Making a Successful Career Transition

Transitions are times when growth occurs.  They are usually uncomfortable. Most people feel most vulnerable during the transition.  It is as if we lose our balance and one slight push can topple us.

A recent client told me the company she was working for got sold and the new company made changes to the old company’s departments. The boss who hired her for her finance position was fired and replaced with someone new.

The new boss was clearly over his head.  He didn’t seem to know much about finance.  She offered to help him, but he refused her help.  Because she was watching the financial reports, she could see the company was in a downward spiral.  She tried to warn her boss, but he didn’t listen and told her if she thought that the company was failing, she should just leave.  He even added that he was surprised she hadn’t left yet because there was no future for her in that company.  In fact he said she was not leader material. It took her some time to act on this feedback, but she finally resigned.

The experience did a job on her confidence.  She kept wondering if in fact her former boss was right and that she was not the leader she had aspired to be.  She wondered if she was in the right field and was even considering changing careers when she came to me.

We spent some time talking about her experience with her boss.  What really struck her when she looked back at the situation was how ill prepared her boss had been for his job both as a manager and a finance professional.  In the end she realized he was jealous of her experience and took his frustration and stress out on her.

Before we had a chance to discuss different careers, she got a call from a vendor she knew from her old job.  The vendor told her about a job she had just heard about and that she had given the hiring manager my client’s name and told him that my client would be perfect for the job.  My client followed up immediately and they set up an appointment for an interview.

My client told me she and the interviewer got along very well and that during the interview he said to her; “You certainly are passionate about finance.”  She was surprised by the comment but when she thought about it, she realized he was right.

So much for looking for a new career!  She had the one she wanted, and she knew that working in finance was what she wanted to do.  Several days later she heard from the interviewer that they would be making her a job offer.

This transition was painful for my client and her confidence was really bruised but she took the time to learn from the situation.   If she accepts their offer, she will be making another transition.  With an enthusiasm for the new job and for finance, she should be able to sail through that transition without losing her balance.

It is surprising to me how many bosses give their direct reports dire predictions about themselves and their career prospects.  It can be very debilitating for the employee.  If this happened to you or has happened to you in the past and you haven’t come to terms with it, a coach can help.  I’d love to be your coach.  Call me at 617-240-5353 or email me at


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