160. Why is changing careers so scary: What to do to overcome your fearsNov 14, 2022
Career changes can be challenging, but there are many things you can do to ensure that your new path will be successful. For this episode of The Job Hunting Podcast, I interviewed May Samali, a leadership coach who has had many career changes and is keen to share how she's managed to land on her feet. Together, May and I will advise you on how to prepare yourself for your career transition and choose the best career path for you.
These are the three lessons I learned from my chat with May:
1. Do your research.
Before making any significant decisions, make sure you've done your research. Find out what kind of work you're interested in and whether it's something you enjoy. If not, think about why you might not want it. This will help you decide whether or not you should pursue it. When you listen to the episode, you'll see that May has always been on a personal discovery path, taking mental notes and observing others at work, trying to identify the type of work she wanted to do and was a good fit for. May is also an avid reader, and I could tell she had thoroughly embraced her career transitions and learned a lot along the way.
2. Find out what's right for you.
Once you've decided what career or job you want, find out what skills you need to succeed in that field, look at the requirements for the position you want, and see if you have those skills. If not, consider taking some classes or training programs to learn them. May is an advocate of knowing your "why": that reason that sits inside other questions such as "what" and "how." When you get to the root of your motivation to change careers, the path (what and how) becomes more evident, and you know how to take steps toward change.
3. Start making changes.
If you're thinking about changing careers, know there is no perfect time to act. Don't wait until you burn out or lose motivation before making changes. Take incremental steps, and know that it becomes easier and more straightforward with each small change you make toward your goal.
About our guest:
May Samali is a professionally certified leadership coach, facilitator, researcher, venture partner, and business founder. With more than a decade of international experience as a lawyer, venture capital investor, and technology CEO, May has founded the Human Leadership Lab to help individuals and organizations identify their purpose and unleash their power and potential. She is also a Senior Industry Fellow at FORWARD, RMIT University's Centre for Future Skills and Workforce Transformation, and a Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, a network-driven venture capital firm headquartered in the US.
May holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she studied as an Australian John Monash Scholar, Gleitsman Leadership Fellow, and New World Social Innovation Fellow. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws and Economic & Social Sciences from Sydney University.
Based between Sydney and San Francisco, May loves almond milk lattes, morning hikes, and quality time with her family and furry friends. Her primary areas of interest include leadership, entrepreneurship, the future of work, and well-being. She has been published on these topics in multiple outlets, including The Australian, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, TechCrunch, Forbes, and VentureBeat.
04:06 - May Samali's career story
05:09 - May Samali's passion for human rights
06:31 - Moving from corporate to entrepreneur
10:25 - May Samali's mindset and strengths
12:06 - How May Samali maximizes impact
14:45 - Following questions
18:43 - May Samali's regrets
22:15 - Failure and success
24:10 - Stepping into restructuring
25:32 - Psychological safety
26:26 - Listen and learn
27:42 - Know who you are at your core
30:21 - Why are human skills important?
38:18 - Why are career transitions so scary?
50:10 - May Samali's ideal clients
53:17 - May Samali's love for her work