I don’t know about you, but I haven’t actually decided what I want to be when I grow up. Hey, I’m only 61 and there is still plenty of time! Colonel Sanders didn’t start until he was in his 60’s!
There are, of course, lots of things I have decided I am not going to be. For example, I have definitely decided against a career as a test pilot. Too dangerous, and besides, I am afraid of heights.
Still, within the world as we know it, there are lots of things I am capable of doing. I think the key is not to be bound by old concepts.
As I listen to 90-second announcements at our meetings here in Connecticut, by and large, folks are looking for exactly the kind of job they had before. It is logical and it is in many cases the most appropriate strategy to pursue.
What I am suggesting is that we should at all times be thinking in multiple tracks. Although we need to present a clear direction for our next career move in public meetings, inside we can express doubts and devote time to alternatives.
More than any other profession, I think financial folks tend to be bound by their training and history. We see the world in incremental steps. We have moved through our career up through the ranks and it is only logical to see our next step as something along that path.
However, this doesn’t need to be so.
There is a time in your career, and I don’t know when exactly that is, that you can branch and do other things. For some it can be using our knowledge of financial markets to manage portfolios for others. In other words, out of the corporate world and into the world of personal financial management. We have the skills and we can apply them in other ways.
In my own life, I spent many years in the financial trenches and I was Chief Financial Officer of an Advertising company. For the last 20 some odd years I was a financial officer in firms that required a great deal of personal selling. I got to know salesmen. I studied them. I grew to respect how they practiced their craft. And now I do business development for The FECG, the consulting practice I have built with Bruce Lynn and Doug Fine. I have taken my understanding of what financial folks do every day and combined it with my acquired knowledge of selling to build an new and totally different career for myself, and one that also allows me to spend an unbelievable amount of time on my other favorite activity (no, not sailing), The FENG.
Talk about the best of all worlds!
There are, of course, many variations on this theme. Some members have chosen to move from the for-profit to the not-for-profit world. Others have chosen to teach. Still others have bought small businesses.
The thing to keep in mind is that the future doesn’t have to look like the past. It can be similar or it can be totally different. The choice is yours.
Don’t let the headlong plunge to find a new “work opportunity” dissuade you from pursuing your dreams. And even if you do take another job this time around, keep your secret plan in the back of your mind for next time.
Dreams are what life is all about. Times change. You change. And, your needs change.
Put it all in the context of the here and now and I know you will make a great decision.