica Fourrette, Marketing Director

I see much better now how my five Clifton strengths tied together and the ones that I had felt were really not that much of a big deal, I can see better how they are innovative to me as a person and to my strengths and where they come from. And that was a kind of a new thing. What I love is new situations and learning, and I actually actively look for opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone. So, and if I look back at past roles, I would tend to have to go back to go to the land and to run a major program that had been failing. And I didn't know a lot of the nitty gritty, the detail of all the different projects, but I had the organizational skills, I wanted to learn about the different projects. I wasn't fazed by the fact that I didn't know any of that detail. So I had the challenge of learning and the environment initially and also the challenge of language as I learn to. And that satisfied my learning.

Judith Bhreasláin, LIBOR Discontinuation Project Manager, United Kingdom

Liz McLean 00:01
You no longer have to show up as two people. A lot of people that work in jobs that are not a fit, right, they have to... they find themselves rallying to be someone else at work than they necessarily are in other places of their life, right? They put on this persona.

Joshua Rivers 00:19
Today, we're kicking off a week long series, we're calling "Where Are They Now". Starting tomorrow, you'll hear from five different people we worked with who have made successful career changes. They initially share their story on how they made their career change in the first place, but then they came back on the podcast a couple of years later to share the long term results they were able to realize, and you can hear those stories starting tomorrow over the next five days. But today, to start this series off, you'll learn the top three lessons that are common among all these folks that you can implement into your life right now so you can set yourself up for future success.

Introduction 01:04
This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what it does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Joshua Rivers 01:28
Career change can seem scary and difficult. Because even if you know that you need to make a change and you're committed to doing it, you still don't know what will actually happen or how things will pan out, unless you have a crystal ball, in which case we have a lot of questions for you. But we've learned after helping thousands of people make career changes, that there are patterns and indicators that actually help you predict how it can impact your career, and even your life. So today, we're doing something a little different. Two of our awesome coaches, Phillip Migyanko and Liz McLean are taking over the podcast to share the top three lessons from past clients who have made successful career changes over the past nine years. So let me step aside and hand the microphone over to Phillip and Liz.

Liz McLean 02:16
Today, we are here to talk about some of our learnings over the past nine years, right? So the top three to four things that we've learned and surprising things that when people come on the other side of figuring it out and doing meaningful work, right, to get to fulfilling work, what impacts has on your life from a greater perspective, because there are things that you don't realize, like you get into a new job, and you're like, "You know, now I like my job." But there's so much more that happens. And so we're here to talk about three of those things that we see, and that we've learned for the past nine years. So wanna kick off number one, Phillip?

Phillip Migyanko 02:53
Yeah, totally. I can totally kick off number one. And it's, you know, we work with so many people and we know this is a huge factor, especially after working in nine years, just hearing it again, and again. But one of the biggest things, and this might not come as a big surprise for the listeners out there, but it's really, you know, the level of confidence and this comes from working in your strengths, getting that positive feedback, but mostly that increases your level of competence, right? If you're working in a subject matter that you care about, you're getting that positive reinforcement about what you're doing, how it's helping, and the overall impact that you're having. And we had an example of somebody kind of like this, but in that process of the career change aspect, and you might have heard her story, this is Vicki, and if you haven't heard that episode, I would highly go and suggest that you check it out, it's somebody that I personally worked with. And in Vicki's story, you know, understand the whole... the concept there, it was much more about the experimentation phase about had the learnings that not only impacted her career change, you know, it wasn't really about leaving the job for her, it was much more about the learnings that she had years and years after that, or really kind of the learnings that she had from building those kinds of relationships, and really taking those levels risk, but really, in her story. So everybody that we work with, they go through this experiment type of phase, where they're trying to figure out what they're looking to do and what a really good phase of it looks like and all that stuff. And what happens for most is they get really, really nervous, they're like, "Oh my gosh, I have to go out experiment. I don't know if this is going to work." And then there comes inevitable point where, this is where Liz and I talked to many, many of our clients, we go, "alright, the best untapped resource of this whole process is really people." So we have you do the really scary thing that most people think is networking. But I don't like to call it networking. I like to think of it more as building relationships. And so what that means is you are usually sending out messages to people and what I find is that most people usually come this process and they were trying to send messages that are kind of generic or they do them on LinkedIn, it doesn't feel as scary, it feels more safe. And so...

Liz McLean 04:58
But not as effective.

Phillip Migyanko 05:01
That's the moral of the story there folks, not as effective. And so we try to think about it as, how can this be the most effective? So I was pushing Vicki, during when we were personally working together, spoiler alert, this is where I push all my clients, and how can we send personal videos. So that's what we had Vicki do. You might have heard her story from here, in the podcast, she found this wonderful Treasury podcasts that was the line of work, she went into doing Treasury, and we were listening to those podcast episodes and we found VP level directors of large organizations. And so we were thinking, "Alright, what can we do to make ourselves stand out from others?" Exactly. So we had her send personal videos to each one of those people. And, you know, I mean, to be really transparent, not everyone responded, and that's okay. But we had one great response, which was from one of these VP levels, I was like, "Oh my gosh, Vicky. This is great." This is so personal, and everything they did like this before. And what that happened for her is that it tangibly drove up her level of confidence, meaning, she did something that was difficult, that was kind of uncomfortable, and that later rippled effect into all of the other conversations that she had, where she was sending loom videos to every single person and getting the type of results. Now, that later happened, because she got the opportunity she was looking to get by getting a connection of a connection through one of those personal videos that she sent. So it's really bringing it back, it's more of an example of the process and how it impacted her long term, instead of just getting the job and how she really viewed that networking error, building relationships doesn't just stop when you get the job, it kind of keeps going through that process and it impacted her level of confidence that she can now have conversations with people that she wouldn't have had before.

Liz McLean 06:52
Yeah, that is a great story. And I think that that is a common story for, you know, getting this challenge right, getting meaningful work, which is really difficult thing to do. It's... people don't realize there's a lot of work, and it's a lot of fear and mindset work, right. And the way that we get that increasing confidence is by doing the thing we didn't think we could. And then for her to get that reward from just that one person, the impact, and then she showed up, I'm sure she showed up in lots of places in her life significantly more confident, right. Now, just send me these messages, these loom videos, it's not...

Phillip Migyanko 07:29
Yeah, and it definitely impacts other places, right, when we are able to do something that's really difficult, that's where that confidence piece comes from, that impacts so many other things. But yeah, that's definitely number one. But I know you've got a second one. So what's the second piece of this?

Liz McLean 07:45
Yeah, so we were talking about number two being that you no longer have to show up as two people. I'm gonna go to my own story here. Most people we work with, there are a lot of people that work in jobs that are not a fit, right? They have to... they find themselves rallying to be someone else at work than they necessarily are in other places of their life, right? They're put on this persona. When I was in a job that wasn't a fit, we onboarded somebody and I trained her, and we're now friends. But at the time, she had this impression of me. And then a few weeks later, a month later, we went out to a happy hour, she saw me at a happy hour, and I was interacting with her there. And she said, "You know what? I like you so much more now." "Wow, you didn't like me before?" She said, "Well, you were too nice." I was like, "Wow, what do you mean?" And what was happening was, as I was showing up in such a way that was overly nice, no really helpful, and I am that, but she's like, "Yeah, no, you're a sour patch kid" because she saw me at the bar, and I was professional, but she saw me at the bar just be more my authentic self, right. I have a little bit of a dry sense of humor, I will challenge people and I will question people a lot. So she's like, "Oh yeah, I like this version of you better. I like the Sour Patch Kid, like, I like that you're sweet but then you've also got a little bit of a bite your personality, if that makes sense." So that's my own personal story of showing up differently.

Phillip Migyanko 09:13
Well, you know, it makes sense. And I imagine a lot of you and even our listeners where they spend a lot of time basically spending two different lives, one at work and one at home or in other places. And it takes so much mental energy to try to do both of these different things. And when we are talking to people, especially in the "Where Are They Now" series years later, and also what we know for people when they are are in opportunities that are fulfilling, whether in their strengths is that they're no longer trying to separate both of these things, and that you're really thinking about it and one of our values at HTYC is just one life. And when we think about this as an organization, and we continue to talk with thousands of thousands people and we work with clients every single day, we try to go, "Well, what if you didn't have to kind of separate both of those? What if you were one person over here, one person over there? And what could that look like? And how can we make those types of things happen?"

Liz McLean 10:10
I feel like being a human, one human is challenging enough on its own, like just do that, like, rather than trying to be other personas, so yeah. But so we're mindful of time here. Do you want to go on to number three?

Phillip Migyanko 10:23
That's probably a good idea. Number three, is, this is where we talk about the most with people, but it is always a little bit different. So really, number three is the difference between good versus great. And what we mean by that is, this is how most people operate or when Liz, myself or anybody at the Happen To Your Career team is just talking to somebody who's kind of in this phase where they're not doing great work, and they have great co-workers that might be like, "well, you know, the people I work with, they're good. Like, they're nice."

Liz McLean 10:56
"I stayed so long because the people are good. That's why we're here. Like, that's what keeps me there. That's why I stay."

Phillip Migyanko 11:02
And you might be saying that to yourself right now, or am I be, "Well, things are good enough right now." And I mean, I don't know if that can be any better, because that's really just for people who have this, those are people who went to school, those are people who have really good connections, those are people who blankety blank kind of thing.

Liz McLean 11:20
For a lot of money, that's another thing.

Phillip Migyanko 11:23
Yeah, I hear that one a bunch.

Liz McLean 11:24
Yeah. And they're like, "Well, who am I? And then who am I to ask for more? And I just should be grateful for what I have." And that yeah, and there's sometimes there's guilt, like, "Oh, I've done so... all my friends around me, like, say how great, you know, how good it is I have it, why would I try for something more or great?"

Phillip Migyanko 11:42
Yeah. And so what happens with each one of those examples that Liz and I are giving right there is that people accidentally settle. And when you accidentally settle, you kind of just take this mediocrity, for lack of a better word, and that aspect of your life, but then in other aspects of your life, potentially, too. And so what we specifically mean with good versus great is, and I kind of alluded to it in the last one, but between all these three, the through line is like what if... what if you could work in a job that was aligned with your strengths? What if you could be in a place that was really aligned with your values? Those types of things. And basically, what happens if we didn't settle? And I've got a client right now who's thinking about this more specifically, and really the 'what if' questions, and really thinking about this as a, well, no rules apply. So his name is Rob. And Rob is really working with this idea of like, "What happens if I would just work with my friends?" Which is a really simple and easy concept in theory, but in practice, like, no one says that. I never hear many people say that, like, I mean, we never really hear anybody say that, even with our client who talks about that.

Liz McLean 12:56
It doesn't even occur to people. I don't think and even for Rob, right, from what you told me of the story Phillip before we got on this call was like, it's such a simple thing but it was like a revelation, lke, could I? Like, what if? You know and keep going.

Phillip Migyanko 13:12
Well, yeah, it's a concept about, what if I could work with my friends? And if you stop me think about that just for a second, there aren't really any rules around there. I mean, you could work with your friends, or you could work with people that you could see yourself, being your friend. And to make this a really, really real example, when we bring on people here at the Happen To Your Career team, we'll often like, when we, you know, we're fully remote team, we have people that work across the country in the world, and we get to have a, every so often, we get a chance to see each other in person and we're always challenging each other to go, "Alright, if we were to add somebody else to our team, could we see them kind of sitting at the table with us? Can we see them having fun with us when we do our events? Could this be somebody who's going to laugh at our jokes? Could this be somebody who we're going to actually have fun doing this fun work with?" And for a lot of people like if we think of it that way, it's... we are taking the rules off of what we are told how work has to be and what needs to be and for a lot of the people in the "Where Are They Now" series and you'll hear those types of things, it's... well work doesn't have to look the same way that it did before. What if you could work with your friends? What if you could have a life that you wanted?

Liz McLean 14:25
What is fill in the blank for my work, right? And then also the what if like, the no rules piece, like when we talk about with clients here is that like, what if you don't have to go to standard path to get there? Or what if there's more than one way? What if... Yeah, I think to say that accidentally settling and I think because you get to a point in your life where you are so busy and you don't realize you're doing it

Phillip Migyanko 14:50
And it comes back to the concept between all three of these points, which is that each of these decisions they are mutually dependent, meaning, that each of them, kind of, are dependent on each other, that they're not mutually exclusive, right, it's the opposite of that. How do we make sure that you are intentionally using both of your time, your energy and the choices that you make about who you choose to bring into your life, even from a work perspective? And that's a huge concept, right? You might be sitting there going "What? Like..."

Liz McLean 15:20
I get to choose?

Phillip Migyanko 15:21
"I get to choose? And that they're not just assigned to me or the person who works there?" Or that you are choosing the type of person you want to be in life, not just between work and other places, and you get to choose the types of really hard things you're looking to do, the mountains you want to go after. So that's going to help open up other doors to what you didn't think you were possible even if it raises that level. So it comes from that aspect that each of these decisions both have ripple effects externally, the people, the work you do, the people you work better in your life, those types of things, but they're also ripple effects internally, and that kind of sounds woowoo on both ends.

Liz McLean 16:01
You'll show up in all the places in your life like that, right? At your home relationships, it will impact your friendships. So well like if you are settling the type of job, you might also be showing up and saying like, "Oh, well, you know, these friends I have, they're good. You know, but could they be great? Are they really aligned with who I am now? Like, oh, I've changed as this person. And these people don't quite fit me the way they used to, but they're good." You know, you might do that another asset. So that's yeah, that's the mutually dependent part. And how you're doing this with your work, maybe how you're doing with your life, too. For good or for bad, right? And there's... when you flip the script, and you start saying, "You know what? I don't want to settle anymore." And what for my work, you might be saying in the other parts of your life, "I don't want to settle here either."

Phillip Migyanko 16:47
And so many people who think they're crazy where going, "I think... am I crazy for not wanting to settle?" Or things like that.

Liz McLean 16:53
Yeah. And we look at it saying like, you're crazy for saddling, like, people are crazy for... and not crazy, because that's terrible. But it's just like, it's, we don't want people to do that.

Phillip Migyanko 17:04

Liz McLean 17:05
Cuz you don't have to.

Phillip Migyanko 17:06
And so that's the perfect way to wrap this up. So just for those three things that we've learned over the past nine years, the most surprising things that, you know, people learn and how it impacts both your work and your life, once you get to that wonderful opportunity that's created amazing and meaningful work. So number one is that it basically increases your level of confidence, meaning that you can go and do more difficult and harder things after that, that you didn't think that were possible, it increases your level of the things you were thought that would be possible. And in both work and other areas of your life. Yes, the second piece is alright, so you don't have to separate between work person and life person, you could be the same person in both. But you can not have to have disparate energies go into basically two separate lives. You can make up for one person. You're doubling down on one, and reinforcing the person that you want to be and are. And the last one is really the act of not settling. The difference between good that settling and great that, "what if I could have XYZ?" all those types of things. And how can you start incorporating the things that you would want in your life and in your work that you don't even think are possible? Because at Happen To Your Career every single day, we help people do the impossible and how you get there. What you need to learn now is that it starts with those questions about what if those things could happen. So thanks so much for recording this, Liz. It was so much fun.

Liz McLean 18:38
It was fun.

Phillip Migyanko 18:38
Glad we could kind of impart all of our knowledge over to our amazing listeners. And yeah, this is super fun.

Liz McLean 18:46
It was a lot of fun.

Phillip Migyanko 18:46
Awesome. All right. Well, on that note, we will talk to you all later.

Liz McLean 18:50
Bye, everybody.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:52
Most of our episodes on Happen To Your Career often showcase stories of people that have identified and found and take the steps to get to work that they are absolutely enamored with, that matches their strengths, and is really what they want in their lives. And if that's something that you're ready to begin taking steps towards, that is awesome, you can actually get on the phone with us and our team. And we can have a conversation to find the very best way that we can help. It's super informal. And we try to understand what your goals are, where you want to go, and what specifically you need our help with. And then we figure out the very best type of help for you, whatever that looks like, and sometimes even customize that type of help. And then we make it happen. Really easy way to schedule a conversation with our team is just go to scheduleaconversation.com, that's scheduleaconversation.com and find a time that works best for you, we'll ask you a few questions, as well. And then we'll get you on the phone to figure out how we can get you going to work that you really want to be doing that fits your strengths, that you love, and you're enamored with. Hey, I can't wait to hear from you.

Speaker 4 20:16
Yeah, so ultimately, they ended up kind of blindsiding me and saying, "you know, we're gonna part ways" and I was like, "wow, that's surprising. Considering I am literally the face of your sales organization."

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:28
All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until, next week. Adios. I'm out.

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