If you could start your career over, what would you do differently?


In the clear light of 20 : 20 hindsight, do you have regrets or the feeling that somehow your career would have been different if you had done something differently in the past? What if you could start your career over?

Perhaps it is not too late to make a change. Especially with so much of the world economy in flux at the moment.  Turmoil also means opportunity.  And fortune favors the bold.

Let us begin with whether you would do anything differently.  I’ll go first.

The very first time I hired a career management firm was in 1984.  They had me take a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test and it suggested that I was (and am) an INTJ (a slightly introverted, highly intuitive, thinker who tends to plan instead of being spontaneous).  The joke was that people with these characteristics needed a sign over their desks saying “I am not always right.”   

And that is one of my reflections: often when I was younger people read me as arrogant because I was so self-assured.  In fact, that was just the INTJ profile blind-siding me to alternative perspectives—imagine a horse wearing blinders—making potential distractions to the left and right invisible and the path forward apparently very clear.  This has advantages if you are in a leadership role. Though, it also harbors dangers, of course, particularly if your audience feels you are not very responsive or empathetic.

That is the other reflection that comes to me in this context: I wish I had understood more about emotional intelligence earlier.  I came to a certain understanding of the subject while working for a Swedish company in Europe.  They dipped us in Myers-Briggs, Herman Brain Dominance, and a few other psychographic tools for enhancing self-awareness and emotional intelligence.  Some of it stuck with me.

In my case, had I understood these two factors better, I probably would have behaved quite differently during my earlier career. 

Fortunately, when I hired the Barrett Group in 2014 to help me find my next job (this time in the US) I worked with someone who had already learned some of these lessons (Waffles Natusch).  He helped me over the course of several months come to the realization that I in fact did not want another job.  I did not want to roll that rock up the hill again just to see it roll back down.  Instead, I wanted to work for myself and accept the potential risks and rewards that that decision entails.  The process we went through to find this out ultimately became our Clarity Program©. It is the targeting component of our five-step career change process that has led more than 110 executives to land excellent jobs since Covid-19 became serious in April 2020.  (Read more about their successes.)

Well, the point is that it is practically never too late to change direction and consider a more balanced approach to your career.  During the Clarity Program© we use an innovative Whole Life Snapshot to help clients assess where they are on four principle quadrants (Career, Financial, Health, Social) in their lives as input into where they would like to be in the future.  Clients generally find this program refreshing and a great start to their planned career change.  Here’s what one recent client had to say about the Clarity Program©:

“If each of the Barrett group’s Clarity consultants is as intelligent, thoughtful and engaged as the coach I met with then this program is one I would recommend to every executive evaluating career options. The clarity program opens your mind up to critical areas of importance perhaps overlooked by most hard charging professionals. Time and money well spent for sure!” [R. Nelson, October 2020]

Every day we hear from scores of prospective candidates who are looking for a change in their careers. 

They come for many reasons: no growth, no recognition, too little income, recently downsized, threat of redundancy, returning after a pause, exiting the military…and we help them rethink their careers and start over again, generally with much higher satisfaction and income.

How about you?  It is never too late to start again, especially if you hire the Barrett Group.  We make it our job to help you find yours.  Call us.

Peter Irish
CEO
The Barrett Group

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