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One Woman’s Career Development Story: From The Marines to Wall Street

career changeEveryone’s career development story is unique.

For many of us, we develop within one field (or even organization!) for the life of our career. For others, we change companies or industries every few years.

I believe it’s important for us all to be aware of other people’s career development stories – whether they are similar to or different from our own stories – so that we can not only learn from their experiences, but be inspired.

One such story was recently featured in Fortune, as Lenore Karafa, partner at McChrystal Group, writes her tale of going from the military to the financial sector. Talk about a major career change!

She discusses the challenges and changes that were put upon her, as well as the ways she learned from each and every obstacle and challenge. Here are a few of her takeaways:

  1. Choose a path that challenges you
  2. If you can’t change your environment, it’s time to change course
  3. Don’t be afraid to restart at the bottom
  4. Seek a career that is aligned with who you are

You really need to read the entire article to fully understand these learnings and recommendations.

In the end, she beautifully sums up her learnings on change and career development:

Throughout these transitions, one skill helped me to adapt to my changing environment more than others: constant learning. Understanding that my abilities and talents are not fixed and expanding my knowledge and experience through constant learning allowed me to push myself to greater levels of accomplishment. Equally important, pushing myself to be open and accepting of change as a positive force has allowed me to embrace constant learning in my own career.

Adopting a growth mindset led me to shift from responsive to proactive—expanding my definition of “success” and ultimately leading me to a career that matches my personal goals and values.

What part of Lenore’s story inspires you most?