This article gets right to the heart of what my clients experience and have experienced in the past. These 7 stories are inspired by people I had the honor of working with and seeing expand their comfort zone to grow into a career in Switzerland they are not just highly passionate about, but also express who they really are.
1. Partnering with a Venture Capital Firm to Fund Clean Tech Startups in Europe
Jake has been working in the corporate world for many years. Until very recently, he has worked as a business development executive at a large chemical company in the U.S. With the urge of relocating to Switzerland and revolutionizing his career into something that is more meaningful to him, he came to me.
Jake used to work in venture capital projects in his corporate career doing business development. He never felt a real sense of fulfillment in his corporate career. However, venture capital and business development was always something that he was great at.
At some point, the pain became too big. He felt that if he kept pursuing his current career, he wasted his time and potential, so he made the conscious decision to change. That’s when I received his email and we started working together.
One of Jake’s biggest passions is sustainability, more specifically clean technology. It has always been his dream to do something that has a positive impact on the environment on a large scale.
When I asked him why it took so long to decide to change, he told me that the “golden corporate cage” was very compelling for a long time until some day, he looked at what he had done over the past 15 years and how far away it was from what he dreamed of doing. That’s when the gap became too big and the change was no longer a need but a must.
Today, Jake is well on his way to partner with a venture capital firm. My part in his quest is to keep him focused to move towards his vision and not let him get distracted by the shiny object syndrome.
2. From Corporate Number to Public Speaker & Social Media Consultant
Igor has been working in the corporate world for 5 years, doing online marketing. Originally from Russia, he relocated to Switzerland about a year ago to find a job. During his search, he realized that what he was pursuing in the corporate world was everything else than what he dreamed of doing.
That’s when we started working together.
One of the things he disliked about his corporate career was the fact that his work seemed to make no real difference. Sure, maybe the company made some more money but there was no sense of fulfillment for him in helping a random organization that he had nothing in common with to make more money.
Igor has a huge passion for social media and he always wanted to use his passion to help other people and inspiring organizations become successful. Something that Igor has always naturally been very good at is public speaking so it made sense to combine it with his passion for social media and create a career around that.
Igor set out for a quest to become a world-class social media consultant and leverage his public speaking skills to market himself to inspiring organizations and leaders. After getting this clarity about where his path is going, things started falling into place.
He got invited to work at the Olympic Games in Sochi through a Swiss connection. One thing led to another and he met a few people who invited him to speak at an event on social media.
He worked incredibly hard on building his social media consulting business and he is well on track to making it big.
3. Making a Difference from South Asia to Switzerland
I have recently interviewed John Mathew where he talked about making a difference through his business and foundation. John has a very inspiring story so instead of me talking about him, I let him talk about his story. Watch his interview here.
4. Creating a Career Around a Passion for Education & Startups
Very recently, I started working with Glenda. She is currently working in a large corporation in advertising in France as a marketing manager. When I initially talked to her, there was nothing she could tell me she enjoyed about her current career. So we set out to change that.
In the first session when we started working together, she told me about possible career paths that she saw herself in where she could also apply her strengths and experience. Based on the exercises we did together, two paths stood out. One was working with educational institutions, the other was a startup career.
After exploring a little further, she told me that she was not particularly passionate about educational institutions but more about education as a tool. The institutions were simply the only way she saw a possible career path in. On the other hand, she is also passionate about startups and that’s where we found a hidden gem of an opportunity.
When I asked her “How do you feel about working with a startup that develops technology to help children learn in a way that is natural to them?”, she could hardly sit still due to her excitement.
We found a way to combine her passions into a viable career path where she can make a real difference. The idea of combining these areas came to me because I had worked with another client recently who was talking to a startup in Zurich that actually does develop technology to help children learn in a way that is natural to them.
Now it’s about doing the research, talking to the right people and making that career happen.
5. From Corporate Lawyer in the Ukraine to Business Consultant in Switzerland
About a year ago, I worked with Ivan. Ivan spent the last 8 years working as a corporate lawyer in the Ukraine, climbing the corporate ladder and making a fortune. The only problem was the it left him empty. There was no sense of true fulfillment in what he was doing so he decided to change career. At the same time he wanted to relocate to Switzerland so we started working together.
Soon after we started working together, Ivan realized that working for a big corporation in Switzerland would simply lead into the same situation he found himself back in the Ukraine.
He had always dreamed of being a business owner but until then, he simply did not see it happen. That changed the moment he started to talk to lawyers and bankers in Geneva to grow his network. Suddenly, lawyers and bankers started to ask him for advice and inputs on dealing with organizations and people from Russia and the Ukraine so he first offered that advice for free to add value to his new relationships.
Soon he realized that there was an opportunity to build a consulting business in Switzerland where he could leverage his strengths and experience and at the same time make his dream of becoming a business owner come true.
He quickly became very popular and successful and the demand keeps growing.
6. From Corporate Finance Career to Startup Consultant & Teacher in Switzerland
During 2013, I started to work with Clara. Originally from Argentina, she relocated to Zurich with her Swiss husband and was looking for a job. She engaged with me and we started to explore what she really wanted to do. Soon, she realized that the corporate finance career was something she was not at all passionate about.
Her dream has always been to be self-employed. However, she did not see herself leading her own business within the next few years until almost every person she talked to during her networking efforts told her she would be best off to either start her own thing or work with a startup where she could be the leader that she naturally is. So we took on that challenge.
After learning more about startups and exploring the opportunities, she met lots of people in that scene in Zurich. Eventually, she met a serial entrepreneur and investor that she got along with very well. He offered her 4 different opportunities, one of them being a consultant to review and optimize financial business plans of new ventures to increase the chance for them to get funding.
Something Clara has always been passionate about was teaching and mentoring so that was the next quest to look into. Today, she is also working with kids and students to help them with career choices.
7. From Automotive Executive to Designing Things That Matter
A few weeks ago, I started to work with Isabella who has been working for a long time in the automotive industry where she was responsible for marketing and product design. The organizations she worked for in the past have been very uninspiring to her because she felt that they just produced utilities instead of products and services that had an impact.
Isabella loves designing things and she is extremely good at it. She especially thrives in her work when she designs products that matter. One of her highest values is family life, so designing products that have a positive impact on families would be a great path.
In our first session, we brainstormed ways to combine her strength for design, her experience in the automotive sector and her passion for designing products that matter into a viable career.
There were two possible outcomes that she was most excited about. One was to work with an organization that designs or sells products that have a positive impact on family life. The other option was to work with design companies that work with automotive clients that produce family cars or luxury sports cars.
Now it’s about picking the path that aligns best with her values and passion and then making it happen.
When are you going to create the career and life you are born for? Schedule a Skype call with me if you are ready to master your career.
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