We live in a VUCA world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) and with the arrival of COVID-19 was even more evident, 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, however, it rescued some positive changes: The pandemic accelerated a trend that world-class companies had already set the home office, flexible work, and a more empathetic and generous population, the health and interpersonal relationships were valued more than ever and of course, the freedom to go out and to travel without restrictions.
The economic situation on a global scale is complex, many companies have gone bankrupt, many people have lost their jobs and precisely that fact has caused many executives to think through their professional careers, it can be starting a new business or changing their professions. Some motivated by giving greater meaning to their lives, others by fear of having lost their jobs, some more because their families became their priority number 1.
“If you don't have an "always be learning mindset," you risk becoming irrelevant in your field”
Regardless of the situation, the process is not easy, it requires a lot of courage, support from loved ones, and the experience and knowledge of an expert about a career change. So, I interviewed Carolyn Montrose to ask her what steps people should take for a successful career change.
Carolyn is the Founder of Industrious Agency, which specializes in training and coaching sales, marketing, and creative leaders, teams, and individuals. She is also a Workshop Leader, Speaker, and Adjunct Instructor at New York University. She led talented marketing teams at Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Allure, PEOPLE Magazine, and Men's Health. She pioneered brand storytelling, partnerships, branded content creation, events, and omnichannel campaigns that drove record-breaking advertising revenue.
You had a very successful career in media for several years, working for Conde Nast and People Magazine, why did you decide to found Industrious Agency?
I left my career in media after I gave birth to my daughter. After almost 15 years of long hours and stress, I needed a break to decide what I needed to live my life, not just advance my career.
After a six-month break, I started freelancing for media companies in marketing and event roles. Through these roles, I noticed leaders of organizations were looking to outside consultants for their most important ideas and solutions. This confused me because their teams were smart, creative, and talented; they just needed structure and the permission to be honest. Because I love public speaking and can execute events, I knew I could make a difference in how teams collaborate, ideate, communicate, and solve problems by creating and moderating workshops, company summits and by offering personalized coaching programs.
Talking about Industrious Agency, what services does it provide and what does it make unique in the market?
Industrious Agency is a leadership consultancy offering custom learning and development services for sales, marketing and creative leaders, teams, and individuals. Services include company summit programming, team workshops and individualized coaching.
What makes Industrious unique is that everything I design is customized to my clients' needs; I do not present one-size-fits-all content. Also, because I have a long history in sales, marketing, design, and events, I've either worked in these roles or I've managed people who have. I understand the business.
What are the signs to know is a good time for a career change?
The signs it is time for a career change may include:
- You have an idea that excites you and can positively impact people
- You want to put your family first, but your job doesn't allow it
- Your day-to-day doesn't light you up
- You drag yourself out of bed during the week
- You're short with people
- You're bored
Believe you deserve the best and then align your actions to achieve the best options for your lifestyle.
What are the consequences of staying in a comfort zone?
Two of the biggest consequences of staying in a comfort zone are stunted growth and becoming irrelevant. We are humans, our job is to grow from relationships, mistakes and facing challenges with grace. When we refuse to do so, we stand still, and the world keeps moving. Secondly, if you don't have an "always be learning mindset," you risk becoming irrelevant in your field.
“In order to cross to the other side and achieve your goal, you have to fill the canyon with actions that build your credibility”
Based on your experience as a strategist, instructional designer, and coach, what steps should people make for a Successful Career Change?
You're not on deadline.
Time is a manmade construct. It is NEVER TOO LATE to make a change.
Find your people and you'll find your purpose.
Many people who approach me for help don't know how to find their purpose. I tell them, "Uncovering your purpose has less to do with YOU, and more to do with THE PEOPLE you want to positively impact." Find your people and you'll find your purpose.
Do your research.
Write a networking objective and be specific. Then, source the RIGHT people who can help you achieve that objective. Ask them what actions you need to take to build credibility in your new field.
Everyone has what I call, "A Credibility Canyon." You're on one side and your ultimate goal sits on the other. In order to cross to the other side and achieve your goal, you have to fill the canyon with actions that build your credibility. Example: I'd like to write a book. In order for me to do so, I have to fill my canyon by: testing my concept, building an audience, getting published on blogs and sites, meeting with agents, and you get the idea... The smallest consistent actions will get you across faster than doing nothing or trying to take on too much at once