Career change tips

Seven ideas that people can use as they try to reinvent themselves at work.

Paul David Walker, a former turnaround specialist in manufacturing, runs Genius Stone Partners, which trains top executives to excel. Here are his seven steps for reinventing a career:

1. Know the answer. Find out what kind of work suits your personality and "work genius." Mr. Walker gives clients a personality test.

2. Visualize it. "You have to paint a compelling picture in your mind of what kind of work in the work world will fit who you are," he says. If you get these first two steps right, you'll be ahead of 97 percent of the people.

3. Get committed. When his boss asked him to take a personal development course, Walker first resisted. Then he was transfixed as facilitators helped people move toward their dreams. It inspired him to do the same.

4. Acknowledge reality. Confront your weaknesses and misconceptions. When Walker went to interview, he realized he had to change his personality. "Here I am, a rough-and-tumble turnaround guy." His would-be bosses emphasized human potential instead of confrontation.

5. Make targeted plans of action. Walker created a road map of how he would land a new job, focusing on specific communication and training companies.

6. Find the courage to act. Once you have your targets, take action. Decline interviews that aren't on your list. "It's still a dream until you act," he says.

7. Be still. "When you go into an interview, the more still you are, the more they talk...," he says. "You can sense what will land [points] with them. And then when you say something, it's the right thing every time."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to