March 12, 2019

Case Study: When Intent Paid Off

Bryan knew moving from one industry (tech) to another (non-profit) would be tough. Intent (& a super-clear Professional Story) played a key part in his success.

Bryan and I have known each other for over 15 years.  We were both in tech during the early 2000’s here in Seattle.  Me: Big Software.  Bryan: Big e-Commerce.

After an international move to build a global Support team, Bryan found himself stuck on the east coast looking for something new.

That’s when he picked-up the phone and gave me a call.

“Tom, I want to make a bigger impact.  I’m thinking non-profit.  I’m sick of the corporate (and tech) grind and I need your help.”

I’m used to shifts all the time.  From Program Management to Operations.  From Account Management to Sales.  From Engineering to Product Planning.

But this was a transition … a big transition!

After spending the next day brainstorming strategy, Bryan and I agreed that my signature 8-week immersive partnership was the best approach.  We needed a new foundation.  We needed a new plan.  We needed new marketing materials (Resume/Linked In). We needed to tell a different Story.

We also needed a shift in headspace – more intent around this new path without the noise (or draw) of anything outside this new non-profit sector.  This was tough, but proved to be really important in Bryan’s eventual success landing somewhere totally new.

Here’s where intent played a critical role in Bryan’s Engaged Pursuit:

Staying focused on the right opportunities.  Those of you who are actively looking for something new are familiar with this – lots of noise coming from Linked-In, Indeed, your former co-workers, friends/family, etc. Bryan knew exactly what he wanted and eliminated about 95% of opportunities sent to his inbox. This was tough, but he knew it was worth his critical eye.
 
Staying focused on the right messaging.  Bryan had to really re-work his “Professional Story” to match his passion for non-profit. One big change: We limited the intense focus on revenue and focused more on impact.  We worked a lot on how and why he was making this transition from tech to non-profit – not easy work!

Staying focused on the right marketing materials.  The old way Bryan presented himself on his resume and Linked-In needed a change. We outright stated that non-profit was the new sector for him with direct language around the value he could add to these types of organizations. We spent a lot of time customizing his resume for each role and made sure Linked-In was constantly updated a well – neither were static marketing vehicles throughout the process.

Staying focused on the right attitude during “the middle”.  There were weeks where Bryan was discouraged. Nothing looked interesting or organizations weren’t hiring.  During these weeks in “the middle” Bryan and I talked a ton about the value this shift will eventually bring and the importance of staying positive and focused.  Lots of time together over the phone and lots of time alone for Bryan on the Insight Timer app meditating!

Staying focused on the right interview tactics.  We learned that focusing on the person was much more important in non-profit interviews than the results we saw in tech interviews. Questions like “How do you think?” and “What would you do?” and “Why make this change?” were central in every interview stage (from Recruiting calls to the final in-person interview experience).

Staying focused on the right elements of the offer.  You guessed it! The compensation was not what Bryan was used to, but that was ok – we prepared for this and stayed focused on the other elements of the offer. Flexibility, HealthCare, Community Involvement, and a commitment to Diversity & Inclusion were more important to Bryan than the money! We knew this was going to be the reality of this new path and that was ok with Bryan!  There were other levers we could pull in the final offer negotiation (and we did)!

Bottom line:  Bryan accepted a VP-level Operations role within the non-profit of his dreams! It took a while, don’t get me wrong – we were in “the middle” for about 5 months – but it was worth it!  The Engaged Pursuit 8-week intensive experience AND Bryan’s intent on finding the right opportunity really paid off!

Your homework this week: Are you thinking about all the ways intent can play a role in your Engaged Pursuit?  If you’re considering something totally new, are you really focused on ALL elements of this experience (the Professional Story, the interviewing techniques, the marketing materials and the potential offer)?  If you’d like some help thinking about it, let me know!

Coming-up next time:  It’s March, and that means two things … daffodils and only a couple months from COLLEGE GRADUATION!  Students out there –GULP!  Parents out there – GULP!  Don’t worry though – I’m spending the next several weeks giving you all the help you’ll need to make this transition into the real world. Up next time – how to start translating your college experiences into something valuable for potential employers!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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