changing tack; experienced career switcher speaks out

We see it more and more often, people who start a second career and really do something completely different. So did our BrandPitter: Carolien de Rooi.

Carolien: “I always find it very funny when people start talking about my career switch. That’s because it feels very natural to me and doesn’t really feel like a big step at all, although the truth is that it was. Of course, deep down I hadn’t been completely happy in the work I was doing for a long time. Very honestly, in the beginning I often looked for the cause of this outside myself, it was because of the CEO, the strategy or the organization where I worked. But during an intensive personal development process in which I was able to let go of many old beliefs, I also found out that I was the cause myself. So I started to explore what I wanted to do. I put first and foremost what makes me happy and set that against what I did not want anymore. I found out that freedom, autonomy, speed, entrepreneurship and being able to make real impact are very important elements for me. And things like slow processes, not making choices resulting in a lack of speed cost me a lot of energy and especially a lot of stress. In addition, as a manager I always liked the people aspect best, especially in combination with setting up successful (commercial and strategic) projects.

set clear values for yourself

  • In the end, I created very clear outlines of a new future:
  • Working hard, but deciding for yourself what to do and how to it good
  • Being able to create from this means experiencing less stress
  • Putting people at the center of everything you do is more meaningful
  • Working with the very best people gives a positive vibe and lots of fun
  • For me, substantive challenges are essential for satisfaction

Once I got this clear, things moved quickly. With the elimination of pursuing the ambitious role at a large company as I did before, it created space for very different options. And this allowed me to feel and decide very quickly when BrandPit and I began discussions about a future. I get a lot of energy from being an entrepreneur, working in a small but incredibly talented team. And the content of the work, both connecting people and companies from BrandPit, and helping organizations in change suit me very well. It’s still very hard work, but it’s self-driven. That makes me start my day every day full of energy and fun.

tips if you are considering another career

  1. If you don’t get up happy anymore, remember that you have a choice to do things differently. As human beings, we tend to get stuck in old patterns. Afraid to switch, because some sort of golden cage or a certain security has developed. Take  the challenge and adventure.
  2. Know who you are. Personal development is a broad term and one size fits no one. Find out and discover what suits you best.
  3. Learn to reflect on your actual desires and start discovering what blockages you face. This can really help you see where your qualities lie and actually stand up for them.
  4. Know what you can and find important: your skillset is ultimately more important than your experience. Also read this blog by my colleague Danne.
  5. Maintain and love your network. Have a group of like-minded people and cheerleaders around you. People who have worked with you, know you really well and don’t shy away from the ‘ugly truth’ either.
  6. Be curious, research and be open to all options. An open mindset genuinely opens you up to the most surprising options you could never have thought of on your own.

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