If you’re considering a major career move, then you’re not alone. Recent research and expert commentary about the “Great Resignation” clearly indicate that something new and potentially transformational is happening in the workplace. Right or wrong, people are making sudden career changes.
So, how do you position yourself to capitalize on the expertise you’ve acquired through your good work?
I recommend that you start with The Business of Expertise, by David C. Baker. A colleague of mine recently gave me the same suggestion. Baker’s advice offers an interesting and practical blueprint to convert your professional expertise into valuable insights that can be shared with clients and customers to help them achieve their goals while you create personal wealth for your family.
Baker approaches the subject from the viewpoint of an entrepreneurial expert. He is a business advisor who helps others build better careers and businesses by refining and selling their expertise. The book outlines his valuable insights in a straightforward manner that should resonate with entrepreneurs from virtually every industry, including my two favorites – law and construction.
If the goal is to differentiate your valuable talents from those of the competition, then it’s simply not enough being a hardworking, trustworthy individual or company with a proven track record for delivering spectacular projects on time and on budget. Those excellent credentials are now nothing more than the minimum table stakes to get invited into the arena. To be considered an exceptional talent in the eyes of potential clients and customers, you must learn to combine your professional expertise with the skills of strategic entrepreneurship.
But that’s not all. If you have ever considered making a major change so you can achieve something greater in life, then you know how nerve racking and challenging that thought process can become. It’s because there are often significant risks involved. For example, if company profits are steady, your personal compensation is fair and sufficient to meet your family’s needs, and you don’t have to take on financial responsibility to drum up new clients or customers, then it will take some real courage to make a major career move. Simply put, it will just feel easier and safer to stay the course. The grass isn’t always greener, right?
But don’t be afraid to make the right moves. I’ve been lucky enough to make at least four game-changers during my career. The first was in year three of my law practice in Iowa. I decided to find a job with a good law firm in Colorado, and I did. The second was in year 23. I concluded that I needed to change law firms so I could reposition my practice to achieve greater professional satisfaction and financial success, and I did. The last two moves came after I started my own business six years ago, and I’m still very pleased with those decisions, too.
Trust me, those moves didn’t come easily. And, fortunately, they didn’t turn out to be the type of opportunistic job changes that seem so popular today. But I understood that the right career moves for me would have to be the product of a diligent planning and decision-making process, which considered all the potential consequences.
I wish you the same good luck.
Gene – I agree that lawyers (and really any service professional) would benefit from the book you mention above. And when they add strategic entrepreneurship to their practice expertise… watch out!
Thank you for the suggested reading and your thoughtful insights, Susanne. I’m hoping others find this book meaningful and see the value it can add to an already dynamic Colorado workforce.