Changing Careers? Some Tips from Fellow Alumni

Planning to make a major career transition or change from one industry to another? These Columbia alumni have had success with this—check out their insight below. 

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How to use your Alumni Community for career networking

There's a new and exclusive resource available—just for Columbia alumni. The online Alumni Community is a portal for many things, from updating your information with Columbia to group discussions. For networkers, job seekers, or hiring managers, it's an important place to establish a profile as a savvy professional, thought leader, and to leverage your Columbia connections.

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Read on for 10 tips on how to optimize the Alumni Community for your job search and enhance your professional profile.

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Networking for Introverts: 4 Tips for Tapping Into Your Strengths

By Melody J. Wilding '11SW of the Columbia Career Coaches Network

Originally published on melodywilding.com

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Networking can be, at times, awkward and even produce anxiety. The thought of reaching out to people you don't know to build potential business relationships can seem daunting. How do those "super connector" social butterflies carry themselves with such confidence while others stammer and stutter?

As it turns out, there's a psychology to relationship building that will not only help you feel more secure when meeting new people, but will also transform your stack of business cards into meaningful connections that may advance your career.

Remember, confidence and relationship building are not skills we're born with.

Here are four ways to leverage what we know about human behavior and the brain to become a better networker and to create relationships that last:

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Making a Career Change: Switching Industries

By Julia Harris Wexler '83TC, '14BUS, Columbia University Certified Executive Career Coach

Mid-career shifting is perhaps one of the most common, yet least researched challenges faced by our generation. Let's look at the dynamics:

1) Most professionals begin their careers after graduating college or graduate school in their mid to late 20s. Their work life will last until their early 60s to late 70s on average.

2) This 40+ year span will most likely NOT be spent dedicated to only one field/industry or career.

Since it's logical that most professionals will need to reinvent themselves in order to leverage their prior skills in preparation for taking their places in their next careers, why is this topic still such a mystery?

That's why I specialize my coaching on this exact challenge: Mid-Career Shifts.

Mid-career shifting is perhaps one of the most common, yet least researched challenges faced by our generation.

Here is the method I use when coaching clients in tackling this issue:

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Forward Thinking: How Two Columbia Alumni Found a Need and Had Huge Success

 

When Ryan Petersen ’08BUS was working in China running a supply chain several years ago, he experienced firsthand the archaic practices of the international shipping industry.

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Nine Transition Tips for Your Career

Transitioning to a new career requires a mixture of faith, courage, inspiration, and support.  The end results are exciting and often unpredictable.  

Here are nine takeaway tips you need for a career transition from Eric Horwitz '90CC, the head of the Columbia Alumni Career Coaches Network and a full-time executive career coach and life coach.  

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How Can You Overcome a Career Slump?

By Lynn Berger '84TC, '90TC of the Columbia Career Coaches Network

From time to time, all of us experience a career slump; however, it can be a meaningful experience. It allows us to identify the gaps in our work and career. Let's explore how you can identify your interests, motivated skills, personality style, and values to allow you to achieve greater career satisfaction.

So, the question is posed—“How can you overcome a career slump?” The best way to answer this question is to imagine you are creating and putting together the pieces of an intriguing, challenging, and rewarding puzzle. Each piece needs to be closely examined, shifted, and viewed from a variety of perspectives. Once you are able to fit the pieces of your puzzle together, you will have created the complete image, which in effect, will become your fulfilling career.

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Don't Risk Failure in Your Executive Job Search

By Debra Feldman '74PH of the Columbia Career Coaches Network

You got where you are today by virtue of hard work and producing results. If you don’t get the strategy right and execute it correctly, a project fails. This success principle applies to your personal career: you need the right job search strategy to support an effective campaign effort. If either your job search strategy (focus or target) is wrong or your job search execution (tasks and activities) is inadequate, your job search can’t succeed. In other words, if you don’t know where you are going, then you are not going to get anywhere.

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Entrepreneurship Wisdom from a Columbia Expert

Steve Blank, Senior Fellow for Entrepreneurship at Columbia, will speak on January 12 on "Hacking NYC: Beyond the Rise of the NYC Startup Ecosystem." 

The current state of New York City's entrepreneurship ecosystem is widely considered a modern marvel.

Blank, along with Executive Director, Columbia Technology Ventures Orin Herskowitz, will discuss how much of this success can be attributed to former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, how has this progress evolved under Mayor Bill de Blasio, and how NYC compares to other startup hotspots including Silicon Valley, Boston, and Tel Aviv. 

RSVP for the event here and read some top business insight for the new year from Blank's previous Columbia talks: 

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GSAS Alumna Turns Love for Animals into $40M Startup

Isabel Lerer '10GSAS, '12GSAS, '15GSAS found a way to turn her passion for animals into a successful $40 million startup.  

 (Photo: The Dodo via Business Insider)

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