It was the former astronaut, Chris Hadfield who very wisely said : « Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become. »
The act of changing countries, leaving behind your job or being away for a period of time from the career path you had taken, sometimes triggers unexpected changes and dramatically alters our professional aspirations.
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a panel at the University of Geneva with 3 great participants who had done just that ; Re-invent themselves. This meant going from a Corporate role to an Entrepreunarial role, focussing on activities that fitted better with their personal needs and authentic selves.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
Dana Walden switched from being a very successful Human Resources specialist to follow her heart and become a Coach. Dana told her life story and shared the dream she followed from early childhood, inspiring our audience to understand that, with persistence, nothing is out of their reach. I had the pleasure of being a business partner for Dana in her former role, observed her listening and reflective skills and was delighted when she shared she was moving on to become a professional coach. Dana invested in a Professional certification, specializing in supporting her clients achieve career, leadership and personal branding aspirations. For me, Dana is the living example that quiet persistance, creativity and business success can co-exist !
Add Spice to your life !
Shraddha Wani was a very successful business analyst, working for prestigious banks and IT organizations in India and Singapore. When she relocated to the Geneva area, she decided to leverage her passion for Indian cuisine and set up a bespoke catering business and cooking courses. Shraddha says she had a great time in the corporate world but always felt « controlled » by someone else. She is very grateful to Switzerland as it gave her a chance to make a dream come true and become an Entrepreneur. She says on the way she has come to realize that networking is key to any new business initiative, and focussing on building up your network a must for any newcomer thinking of starting a business. She enjoys the role her husband has taken as her biggest fan and food critic ! She enjoys learning everyday and evolving every second! She says her love for cooking goes back to her time with her grandmother whose recipes she has revived. Not surprisingly, she adores being her own boss.
Dig into your multiple identities to re-invent yourself
Sabine Baerlocher has done it twice… so far. That’s not counting the multiple caps she has worn over the years not least of all Disc Jockey Eve! She first leveraged her legal and extensive real estate knowledge acquired in a major Swiss group, to develop a well-known Destination Services Provider business in Switzerland. In the last few years, her focus has gone from logistic services to intercultural training and coaching. Sabine is also Co-President of Global Families Switzerland, a NFP we co-initiated to provide support to international families relocating to Switzerland by way of a membership program.
Top tips if you plan to re-invent yourself
- Ensure you understand the legal and financial aspects of business set up
- Determine the impact your product will have on the public
- Explore development or delivery costs
- Consider who will market your product/services
- Ensure this is YOUR business idea
- Identify the time investment you need to bring your idea to fruition
- Consider the required training and your motivation to follow through
- Ask youself whether you have the resilience to deal with inevitable ups & downs of entrepreneurship.