The Coach’s Table Interview – Harvey’s transition

Harvey B. is my college friend, whom I have known for 14 years.  In college, he was the first person I turned to when I needed a coding guru who could debug my Visual Basic codes, or a buddy to talk to about a dry business operations class.

Harvey’s transition journey began in college.  In his early 20s he did a study exchange in Japan twice in order to master Japanese.  While there, he had side jobs, including bagging produce at grocery stores.  By the time he graduated, Harvey had a job at the same company where I was starting (and where I have been working since).  Interestingly, his role was in Japan and required speaking professional Japanese on a daily basis.  In his 30’s,  Harvey took a leap of faith and switched from his career in corporate to one in foreign affairs.  He now works as a foreign affairs officer and has been moving around the world with his family.

Harvey is a friend I greatly admire – his courage, his constant change, and his curiosity, are all qualities we should aim to have.  I hope his story of transition is as inspiring to you as it is to me.

Q1: can you tell me about a professional transition you have had during your career? 

From GE to the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer.

Q2: thinking back to the time you were starting on your transition, how did you prepare for it? Any fears you had?

Preparation: Graduate school in the middle was a nice easy way to make the transition.

Fears: That old skills might not be valuable or needed in the new job. That I might not like the new job as much as the last. I felt that returning to the old career after trying something new would be embarrassing.

Q3: what are the most significant take-aways from your professional transition?

A job is a job. If you can work one you can likely work another. Don’t underestimate yourself.

Q4: what’s next professional goal you are working toward?

Now I am trying to decide how long I want to stick with this career! Another transition in the future? Who knows.

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