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Commentary Detail

New Careers Likely to Come from Who You Are, Not Who You Were
Commentary by: Anna Navarro
Aired June 22, 2009

Trying to find a job in a shrinking field can be very difficult. Sometimes a better solution is to launch a new career based on your unique strengths and personal preferences rather than your past occupation.

Ann and Franklin were both commercial lending officers. They lost their jobs when their institutions collapsed and were taken over by other banks.

Franklin was great at math and enjoyed computers. He had an undergraduate degree in Economics. His favorite part of being a loan officer was the financial analysis.

Ann’s favorite part of being a commercial banker was making presentations. She had a great sense of humor, and enjoyed making people laugh. She’d won many speech contests in high school. Unlike Franklin, what she least enjoyed about banking was the financial analysis.

Each of them figured out what was important to them in work. Then they brainstormed potential new career directions, and systematically explored them.

Franklin is becoming an actuary. His new employer is paying for his certification, and allowing him time to study for licensure.

Ann is launching a new career as a professional speaker, specializing in humorous after dinner talks. She’s already booked several paid appearances, and her business plan is moving along as projected.

These two successful commercial bankers re-invented themselves in very different ways. Their new careers came from who they are as individuals, rather than their past occupations.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Anna Navarro

Anna Navarro


Anna Navarro is the founder of Work Transitions, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping individuals find satisfaction and fulfillment in their work.


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