Three continents, five roles and one company – the past 10 years have been a rollercoaster, one I’ve jumped on and gone with all the twists and turns it brought. Starting as Brand Marketing Manager for the MENA region in Dubai, to becoming Global Director of Marketing Procurement in the US, to moving into a European Director Brand Activation & Media role in Germany and now to Brand Activation Director for the Emerging Markets back in Dubai, I’ve gone through quite a few career changes.
With each career change I’ve had to grow and develop to make sure my family and I get the most out of the opportunity and to in turn perform at my best in the new team that I join.
As Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
I approach my career in the same confident manner, with these three key tips helping me on great journeys of change.
1. Define your purpose and personal story
The stories and words we choose for our internal narrative are critical to building a strong foundation of mental resilience and adaptability. Start by asking a few questions:
- Why am I doing this? If you love and believe in something enough it will take you places. I’ve always loved sport and I consider myself lucky to be doing something I love (merging my passion with my profession).
- What is my objective? Set aspirational professional goals. Strive for something ambitious worthy of time, effort and energy. I wrote down four big ambitious career goals that I wanted to achieve as I embarked on my first relocation. By the end of my third relocation I had achieved three and was within arm’s length of the fourth. Setting the bar high pulls you upwards and big goals take time to achieve.
- What will I bring to the table? Lean into your core strengths, the problems you solve and who you’re solving them for. I stay rooted in the tangible value I create for others through Brand Activation while focused on the future value I will create by developing a cross-functional/cross-cultural leadership skillset.
2. Cultivate your mindset – growth lies in the experience
If you look at your life over the last month you may not see change, but if you look at your life over the last year you will. What about if you looked at all the career changes you’ve achieved in the last five years or 10 years?
- Broaden your horizon to view the evolution and transformation. This helps put the current chapter of change you are experiencing into context as one of many building blocks you are intentionally placing on your path.
- The best is yet to come. Positive framing helps me seek out the good, the possible and the solution in every situation. I know that good things have happened, and even better things will happen in the future.
- Seek teachers and mentors. I have a core set of role models that have inspired me, pushed me to be my best and have given their time, effort and energy to my development. Those leaders’ role modeled and shared their personal stories of career growth and journeys. It is what you make of it and there is no linear formula or path.
3. Drive stability in the first 90 days
You may end up making big career changes that take you halfway across the world, multiple times. I’d like to let you know it never gets easier, you just get more adept at managing the change. Embracing uncertainty is an opportunity to stay focused on what matters most. I work from the core out. Self/Home/Work.
- Take care of yourself: It can’t be underestimated how discipline and consistency fuel high performance and a steady routine helps bring that stability in a big move.
- Take care of home: That means I ensure each member of my family is supported, nurtured and cared for in their new environment. Build and design an ecosystem for a happy home.
- Take care of work: You came all this way, now is the time to perform. Get excited, you’re making it happen. By now you ‘know your why’, ‘you’ve got big goals’ and the ‘right mindset’. Treat every day like the first day, with curiosity and a passion to be your best.
I pass these tips on to you in the spirit that wherever you may be while reading this it will spur you to action your career changes with courage, growth and discovery, and give you the push you needed to follow Dale Carnegie’s words and “go out and get busy”.