My first real career was in retail banking and for 11 years I climbed the corporate ladder faster than most. It helped that I was working in banking during a time when mergers and acquisitions happened frequently which not only made me embrace change, it afforded me the ability to demonstrate my skills, learn new skills and advance quickly.
22 years ago a bank I was working for was acquired by a huge bank that didn’t need many of us to stay on past the conversion date, and yet I was asked where I might want to work for them. I said training, and I soon began my next career. Even though I worked for this bank another 6 years, the training manager I worked for told me early on that I was no longer a banker, but that I was a learning professional. She was out to prove to me that I was now in a different industry that just happened to support a bank.
I’ve had a few less employers since working in the learning field, but just as many opportunities to grow. From a trainer, designer, manager and Chief Learning Officer I branched out into my own consulting practice for the past 8 years. And recently a well-respected friend asked me “what are you going to do next Jim?”
I didn’t know what to say. I had not thought there was going to ever be a next, but this person knows me well and assumed I would have changed careers even before now. I get bored easily, and often go looking for a challenge which in the past has meant a harder job or something brand new to learn.
So now I am left to wonder if I dropped the ball a few years back and should have already embarked on my third career. I’m now exploring my options and wondering out loud what kind of career change from here makes sense or if it is even necessary. I know many of you have friends and relatives that you know have been in training development, and I am open to ideas on what sounds like a good transition.
I love working with people, and I love solving problems. For me this still sounds like training, but maybe for you it says something else.
Please share your thoughts and ideas…………………