A number of people I know have recently left traditional jobs, either by design, buyouts, early retirements, layoffs, or restructurings.
Even as they face a similar challenge in starting over, all are going about it in highly individual ways. Several have talked with me about Phase X of their careers, knowing I've made a go of freelance business writing after many years in the corporate ranks. I learn much more from them than they can possibly gain from hearing about how I set up shop in the dinosaur age, well before mobile and social everything.
Paul Wilke blasted out of the starting blocks in August, founding the strategic public relations firm Upright Position Communications.With feet-on-the-ground experience working on both US coasts and in Asia, Paul is focused on telling compelling stories, garnering on-message media coverage and providing sound strategic counsel. Previously, Paul held senior positions at Splunk (where he led communications around one of 2012’s most successful IPOs), Visa, Baldwin Boyle Shand Limited, Siemens, and Ronset (S) Pte. Ltd.
Anne Mueller has had a versatile career that evolved from a scientific background in chemistry and analytical spectroscopy to more applied disciplines in regulatory, corporate, and public affairs, R&D communications, and most recently, research ethics and science policy in a “big pharma” context. This summer, she started a management consultancy group in bioethics and science policy, Applied Bioethics Advisors. She is also a founding partner in the non-profit rScience Central, created to promote open innovation and sharing of pre-clinical research to accelerate the advancement of new medicines and therapies for unmet patient needs.
Jay Nachman established himself in public relations in Philadelphia, working for mission-driven organizations over the past two-plus decades. In planning the next chapter of his career, he is exploring ways to weave social media and new technology into his passions for writing and media relations. One of his latest articles is a humor piece, published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, about “tuning up” his job-search techniques.
It's clear that career paths today take many more turns than ever before. The ride can be a nail-biter at times, but new perspectives are always around the next corner, with interesting opportunities for those passionate about making things happen.