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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

Dondi, Philippines

Director & CEO, Philpacific Insurance Brokers  ->  Chairman, Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board

Five years ago, Dondi – whose background in traditional business in the Philippines – decided “it was time to tackle the causes of poverty, as opposed to band-aid solutions”. He abhors corruption and poor governance, which contribute directly to the poverty of the Philippines. The decision to weigh in was not at all difficult, although he knew that he would be putting himself at odds with politicians and “pseudo-leaders”. It took about a year to settle into his new “calling” but almost five years to learn to “engage for change” rather than to “just battle away”.

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Olivier, France

Director Technologies, Caisse des Dépôts  ->  Director Public Affairs, Alcatel Lucent (now Nokia)

Olivier, an engineering graduate was seeking a career in industry, and joined the French global telecommunications company, Alcatel-Lucent hoping to be offered an expatriate post.  A year later he found himself working in the U.S.  While the work was fascinating, and he liked the culture, after seven years he felt the “itch” to move on, and left the giant for a small internet-based start-up. Two years on, the company failed, and although Olivier had a Green Card, he chose to return to France where he joined the French public finance institution, “Caisse des Dépôts”. The work was enjoyable enough but after six years he realized he preferred industry and application over theory and advice, so when offered the chance to return to Alcatel he had no hesitation in accepting.

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Henna, USA

Marketing and innovation executive  ->  Board director, Engro Corporation

Based in the United States, Henna had already left the corporate environment several years earlier and had just published a highly successful book, so the demands on her time were high. However, she agreed to meet the chairman of the board during his business visit to the U.S. She summarized the meeting’s outcome in this way: “I arrived curious, and went away inspired, and wanting to do it!” She was fascinated by the vision of the chairman. He aimed to be the very best employer in Pakistan and to grow world-class talent. Henna felt that, by agreeing to take on the role, she was “doing the right thing for her birth country”.

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Rupert, Australia

Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton  ->  Founder, Caffe Kix Ltd

Rupert’s transition out of consulting was an easy one. An Australian, in consulting “for the usual reasons, of variety, experience and interesting colleagues”, he had always wanted to make something for himself. The thrill of creating was attractive to him, and he took the time he spent doing his MBA at INSEAD to reflect on his wish to create capital value. After a few more years of consulting in London, Rupert had become highly aware of the damaging lifestyle involved in his profession, and talks with candor about those colleagues “on their third wives, and traveling endlessly”. With ten years of consulting behind him, he decided to buy some time and money by accepting a role at HSBC, so as to be able to create a company of his own within a few years.

Christina, Germany

Partner, The Boston Consulting Group  ->  Executive VP, Family- Owned Industrial Company

Christina, a 22-year veteran of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) underwent a huge shift in career when she joined one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. As a partner, with many high-powered clients, and some fascinating internal roles, Christina never expected to leave consulting, though she had occasionally considered the option. She enjoyed the intellectual stimulation, rarefied atmosphere and the interaction with significant leaders across industries and cultures. After a chance encounter with the chairman of this company, she was offered a C-level position and took the lead of the automobile unit of the company, about which she knew little.

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André, The Netherlands

CIO, business development at Pon, Gartner  ->  Co-founder, Cambrian Technologies

Growing up in a comfortable, Dutch white-collar family did not predispose André to become an entrepreneur. His first job as a Volkswagen intern in Germany introduced him to the rigid and old-fashioned side of corporate life. After six months, he left to join a small company as its seventh employee, enjoying a great deal of freedom to create and innovate. Unfortunately, this company went under. This led André to do an MBA at INSEAD, after which he took a job at an international consultancy, for both the range of work and the regular pay he needed as a new father. However, he disliked the perspective of most of his clients and soon recognized that he was more of a doer than an advisor.

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