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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

Mary, USA

Professional actor  ->  Director, Training & Development at Bumble and bumble, coach and facilitator

Mary’s practical disposition gave her a balanced start in her acting career, and allowed her to build her craft carefully. She had been painfully shy in childhood, but took advantage of a move to a new neighborhood and high school to let her theatrical juices flow, getting involved in all aspects of drama, and moving on to a Theater major in university. By this time she was hooked, but she felt a need for a plan B, dipping her toes into various linked areas such as broadcast journalism and psychology. None of the alternatives felt quite right, however, though she did realize that they were all somehow linked to a “connection with people”.  She auditioned for graduate school, did well, and made the inevitable move to New York city in 1990.

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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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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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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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Constança, Portugal

Consultant, banker   ->  Assistant Professor (Adjunct) of Mindfulness in Leadership, Nova School of Business and Economics

Constança did not plan to teach professionally at all, even though, from the very first moment that she can remember she was someone who loved learning and was extremely curious about everything from agriculture through building furniture, to tackling traffic jams. Having grown up in a middle-class Portuguese family with a teacher mother and a naval officer father, she became deeply interested early in politics, namely in the Marxist philosophy, in striking contrast to her family background. Naturally enough she studied economics and aspired to creating a fairer system. Constança was always studying, even on the beach, and choosing to help support and teach her fellow students, not so much to earn money or kudos, but so she could learn more and create a win-win situation.

Gayle, USA

Sales & Consulting, Hewlett- Packard  ->  Encore Fellow, Second Harvest Food Bank

Gayle started her career in IT sales. Her mother was a lifetime IBM-er, and Gayle grew up intending to avoid the same fate. However, after studying mathematics and computer science at UCSB in California, she accepted a job with HP.  She moved her way up rapidly, becoming a manager at 25, and joining the pioneering consulting arm of the company shortly thereafter. Global responsibilities came along, and she was extremely happy with her progress. Eventually, rapid changes at HP left her gradually more frustrated by the resulting culture. So when Gayle was offered a “phased” retirement at the age of 56, she accepted the offer. In her mind, however, her career was most definitely not over.

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