Grammy Award Winner, Professional Circus Artist, and Apple Veteran Change Their Careers
- Recovery mode
Stuart Copeland was one of the founders of The Police. Kelly Richards grew up where the Apple office where she worked later appeared. Here are their career change tips. Of course, not everything that the author says is suitable for our realities. But, nevertheless, now the situation on the labor market is such that many of us are thinking about whether it is time to change the sphere of activity . Let's try to get the most out of the life experience of others!
I grew up in Cupertino, California, long before the advent of Apple. Later, for 12 years, I headed her music and entertainment department. My office at that time was in the same place where I collected apricots in childhood.
Leaving Apple to pursue a new career was not easy. But, like every native of Silicon Valley, I found that I still have the entrepreneurial vein necessary for rebirth. Over the years, I was lucky to make friends with creative, inspirational people who were endowed with similar inclinations - for many of them, their careers made even more unexpected zigzags than mine. That's what I learned myself from leaving Apple, and what I learned from them.
Learning to see signs
I have always been in love with music - this is from the very beginning that determined my career goals. But in 1998, when Apple was experiencing serious financial problems, and before the launch of iTunes there were 3 more years left, digital music was definitely not included in the list of priority areas.
When this became apparent, it was not easy to accept this situation, especially after spending more than 10 years at the company. But other factors, from leadership policies to ongoing reorganizations, helped me make the decision to change course. The only thing that brought me joy at Apple was the satisfaction of my interest in the interaction of music and technology. Therefore, I took advantage of my experience and launched my own business to concentrate on this - I opened a store just a mile from Apple headquarters.
Having made such a decision, I faced new difficulties - obstacles that await anyone who radically changes the sphere of activity. At that moment, for the sake of a portion of inspiration, I turned my eyes to those friends and colleagues who had already experienced this.
1. Always rely on your strengths
As my friend Steward Copeland knows, in order to exert maximum influence - no matter what and where you do - you need to know and use your strengths and talents. Copeland - most often referred to as the co-founder and drummer of The Police, and recently named the 10th greatest drummer according to Rolling Stone - is a talented performer and composer who has been looking for opportunities to apply his abilities in a variety of projects.
Born in the United States, but growing in Lebanon, Copeland trial and error woven ethnic musical motifs into his own style, receiving feedback from local musicians and constantly practicing. So he used 3 key elements, without which career growth is simply unthinkable.
However, throughout all these experiments and training, Copeland’s main strengths remained unchanged. You can see (or rather hear) in his various musical works. In addition to working at The Police, Copeland launched another successful project: he wrote soundtracks for films, TV programs and video games, as well as operas, ballets and music for symphony orchestras.
How did he do it? Undoubtedly, being at the top of the music charts and receiving Grammy awards, Copeland acquired powerful connections . But if he had not created strong creative unions, he would hardly have managed to advance that far. And all these relationships helped him realize his talents, move forward, working together.
In other words, he did not need to become what they were not. On the contrary, Copeland built a network that allowed him to look for new open spaces in which he could express his musical talent.
To test his strength and develop, he simply accepted feedback from other artists, directors and producers, who provided him with the opportunity to achieve his goal.
To successfully launch a second career, determine, using external feedback and internal reflection, what your key strengths are. How have others strengthened your talents? How do you think you managed to stand out? Do not think about how your adventure will be realized. Concentrate on “what” and “why” - on your strengths and interests, thanks to which they develop.
2. Set a new course based on your inclinations
My buddy Michael Marlene (or just Marlene) is a transformation wizard. It is difficult to even list in one sentence everything that he did. Being in love with many activities, Marlin does not want to part with any of them. He escaped to the circus to become a world-class juggler. He tried his hand at making toys. He created a light show called LUMA, wrote books, worked on TV shows, and even played in a Christmas film.
No one can be called a man of the Renaissance with a greater right than Marlin, but his subtle sense of what inspires him deserves attention. Many career coaches do not recommend following their own interests, calling such advice rash and outdated. But this, rather, is true for a situation where you do not want to disclose and develop your hobbies.
Before combining your personal and professional interests, you must identify them and prioritize them. Which of them inspire you the most right now, regardless of what filled you with energy at the time when you entered into your former role? What resources will you need to realize your current interests? What is your time frame? Think about the financial side: which of the hobbies can bring you income, and how quickly? If you need third-party investors, then how can you attract them?
Answer these questions and identify market needs. Then use your enthusiasm to stand out from the competition - and then, as Marlin has done many times, just act.
3. Do not discard your previous successes, use them as a basis
During college, I worked in Guitar Player and Keyboard magazines and produced talented artists. This led to EMI Music hiring me as an executive director. And later, I ended up at Apple as the head of the music and entertainment group.
The knowledge and connections that I acquired during the performance of each of these roles helped me to become who I am now - the founder and CEO of my own company. And, as in the case of Copeland, it was precisely the strong ties that formed while I was doing what I loved that contributed to my promotion .
Once, Jerry Seinfeld and I talked in front of a corporate party, to which I invited him. Knowing about my serious connections at Apple, he asked if I could introduce him to Steve Jobs. I was happy to help. My strong relationship benefited not only two key figures at once, but also myself, because their acquaintance happened thanks to me.
Expand your connections at every opportunity. Use them to offer help to other people. Over time, you will be able to optimize the accumulated resources and communications. By creating new opportunities for others, you actually pay by installments your own future paths to success.
4. Never stop asking yourself, “What if ...?”
I found that the successful creators of a second career are usually curious creative people who are constantly interested in opportunities. After working for companies such as Apple, Yahoo and Paramount, my friend and colleague Randy Hakin asked himself: “What if I could get further backstage of this ecosystem?” He became a partner at VC Film, an informal investor and professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
Heikin's consistent philanthropic activity allowed him to realize his next dream. He created the nonprofit organization Gratitude Network, helping millions of people around the world with socially owned businesses. He also opened his own Entrepreneur Wines winery.
Of course, his success, experience and powerful connections helped to realize each of these initiatives to Heikin. But not the last role was played by his curiosity and fantastic flair for opportunities. To activate it, sometimes you need to look at the situation more broadly, calm your mind and take the mindset of a beginner. Imagine that you have no answers, and start asking questions. What do you not know from the things you are interested in? What opportunity would you like to take?
Developing a new career can be difficult, but as I discovered, this is one of the most wonderful and enjoyable ways to change your life. If you feel oppressed, you are bored, and the work does not interest you, then you do not need to put up with this: you can always reconsider your choice.
PS. We recommend another useful article on the topic of self- development - Lessons that 7 very successful people have learned from their failures .
The author of the translation is Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of TESTutor .