Vicky Meng, Senior Treasury Analyst
Even through a global pandemic, Vicky was able to overcome her fears and doubts to land her ideal career.
on this episode
What if you could know that next year at this time – you would be in a new role that is well paid and made for you.
When I spoke with Vicky Meng after she made a career change into treasury, she told me a story about an email that transformed her life in just one year.
Actually this is where it gets crazy. A year ago, at this time, she was listening to the podcast. Now exactly 12 months to the day, after she sent this email (below), she’s a guest on the HTYC podcast sharing how she did it.
Here’s the email she sent:
How did Vicky go from sending an email, to her ideal career?
I wish that I could tell you it was easy. It was not.
I wish that I could tell you that everything she did during her change worked well. Not even close.
In fact that’s the most compelling part of Vicky’s whole story. Spoiler alert!!!: She made it to her ideal career!
But it took longer than she hoped and there were not just one, but two very low points where she didn’t want to keep going.
So what did she actually do to get there? And what caused her to have those low points where she wanted to give up? And how the heck did she move past the lows?
I know, I know! So many questions. I’m glad you asked!
Let’s look at it as a timeline so you can see what she did!
Vicky’s timeline to career change – the highlights (and lowlights)
January (last year) – Vicky send’s us the above email, with “conversation” in the subject line, to kickstart her career change. I send her this email back.
February – She begins identifying her strengths, most useful experiences, skills and assets and selects the coach she wanted to work with for the rest of her journey. (Phillip)
March- May – Vicky believes she wants to work in Treasury. She spends 3 months conducting experiments, building relationships and getting interviews.
June – Vicky gets an offer, her coach (Phillip) convinces her to turn it down because although it’s a great job, it’s NOT what she really wants. Vicky does this (very reluctantly)
****Sidenote this is one of the hardest things to do – turning down a good opportunity to continue looking for an ideal opportunity
July – Vicky hits a low point. She was having success reaching people now it’s happening slower. It feels like she’s not making progress.
August- September – She realizes she’s been doing what she feels she’s “supposed to” (trying to move to San Francisco to get into treasury for tech) instead of what she really wants (staying in LA pursuing her interests in treasury)
October – She hits a 2nd low point – She’s getting pushed to the front for interviews for her ideal roles, but still not getting offers in the area she wants.
Vicky has to learn a whole new skill set.
Even though Vicky has already had a ton of success (and even a job offer) she still hits a stopping point. Emotionally it starts to feel hopeless and like she’s back at square one.
I call this a “skill wall (meaning she has to move beyond her existing skills and what she already knows to make her change) – Everyone we work with experiences this during their career change. It feels hopeless and like you’ve “tried everything” when it happens.
Here’s an example of what she had to learn (it will likely be different for you when you make your career change, but it always happens when you’re pursuing ideal work)
How Vicky had to learn to (subtly) present herself differently
Vicky feels like she doesn’t have a lot of experience in any one area. This colors how she talks about herself. She was coming across like this.
End result: Interviewers would adopt this opinion of her too. She’s great but she just doesn’t have much experience.
Which wasn’t even true.
I ask her to begin talking about it (and looking at it) differently. We used this example
Can you see the difference in those two statements (above)?
It turns out that Vicky doesn’t actually have a problem with having enough experience. Nope. She is challenged by how to present her unique experience set in a way that’s helpful to other organizations AND leads her closer to what she wants.
Another example is she was saying
as if she had zero treasury experience (which was not helpful to her interviewers AND just plain not true)
Instead I suggested that she phrase it differently
Her ideal job offer came less than 30 days later.
Here’s the thing most people miss.
It wasn’t just that Vicky had to learn how to present her existing experiences differently.
It wasn’t that she had to turn down her job offer.
Or that she had to go through low points.
It wasn’t any one thing. It was all of it. Together.
Every single person we get to help go through a career change to their ideal career (not just the next job) goes through a series of difficult events. They are different for everyone. But they always happen.
That’s part of the reason that we share stories like Vicky’s with you.
It’s every little part of the “ideal career” process that builds on one another.
From defining what freakin’ amazing looks like for you, to figuring out how to navigate through reachout emails to negotiating and getting your ideal organization to change the job offer to suit you.
It’s never just one (or two or three) things. Which is why it’s so hard.
Where it comes full circle
Exactly 1 year later from when Vicky sent that email to kickstart her career change, we’re releasing an interview with her on the Happen To Your Career Podcast.
Take a listen to hear exactly how she did it. All the great parts and all the difficult parts.
She ended up accepting her ideal offer (NOT in San Francisco)
I would love for you to also be accepting your ideal offer in 7 months or 10 months or a year from now.
Only you can make that decision. Will this be your year… or not.
It’s up to you.
Cheers to you!!!
-Scott Anthony Barlow
I think what helped me the most was focusing on my strengths and the connections that this process, the whole happened here, the career change bootcamp, those connections that basically you're prompted to go reconnect with people right? So, that helped me the most because the roller coaster that I was on with the role that I was in that I was trying to exit from, again, it realizing that people had a positive view of me and that they saw things that maybe I didn't see in myself really helped me articulate who I already was and who I wanted to be in my next role, if that makes sense.
I wanted to thank you because you have helped me land a job that is more fulfilling in every way than a job I thought I could have had before I met you. The work you did and the techniques you taught me literally changed my life.
Sometimes you just need someone who has done these things before to make it easier. Scott’s advice allowed me to get exactly what I wanted out of my new job!
My brain always goes 'Well, what's the worst that could happen?' And that was another one of the exercises from Figure Out What Fits and once you realize what the worst that can happen is, it's not really that bad. In the big scheme of things, it might knock it back for a minute or two, but it's not not a biggie. They have not found it to happen yet. So I've just been pleasantly surprised every step of the way.
Getting clear on what I wanted helped me to recognize how perfect this opportunity was when it came along and the choice to switch was a no-brainer. Thanks for doing the work you do!
If you're stuck, if you want to know what to do, go listen to this podcast, it will change your life. And I was thinking, "great, okay." And then of course, I go to the website, and everything that I read, it was like, "Yes, this is what I've been looking for."
Ready for Career Happiness?
What Career Fits You?
Finally figure out what you should be doing for work
Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!
April 17, 2017
174: Add Value, Grow Your Career with Michael Bigelow
IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT THE LIKABILITY AND CONNECTION CERTAINLY DO HELP. BUT IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT I REALLY DO FEEL THAT IT’S BOTH WHO YOU KNOW AND HOW YOU’RE CONNECTED TO THEM, AS WELL AS WHAT YOU KNOW. MICHAEL BIGELOW Whether you’re looking to make a lateral job transition to a […]
January 21, 2019
267: 3 Creative and Strategic Ways to Show Your Strengths to Interviewers
Everywhere you look these days, you can find articles sharing why focusing on your strengths is more valuable than improving your weaknesses. Using your signature strengths in your role means you can be energized instead of drained, engaged instead of bored, and successful instead of struggling. When it comes down to it, working in your […]