There comes a time in most people’s careers where there may need to be some form of transition. Some people transition into a new industry; others may make a transition within their industry by moving into a different area.
Althea McIntyre helps people make these transitions smoothly. McIntyre’s company, The Best Career For Me: Power and Soul At Work works with high-performing purpose-driven executives, entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide.
McIntyre, who likes to work from a Christian base, also provides mentoring to career coaches. Since 2005, McIntyre has been working as a professional certified coach. She helps clients change jobs, change careers, launch new businesses, or enter the non-for-profit arena. Her private individual coaching program, called The Career Transformation System, runs either 6 or 12 months. She’s created and lead seminars, webinars and workshops. She has worked with such organizations as Accenture, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Illinois CPA Society, LeasePlan USA, Loyola University Chicago, National Association of Black Accountants, Northwestern University and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP.
McIntyre herself has changed careers. She moved from being a corporate CPA for nine years to opening her own company offering help to others. “Opening my company is really something that came from my own experience,” she says. “I believe that we are all born on purpose, with a purpose and for a purpose and I when I was making my own transition I was finding other people looking and needing help making career changes. I realized my purpose was helping people discover their strengths and find their purpose. I was making a transition because I wanted to do fulfilling work. I found myself dragging to work; I was successful on the outside, but unfilled on the inside. I wanted a career that I had a passion for.”
Career transitions aren’t easy. They take work and preparation. “It was challenging because of my background in accounting. I didn’t have any idea about marketing,” says McIntyre. So she earned her Master’s with an emphasis on leadership development. “But I still didn’t know anything about sales and marketing so that was challenge. It has really been a faith walk,” she says.
To help get her new startup going, McIntyre received a grant to get business startup coaching. “That really helped me to understand what I was doing,” she says.
Now, she is assisting others with their dreams. Still, there are misconceptions people have about making career transitions. Among them, explains McIntyre are: that it is a linear process–it’s not and is instead truly a journey. She says “there is a lot of inner work that is involved; that everyone’s journey is alike–each journey is unique and what works for one person might not work for another.” “People are also surprised by their fears. It is so important that you address them and that you do inner work on getting into the right mindset,” she points out. “If you don’t, no matter how much you may be prepared financially, physically, if you aren’t prepared mentally it’s not going to work.”
Look for signs that you need to make a change. “If you’re crying yourself to sleep every night or finding that other people at your job are being promoted over you, if you are bored yet still exhausted not from the work but because the work is draining you, then those are some signs,” explains McIntyre. “As far as changing industries, there are usually red flags if you pay attention to industry trends. What I tell people is that if God has been tugging at your heart and telling you it’s time to make a move, then it is.”
If you have decided to make a move, you have to make a plan. McIntyre advises several things. “Create a vision. Ask yourself: How do you want to feel when you are working? What type of work do you want to do? Ignore the job titles, think about what you want to do, what type of environment you want to work in what type of people you want to work with,” she suggests.
“Also, identify your strengths. The things that come easy and naturally to you are your strengths. This is where your success will be,” she notes. “Get clear on your goals, what you want to achieve in the next six months, the next year and then create a plan. Make sure your plan aligns with your vision, goals and your strategy. Make sure in your plan you have accountability. And don’t forget that after you take action, celebrate your successes. It is important to celebrate your successes. It will inspire you to future successes.”