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Disrupt Your Career

How to Navigate Uncharted Career Transitions and Thrive

By Antoine Tirard and Claire Lyell

Paperback, 310 pages

Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services

 

Professionals face many critical crossroads in their careers, sometimes unpredictable, sometimes more expected, but for which they were often not truly prepared.

This book discusses many such career transitions – from leaving a corporation to joining a non-profit, evolving from athlete to executive, or returning to a former employer.

Using the stories of 50 leaders interviewed all over the world, the authors describe what provokes the change, the challenges it creates, how the individual is surviving the transition, and what effective leaders do to navigate and grow from it.

The book offers a simple, easy-to-use framework to help make the most of any uncharted transition. To thrive, you have to follow a four-stage process of Exploring, Experimenting, Engaging and Expanding. Drawing on examples of a wide range of companies, Disrupt Your Career also provides recommendations to help organizations better acquire, develop and retain talent.

With both compelling stories and rigorous research, Disrupt Your Career serves as a call to exploit novel ways to approach careers and presents practical advice to help both individuals and organizations better prepare, manage, and make the most of career changes – ultimately leading to more fulfilling careers.

Authors

Antoine Tirard is a talent management advisor and the founder of NexTalent. He is the former head of talent management of Novartis and LVMH.

Claire Harbour-Lyell is a coach and global talent expert, the founder of Culture Pearl and a speaker, consultant and writer about all things to do with optimizing talent across borders.

What People Are Saying

Stories from Career Changers

Gabriel, France

MSc Engineeering, ICAM   ->  Electronics Engineer, PSA Peugeot Citroën

Gabriel’s father pushed him to take Chinese lessons when he started engineering school. He obeyed, somewhat unenthusiastically, but nevertheless, this opened his eyes to other opportunities. When a friend of a friend mentioned an internship in a Peugeot Citroën joint venture in China, he sent his CV, realizing that his study of Chinese, while not a job requirement, just might convince the potential employer.  At this point, he had no specific agenda, but was attracted by doing “something different”. Gabriel’s transition to working life in Wuhan was bumpy. He found it deeply depressing not to be able to communicate in a language he thought he’d mastered. He found himself working out of a dark, unheated basement, with little support.

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Richard, USA

Engineer   ->  Physician, advocate for a low-carbohydrate diabetes diet

Richard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 in 1946. He readily says “I do not know of many diabetics who developed the illness around that time who are still alive”. The story of how he has beaten those odds is a modern-day battle of David and Goliath, but it has brought better health to many thousands of those enlightened enough to follow his methods. During his childhood, Richard used the techniques of the time, including sterilizing his needles and syringes by boiling them and sharpening the needles on abrasive stone. Every night his parents would go to sleep, nervous that he would not wake up in morning, due to one of the crashing low blood sugar that he regularly suffered from, given the inaccuracy of insulin dosing at that time. By the time he was 25, and working as an engineer, Richard was already suffering many of the side-effects such as frozen shoulders, deformed feet, and kidney disease. While his doctor told him that this was normal, he could see clearly that if he continued on this path he would not live to see his young children grow up.

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Thomas, Germany

Consultant, McKinsey & Company   ->  CEO, Polychrome Europe

Thomas was a junior consultant at McKinsey, aged 30, having already operated as sales director, finance director and even member of the executive committee, in a French steel company for Northern Europe. This was a time when McKinsey was moving towards more work in implementation of strategy, and so Thomas was of great interest to them, having a strategic brain and a top MBA, as well as deep experience of a significant industry. As clients got to know of his existence, they started demanding to work with him, as he was the one who had real experience, as opposed to most of the other career consultants. He found it intellectually stimulating but he realized that it is easy to tell such leaders what to do, but far harder to make it happen. He was missing the implementation!

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Jonathan, UK

Doctor in Neurosurgery   ->  Innovation and strategy executive, healthcare companies

Jonathan stumbled into the medical field from a young age through brilliant scientific academic performance in high school along with social pressure.This is how he found himself studying medicine to Cambridge and “hating it”. Curiously, once he began the phase of his training in which he spent time on wards dealing with people, leading teams as well as counseling with patients, he realized he enjoyed this part. This motivated him to work hard and to aspire to what is perceived to be one of the most challenging aspect of medicine: surgery. Early on, he realized that he would never be a “great” surgeon, and did not want to settle for being only average. What is more, he observed that he had never met a happy senior surgeon, and chose not to pursue this path for much longer.

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Greg, USA

Director of Business, Development Executive, Programs, Business School   ->  Director of Corporate Relations & Market Development, Business School

Greg certainly found that the personal relationships and “clan” at a well-known East Coast business school were a constant link, as he wove back and forth, in and out of this great school. His description of his path is quite different to that of some of the others here, as what he mentions most is how there was a lot of serendipity involved in his long career, that “just happens” to include multiple moves in and out of the school. As a young MBA in 1975, Greg’s first job was on the MBA Admissions Committee for his university. He had chosen this role not least because he just could not see himself taking a more traditional MBA route like consulting at McKinsey or trading options on Wall Street.

Rahaf, Syria

Syrian refugee   ->  Entrepreneur & Founder at FirstDate Daffee

Rahaf began her university degree in business just one year before war broke out in Syria. Hardworking and not easily frightened, she kept up her studies, despite the nearby shelling and the constant blackouts. Wrapped in warm blankets in the unheated lecture theatres, she witnessed her fellow students being arrested. After graduation, her first job was in a Danish NGO’s procurement department. She started as a volunteer, soon proved her worth, and began to earn a salary. A few years later, Rahaf looked to continue her career beyond the frontiers of Syria. She came across an international NGO in Turkey, where she thought she could add value while living more safely and freely. A young man called Tamim reviewed her CV and was utterly impressed by her accomplishments and determination.

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