Easter is often a time of rest and reflection. A time where people consider renewal and reinvention of themselves and in some cases, their careers. Never more so than in 2022 when, with the world opening up again, many of us are seeking to bring back our pre-pandemic mojo! If this sounds like you and you’re looking to mix things up, here are some ideas on how to reinvent your professional-self.
1. Get back out there! Into the office and into your network
I am one of the first people to extol the pandemic-led benefits to work-life flexibility. The 60/40 model that many firms have taken offers a much better work-life equilibrium as well as improved productivity compared to several years ago.
That said, there is a danger in swinging too far the other way. Nothing beats meeting a client, stakeholder or colleague in person. Some of us have got very comfortable at home and need a bit of a push to ‘get back out there’. There are times that it’s required more effort than it did pre-pandemic with uncertainty around who is comfortable to meet in person, can we hug or do we elbow-pop instead, the logistics around finding a time to meet given everyone is working flexibly. But without a doubt, in most markets, 2022 is the time to restore in person meetings and many of our clients are encouraging their teams to do this. There are more in-person networking and professional development events happening; client lunches and team building away-days are most certainly back on the cards.
“I’m worried that the pandemic will end up putting professional women back 10 years. Whilst the flexibility now available is fantastic; at my firm it’s the women with young families who are often not returning to the office in the same way as everyone else. You can’t under-estimate the relationship building, profile raising and ultimately career progression benefits of regular and incidental face-time with Partners and the CMO.” Head of BD, accounting firm.
“We certainly offer flexible working and can accommodate hiring someone on a 50/50 model, however they need to understand that when you start a new job developing relationships and face-time is a big priority. We would expect them to come into the office more in the first 6 months to set themselves up for success.” Director of BD law, when hiring a new SBDM and negotiating flexibility.
2. Dust off your ambition! It’s time for a career move
Much has been said about the ‘Great Resignation’ and many professionals in our network are seriously considering and making career moves. Have you been treading water in your career for the past couple of years? Do you need the change and challenge that comes with a new role, team or sector focus to reinvigorate your professional self?
If yes, then it’s time to be strategic about it. When did you last sit down and map out your career goals? Where are you headed? What’s important to you? What’s going to really motivate or excite you?
Some things to think about when reflecting on your career:
- Are you positioning a career path to lead to a C-suite role?
- Are you becoming an expert in a certain client group and/or sector?
- If you are ‘open to opportunities’ that come to you, how will you recognise the right role when you see it?
- What are the gaps in your skill set and what sort of opportunity do you need to address these?
- If you’ve only worked in market leading brands, is it time to join a challenger brand?
- Is it time to move from large global to boutique firm (or vice versa)?
- What other sectors does your skill set transfer to? For example, law to engineering or consulting to accounting or planning & design to law?
- How financially driven are you? And how does that affect your next move?
- What does ‘the right cultural fit’ & ‘values alignment’ with an employer mean to you?
- What kind of mentors have you had so far, and what mentor are you looking for in your next role?
If these are questions you’re asking yourself, now is the time to get in touch with us.
“A lot of work is going into retention at all costs at present – with much reflection on why people leave and how to prevent this. But really, sometimes people just need change. And you need to know when to let people go. And when it’s also healthy for your own team to lose even good people, so you can hire in new perspective and diversity of ideas.” CMO, law firm.
3. Complete career change
If the change and challenge available on your current career path is not enough for you; maybe it’s time to change career path. Over the years we’ve seen professional services marketing alumni turn their ‘side-hustles’ into their main focus and become successful entrepreneurs or re-train as teachers, chefs and more. However, it’s more common for a complete career change to be adjunct to your career path so far. One example we see is more senior professionals moving into consulting and setting up on their own.
Our own Angela Maglieri is the perfect example having moved from professional services marketing to recruitment! This sort of adjunct career move most often comes from your network – from researching, having coffees and telling the right people that you’re interested in this new path.
“I’d mentioned in passing to Graham over a year ago that I had an interest in recruitment and we’d talked about what that career move might look like. And so, when the opportunity came up, Graham & Katie knew to call me right away. .” Angela Maglieri, Director, Seldon Rosser
If this sounds like you, take counsel from your mentors and network and make sure you’re ready and the timing is right. And if you’re not resolute in your passion and focus as well as being financially and logistically ready for the change you’re planning, ensure you’ve spoken to us and really understand all your diverse options in professional services marketing first – you might be surprised.
And if you’re interested in a career in recruitment, make sure you let us know!
4. An overseas adventure? Relocating with your career
Over the years we’ve been involved in some major international relocations and what a joy it is for Seldon Rosser to be able to get involved in these once more. We have made some really interesting international placements over the last 6 months (BD Director / Senior BD Manager and BD Manager) and predict this trend will continue, particularly for BD/Bid roles.
If you’re interested in an international move, the first step is research! Talk to us to find out your options. Research the markets you want to target (cost of living, tax rate, pension/super, relocation assistance, visas, team structures and roles available, the attractiveness of your experience to employers in that market). Talk about it deeply with your family or partner to ensure you’re ready. And if it all stacks up then you’re ready to start getting out there and applying!
If you already have working rights in a particular location then that is always going to be helpful. Otherwise Dubai, New Zealand and Singapore are markets where we regularly see firms seek out international talent with visas and relocation packages on offer. We are currently seeing Australia, UK & US based firms initially looking at those with working rights, with occasional examples where visas will be considered.
If an international move is on your radar then please let us know and we will be delighted to help where we can and we can share our personal experience.
“Moving from Melbourne to the North of England during the pandemic was a huge undertaking. It wasn’t the first time my husband & I have relocated, but at a new stage of life there was much more to organise and to consider. I have long supported candidates in relocating their careers and lives across the globe but, with this fresh personal experience, I and the rest of Seldon Rosser have a renewed empathy and understanding of all it means for candidates personally and logistically when they pick up and relocate their lives.” Graham Seldon, Director, Seldon Rosser
5. Re-set and re-invent yourself
Sometimes you can re-invent yourself without making major change. How can you shake things up within your current role, team and life?
- Strategy and team re-set: strive for constant improvement
Every couple of years at Seldon Rosser we ask ourselves the question ‘what would we do if we were setting this business up from scratch today’? It’s a great way to consider strategy, CX, team, infrastructure and process from a whole new angle. Every time we have done this an exciting idea or change has come from it. It’s a great way to regularly re-invent, challenge the status quo and constantly improve.
How can you reset and reinvent with your team? Don’t just consider this if you’re a Director – you can consider this at any level.
- Shake up your routine: design think your life!
This is a particularly big one for working parents. We regularly fall into patterns of how we manage the juggle and sometimes the way we do this is ‘just as it is’ because it seems just too hard to change it. But this may not be the best approach. Take some time to really think about it. Is there a better way to manage your week? Can you mix your routine up a little to alleviate ‘same old/same old’? Shaking up your routine can be a huge reinvention!
“I was worried about my promotion from a national to regional role and juggling the after-hours meetings and calls with managing my family and kids. However, when I was reassured and reminded of the firm’s flexible and supportive culture, I realised this role actually offered me more flexibility and ownership over my hours. I had to reshape my thinking about my daily and weekly routine – and when I did that it became a hugely exciting prospect!” Head of Marketing Communications, engineering firm.
- Work & travel, travel & work
Most firms now have a policy which allows employees to work a certain number of weeks a year from another national or global office with even more flexibility if you have a regional or global role. Can you relocate for a few weeks and work from another office – to spend time with family or just explore a country you’ve never been to?
- Consider your personal brand
This can be a really fun part of reinvention. From sprucing up your ‘get back out there’ 2022 wardrobe; to investing in your LinkedIn profile and digital presence; to challenging yourself to step up in the way you communicate with partners, clients and colleagues, there’s lots to be done!
When was the last time you had a plan for developing your leadership skills? Have you considered what soft skills you need to develop to position yourself in a more senior light than you currently are? Do you have a mentor supporting you on this personal growth journey? All of these considerations can help you to really reinvent yourself and have fun in the process!
6. Learn something new. Or find a way to give back
A new project can be hugely reinvigorating and can come in so many different forms. Consider these options and think about talking to your manager/CMO/partners or network to find out more about the possibilities:
- Most firms offer opportunities to get involved in D&I and CSR initiatives. Find out what exists and see what interests you.
- What L&D does your firm offer – and are you taking advantage of all that you can?
- Have you always wanted to take a particular course? There’s so much out there – from a Masters to a shorter and more manageable course, there’s something sure to spark your interest.
- How about setting up an interest group with your colleagues? It could be a regular coffee meeting to share ideas or a more formal professional book club. All it takes is a couple of like-minded people to join in. Who knows where it can go!
- Is there someone you could mentor in your business or your broader network that would benefit from your experience? It doesn’t have to be formal – it’s all about sharing experiences and supporting others to grow in the process. And it feels great too.
- Is there a cause that you’re really passionate about that could benefit by you ‘giving back’? This could be a formal Board position or Committee for a professional industry body or a charity. Or it could be getting some of your team together to get involved in some volunteer work. This is a great way to stay connected and to build new relationships too.
I am convinced that almost every one of us feels the need to reinvent to some degree in 2022! Do any of these ideas excite you? What are you going to do about it?