What’s it like to take evening classes while working full time to expand your career options? In this episode of Career Relaunch, Chris Donovan, a former telephone repairman turned high-end women’s shoe designer, shares his thoughts on doing work that’s authentic to who you are and how to deal with being an outlier when you’re pursuring a new career path. Afterwards, during today’s Mental Fuel, I’ll talk about being who you are, but doing it in a way that still allows you to resonate with the right people.
Key Career Insights
- Stability is nice, but at some point, you have to decide whether that stability is fulfilling enough for you.
- You are always going to face obstacles when you’re starting down a new path. You just have to keep talking to more people to figure out away around those obstacles. You can’t give up because you never know when you’re going to stumble upon the right person who can open a door for you.
- Fear and excitement are related feelings, especially when you’re doing something you never thought you would be doing. Face it. Embrace it.
Tweetables to Share
During this episode’s Mental Fuel segment, I talked about the importance of identifying one aspect of your personality that could serve you well in getting there. I call this a personality asset. What’s one part of who you are that you’ve maybe been holding back, for WHATEVER reason, but could actually benefit from showcasing? I want you to give yourself permission to let it shine. For some help in articulating the various aspects of who you are, you can download my “Personal Branding Starter” worksheet.
One of the things Chris and I spoke about on this episode was being true to yourself and making the most of who you are at work. This topic is especially relevant if you’re one of those people wrestling with whether or not to “just be myself” at work or flex who you are to meet the specific standards and expectations of your organization, even if that means NOT being yourself. This article from Fast Company entitled Should You Hide Your Personality at Work touches on this.
About Chris Donovan
Chris Donovan who spent 25 years repairing phones, but recently decided to revisit his childhood fascination with shoes to become a high-end women’s shoe designer. With the tremendous support and enthusiasm from his husband, he retired early and was accepted at Polimoda Fashion Institute in Florence, Italy. He’s recently found a potential manufacturer, and is now working to create and launch his first shoe line. You can follow Chris on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Watch Chris Donovan’s full AARP featurette:
Check out some of Chris’s shoe designs
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