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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

Diana, UK

Partner, Schroder Ventures (now Permira)  ->  EVP Operations, Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative

Having done “incredibly well” in the private equity field, and reached a “plateau that was less interesting and exciting than the climb up”, Diana found herself CEO of a very prominent firm before 40. She felt that the second half of her working life should be a kind of “setting to rights” to make up for all her success in the first half. To this end, Diana went back to school (Oxford) for a year, hoping to figure out her new destiny, and strongly believing she could not fit into the nonprofit world. But when a friend asked if he could introduce her to the head of the Clinton Foundation, she was intrigued, given the stature of the man. Within twenty minutes, she was hooked on the fact that this was a world of mostly private sector people, solving global problems with a market-driven outlook.

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Ike, Nigeria

CEO & Founder, Centrro Inc.  ->  Asset Management Board Member & Head of Strategy & Corporate Development,eTranzact

Ike, a serial entrepreneur and seller of highly successful businesses, was born in Nigeria into a diplomatic family. He spent his nomadic childhood building his very first companies – selling popcorn to his friends at movie nights in Zimbabwe, and cold drinks to his neighbors in Nigeria. This childhood prepared him for a lifestyle of frequent travel and entrepreneurship. Ike states repeatedly that he believes he was dealt “an incredibly lucky set of cards in life”, with a Silicon Valley education, an engineering qualification and a taste for business. This was the magic combination for success in a series of start-up companies.

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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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Marta, Peru, Spain

Marketing Director, SSP International  ->  CEO Wasi Organics

Marta, a native Peruvian who is now the Founder and CEO of Wasi Organics, left her home country for study in Spain after high school. Later, she took increasingly senior marketing roles at major companies across Europe and the USA. Along the way, she completed an MBA at INSEAD, which further broadened her already very global outlook. The trigger for Marta’s return to Peru was an invitation from a headhunter in London to take a CEO position. Intrigued that she was now perceived as a potential CEO, she started to think hard about what she really wanted to do. Swiftly, she concluded that she wanted her own business and to give back in some way to Peru. This was Marta’s twentieth year in Europe and at that point, eight years ago, she returned home.

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Barbara, UK

Interim HR Director, WPP Group  ->  Founder, The Doubleknot Company Ltd

Barbara has recently undertaken what she calls her “fourth transition”, confidently having become an expert over the years in reflecting on what changes of context are appropriate for her at any given moment. Having dropped out of university with literally no idea of what she wanted to do, she entered the advertising industry via the secretarial route, and fought hard to climb up. She worked for a few years in a variety of independent agencies, progressing in a series of account management roles, and then decided to pursue an MBA. During a lecture on intangible assets, she had an “Aha!” moment, concluding that the next big business issue would be people, so she signed up for the HR route.

Yang, China

Head of China Desk EMEA & Americas, Thomson Reuters  ->  Partner, Managing Director, Yaozhi

Yang has only been back in his native China since the spring of this year. He is still in the “honeymoon” period of his return, wide-eyed at the noisy market in his street, where he can “buy breakfast of any kind whenever he wants”, and disoriented in the perpetually changing mega-city that is Shanghai. Nothing indicated that Yang would have a taste for travel and exploration. His parents were both in the Chinese military and forbidden to travel abroad; thus it was surprising that he chose to study English at university – less so when one discovers that he simply chose the subject he found most difficult, as a special challenge to himself.

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