This month, Mark turns over the monthly message to Jennifer Payne, a Senior Advisor with IA who recently celebrated one year with the firm, to share some of her insights about career change and personal growth.
Sometimes there comes a point in your life and career when it becomes abundantly clear that you need a change.  I suspect there are many out there who have come to that very realization.  Whether you attribute it to the "Great Resignation,” the “Great Reshuffling,” or any other version thereof, the state of the world and events of the past few years have been a catalyst for many to reevaluate what’s most important to them.   
I was there, like many are now, but I was a little ahead of the curve.  For me, it happened in 2019. 
I had been working for a great company, with great people, in a role in which I was very successful for quite some time.  On the surface everything seemed perfect.  But inside I knew I needed something more.  So I got to work. 
I started by asking myself some questions to gain clarity.  What was making me feel unfulfilled?  What needed to be different in my next role to fill that gap?  What were my non-negotiables, and what was more of a nice-to-have? What did I excel at that I would want to leverage going forward? Where were my gaps in knowledge and experience, and how could I either fill those, or what would a role that would allow me to develop those look like?  None of these questions were particularly easy to answer; they required a lot of soul-searching.  But they were necessary. 
Eventually I found my way to IA, but it wasn't a direct and simple path.  The truth is, for most people change is hard, in any aspect of life.  That may sound ironic coming from a transformation advisory firm, but we often see that firsthand.   Even when you know you want and need the change, it's a process.  And that journey doesn’t end when you achieve your desired change, either; the process, the adjustment, the learning continues.  There are often lessons learned that will resonate for some time.   Here are just a few of mine: 

  • Get clear on what you want next.  This is always the first step. All those soul-searching questions I spent time asking myself? They really helped me to understand what was going to not only make me feel fulfilled but lead me to something where I could really thrive.  Without some clarity, you're searching in the dark. 
  • Be persistent and develop resilience.  As quickly as you may want it to happen, it may not unfold exactly as you'd like.  There may be factors beyond your control that impact your timeline. Once I had identified IA as where I wanted to be, I still had to pursue the opportunity for a year and half before the time was right! 
  • It won't always be easy.  Desire to change alone doesn't guarantee an easy journey. There may be times you begin to doubt yourself and your decision along the way.   You're likely walking away from something very familiar into the unknown, and that's always a bit scary. Embrace the challenge and commit to your goals. 
  • Allow yourself some grace.  A year later I'm still working on this one.  Making the change is just the beginning.  I had transitioned into a role completely different from what I was doing previously, so there was a huge learning curve.  As someone who was used to being an “expert," I got frustrated with myself for not catching on as quickly as I thought I should.  In reality, I was making huge leaps, baby steps at a time.  When I take the time to look back and really reflect, I can appreciate and be proud of how far I had really come in a relatively short time.  Never lose sight of the progress you've made, even when it's small! 

Change isn’t always easy, but if you approach it with the right rigor and the right mindset, you just may find it to be very worth it! 
With warm regards,
— Jennifer Payne
Senior Advisor/Adventurer, IA

Voice of HR

Buffalo 5-14 Survivors Fund
Rather than feature an article this month, we want to focus on the victims of a recent attack that is near and dear to one of our team members.

On May 14, 2022, the Buffalo community suffered senseless acts of violence when a gunman opened fire at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue, killing ten people and wounding three. 

IA supports the efforts of those trying to help the community recover from this attack, and hopes you'll join us in contributing to a fund supporting the survivors.

Where You Can Find Us

We are nearly to the unofficial start of summer and our social calendar is filling up quickly. We hope you can join us for the following events:

  • July 16, 2022: Join Kimberly Carroll and Mary Faulkner for a webinar hosted by HR Executive examining the truth about culture vs behavior and the impact it has on the employee experience. Stay tuned for more details!
  • August 4-5, 2022: Mark Stelzner has been invited to keynote at TechHR India 2022. The conference theme is #FreshEyes.
  • September 13-16, 2022: Once again, IA is pleased to support the HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas! As agendas are confirmed, we will share more details. Hope to see you there!

On Our Radar

There is a lot going on in the world that impacts people and the places they work. Here are a few articles from the past month the IA team found interesting:

  • Okay, this story technically broke at the very end of April, but it’s close enough for us to want to include it. Airbnb’s CEO announced a work remotely forever policy that gained a lot of attention from the business world. It’s a bold declaration of a new way to work as other organizations struggle with their return to the office approaches. It will be interesting to watch how Airbnb operationalizes their intentions.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Netflix made it clear that anyone who didn’t like the content the struggling  streaming giant played could simply resign. Workers have always had to option to vote with their feet, and nearly every US state has at-will employment, so the statement was a bit surprising to those who have followed the issues around content vs employee sentiment.
  • And finally, companies who are trying to find ways to keep their employees engaged have a new study to guide them. Filtering through pay, benefits and other perks employers can offer, Rosabeth Moss Kanter identifies five distinct elements contribute to employee engagement.

About IA

As trusted advisors to senior leaders, IA supports strategic initiatives that transform the way organizations work.

Our seasoned team of professionals apply a revolutionary eye, deep domain experience, and flexible tools to accelerate the achievement of even the most ambitious goals. With a cross-functional, strategic perspective, we thrive on big, messy problems. Whether large or small, public or private, domestic or international, it’s our job to support leaders and their teams in achieving outcomes that are truly unique to their culture and objectives.

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