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Navigating Career Change with Wisdom

Every professional will experience a transition at some point in their career.  Whether it’s moving up the ladder or changing industries entirely, one thing is certain; you will need to acquire new knowledge, learn different skills and take on unique challenges. So, what is the best way to succeed in a career transition? The answer is a powerful but underestimated principle: Wisdom Simplifies.

According to Terri Maxwell, CEO of Share On Purpose, Wisdom Simplifies means looking to mentors and resources without hesitation, rather than believing you have to know everything and do it all yourself.

This is precisely what Gerardo Osorio, Senior Engagement Manager at Promote On Purpose, did to make sense of his career transition.

Taking On New Challenges

For Gerardo, making the shift from 10+ years in Healthcare Operations to a marketing role in the Healthcare Division at Promote On Purpose would require a welcome challenge. Gerardo knew he brought a lot to the table, but to truly succeed in his new position it would require discipline and focus, so he relied on a proven system that has helped him learn and grow in the past. “The first thing I do is deconstruct my new challenge into its basic elements,” he said. “This is important to avoid overwhelm. I ask myself, what small things can I do that will create the most impact? For me, reading is at the top of this list. I spend about an hour every morning reading. And since I already have that habit established, all I do is pick a book that applies to the field or topic I am working on and try to get up to speed. This is a great way for me to use available resources and other people’s experiences in the form of books to learn what I need to know.”

Next, Gerardo finds someone else who is skilled and prepared to provide help and support. “I have learned that you definitely do not need to know all the answers, you just need to know whom to go to for help. And finding that person is as simple as looking around my network and approaching the person who is the most experienced and knowledgeable about the skill I’m trying to acquire. And I leverage that to the best of my ability.” He has taken these principles to heart, and they have helped him tremendously in his new capacity as a marketing executive. He’s currently reading books on business operations, marketing, and advertising to help strengthen his knowledge in those areas.

“I also make it a point to ask questions about the things I do not fully understand because the more I ask clarifying questions, the faster I can grasp the concepts I need to learn to be productive.”

According to Gerardo, there is an even better, unintended consequence of asking questions and leaning on the experience of others. You not only have answers to your questions, you also learn how the other person thinks and understand how they developed their solution. “Many times, people reach conclusions and find answers to their biggest questions without really documenting and mapping out their thought process. By asking them for help, you’re giving them an opportunity to reverse engineer the solution they came up with and possibly document it for future reference.”

Gerardo believes that this back and forth also helps in building workplace relationships because it fosters a deep understanding of your team member’s point of view and how they approach issues. “The more understanding there is between team members, the more success the team experiences.”

Lastly, he explains that asking questions and leaning on others’ experiences is crucial for gathering information, having knowledge and thinking deeply about why things are the way they are. “When starting out in their careers, many people have a deep desire to have all the answers, so they pursue that knowledge just for the sake of it. I believe it is more important to know why things work the way they do. This way you grow intellectually, strengthen your skill set and develop a way to tackle problems in the future.”

A Winner’s Mindset

According to Gerardo, patience is absolutely crucial for tackling new learning challenges. “You need to be patient with yourself because you can’t expect to know or learn everything you need all at once.” He advises anyone in such situations to take a look at the scope of the challenge they’re being presented and ask “How long will the average person take to finish this? And how much time should I take to finish this?” In other words, set realistic expectations.

He also explains that discipline and creativity are vital traits that make one a more effective professional and individual. “Without discipline, you lack the mental energy and drive to prioritize and go the extra mile to face a learning challenge head-on. And creativity ensures you’ll be flexible and can come up with clever ways of managing and tackling your learning challenges in efficient ways.”

These are all values and principles that Gerardo leans on as he continues to challenge himself intellectually and grow his career as an executive within the Share On Purpose portfolio.

Find the Right Team

At Share On Purpose, we support new hires in career changes and strive to put existing team members in roles that align with their passions and purpose. We provide resources, including mentoring, coaching and extensive training through Share School, focusing on job skills, as well as personal and professional development.

Are you looking to work with a company that gives you the support and opportunities you need to advance your career? Check out our available positions.

Wisdom Simplifies

Most know me as CEO of Succeed On Purpose and the Share On Purpose Portfolio of Companies, but did you know I started my career as a middle school teacher?

How does someone go from middle school teacher, to business executive, to serial entrepreneur? My secret (and one of our guiding principles) is: Wisdom Simplifies.

Wisdom Simplifies means rather than believing you have to know everything and do it all yourself, you instead look for mentors and resources quickly.

For example, when I wanted to transition out of teaching and into my first entry-level consulting role in educational software, I had NO computer experience and no experience teaching adults. So, I immediately took classes and looked for a mentor to show me the way.

When I was promoted from consultant to Director of Training, I sought courses and mentors who could show me how to design a training curriculum for our company.

When our Vice President said I had a natural gift for marketing (who knew?!) and wanted to promote me to Director of Training & Marketing, I not only sought mentorship but also joined the Business Marketing Association to sharpen my skills and learn the ropes.

The truth is my professional success can in large part be attributed to my willingness to search for training, resources, and mentorship frequently and often.

In every step of my career, I did not know how to do what was expected of me, but I built a reputation for “finding a way” and being willing to “do whatever it takes” which almost always included being mentored and seeking training.

When we founded what is now Share On Purpose, Inc., I was passionate about leveraging my wealth of entrepreneurial experience and my purpose (to inspire potential). As we shaped our strategy and refined our business model, our Guiding Principles began to take shape.

I knew that Wisdom Simplifies would be a practical and powerful principle for our team to embrace. Since we create companies that are unique, different and game-changing, it’s not like we can hire someone off the street who already knows what to do because it’s never been done before.

Not only are we okay with that, but we frequently hire staff members who are willing to try new things, and willing to do the work to learn what they do not know. Our CFO had a 25-year career in Commercial Property Management. Our Talent Director began her career in marketing. Most of the associates who work for us are doing things they’ve never done before.

As associates learn more about their passions, we work with them to find roles they can grow into that more closely align with those passions. At the same time, the expectation is they will “master their craft” by seeking mentors, training, and resources to help them learn what they need to know.

Career transitions do not need to be hard, but you will have to muster the courage to face the fear of not knowing what you need to know, and gain the confidence that you can figure it out over time.

We pride ourselves on being that kind of company. At Share On Purpose, we offer a significant amount of training, but we believe Wisdom Simplifies is more than that. It’s the wisdom that employees gain after the training – how it is assimilated and how it is applied.

The definition of wisdom is: “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.”

We prefer wisdom for this principle because we consider wisdom to be “knowledge in action” and a state of becoming smarter, wiser and more prepared on the journey.

So, if you’re looking for a place that not only values training and development, but invests in team members’ wisdom, consider Share On Purpose, Inc. If you’re looking for a place where you can try new things and follow your passion. Check out our open positions.

The Agile Brain

Dharmini Patel lives to learn and utilize knowledge. A trained chemist now fully in a marketing leadership role, she approaches challenges and opportunities with full-minded zeal, using creativity and analytical thinking to comprehend and assimilate vast amounts of information in order to solve problems in novel ways.

“The brain is a muscle that needs to be kept in shape by using it, challenging it, and taking care of it,” said Dharmini. “Engaging the brain through out-of-the-box activities stretches this muscle and ensures you are prepared to be what you want to be: successful.”

This growth mindset and drive to be more is what drew Dharmini to work at Share On Purpose in the first place. A results-oriented person, she realized early on in her career that she wanted to build a performance culture wherever she went. When she learned about the Share On Purpose culture, she felt it was the perfect fit.

“Share On Purpose is an agile environment,” she said. “Our leaders saw how various industries were shifting at an insurmountable pace and quickly realized that a successful company culture must facilitate a learning model to keep up with the rapidly changing world. Such a model allows for the management team to strengthen their skill sets, to be resourceful, to stay on top of everything, to enhance their lives, to grow their careers with knowledge application and to stay ahead of the game. That’s what’s happened with me.”

The Difference a Learning Culture Makes

While always successful at her work, Dharmini’s position at Share On Purpose has enabled her to excel in ways she never imagined possible. In just 18 months, her career has grown exponentially, taking her from an Engagement Director to a Senior Director and on to Managing Director. She credits the company’s learn-as-you-need-it model for her rapid development.

“I came to Share On Purpose from a scientific and business management background,” she said. “Because of the company’s focus on gaining knowledge as it’s needed, I am continuously exposed to learning opportunities where there is a vast influx of information. It’s like drinking from a fire hose! I then get to comprehend that information in selective chunks and repackage it for everyone else to utilize from a business decisions standpoint. This has enabled me to take my skillset, mix it with the Share On Purpose culture and learning process, and actually grow my passions and my skills, all while making a major contribution to the overall organization.”

This growth isn’t something Dharmini sees just in herself, either. She sees it – and fosters it – in her team as well.

Culture Drives Results

“Values drive performance and results,” she said. “That’s what I’ve found in my own career, and I’ve always wanted to make sure it was a part of the training process at any place I’ve been. You can be driven and ready to learn, but if you aren’t given the opportunity to dive in and gain the knowledge you need to get results, then everything gets canned – all your passions, your drive, everything. At Share On Purpose, it isn’t like that. Here you get the opportunities and resources you need to excel.”

Share On Purpose’s Guiding Principles include passion, collaboration, performance, authenticity, character, perseverance, and new knowledge, all values that Dharmini says create a rich culture and benefit new and established employees.

“Experience and knowledge are valuable assets. They enable you to open a door of opportunity that is the right fit for you to be successful with a company culture that supports knowledge acquisition for career growth and living a balanced and fulfilling life,” she said. “When you work in a place that values people first, then performance and results, everyone wins. Share On Purpose is that place. The team members here, across the board, believe, share and practice both the culture and values in harmony. That is such a breath of fresh air in today’s fast paced world!”

Share On Purpose is unique in that we have a portfolio of companies that allows us to support our team members in finding the brand and position they like best. Our culture supports dedicated team members to help them excel by utilizing the values and passions they hold dear. Dharmini is one of several success stories.

If working in a place that values knowledge resonates with you, consider applying for one of our open positions.

A Fit Organization

For job seekers evaluating a company, the guiding principles, as well as how these are used in business decisions, speak volumes about a prospective employer. Said another way, for you to “fit” a company’s culture, you must both understand these values and their importance to culture.

The reason for this is that skills can be taught, culture can’t. For a culture to be real, every team member must be aligned with the culture and guiding principles. Because of our commitment to Career3 and specifically to promoting from within, we needed to define a value specific to knowledge acquisition. The founding leaders of Share On Purpose asked ourselves a bold question: How would we build a “learning organization” in an uncertain, rapidly changing world? And, how would we grow our management team so they led with these values consistently? Ultimately, we wanted to know how to strengthen our culture as we expanded.

There are many things I’ve learned from the Millennial generation, but what resonated about their learning style was what I termed “just in time knowledge.” Millennials are quick to learn and incredibly resourceful knowledge seekers. They don’t learn because they are told to, or because they want to accumulate knowledge, they learn to apply the knowledge to enhance their lives or grow their careers. Novel concept, I know.

The principle we adopted regarding training and mentoring, with the help of our initial team members was “New Knowledge – Learn it as you need it.” Knowledge is (and always has been) power, which is why college degrees became a necessary management criterion in the Baby Boomer era. The problem with the accumulation of knowledge today is that our world is changing so fast that most skills are outdated less than a year after they are learned.

For our guiding principles to resonate with the way future generations learn, we had to rethink all traditional training models, and embrace the “just in time” learning modality. That meant defining the value, New Knowledge, and rethinking the Career Matrix to introduce management skills as leaders evolved their careers. It also meant investing in the Share School Online Leadership Training Portal to make the training available when emerging leaders needed it, rather than when we wanted to teach it. This resulted in a culture where leaders embrace the notion that to truly evolve our talent, we work on their leadership evolution timeline, rather than training them to fit our needs.

There are many things that contribute to building a performance culture, but one of the most important is to use a defined set of values so that business decisions are aligned with the culture; and then to embed these values into all facets of the organization, especially training. Without guiding principles, decision-making can erode culture.

Remember, skills can be taught, but culture can’t.

If this sounds like an organization you’d like to be a part of, view our available positions and apply now.