Surround Yourself — The power of a small committed group for your career transition

Most people (the past version of me included!) try to go through their career on their own . Career transition is no different. We try to do it on our own, maybe because we learn that after all a career is an individual thing. To me, managing your career is like a start-up and you need a team. The fastest you can put a team together, the better it can be.

I spend my days running leadership and career transition programmes in incubators, expat groups or working on my own programme on supporting global citizens with their ambitious career transitions.

Where I see most progress — yes, on individual career management — is when small groups are put together.

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Here are 7 reasons why you should absolutely put a small group to help you move forward with your career or career transition:

- PERSPECTIVE — A small group brings you a new perspective on your current challenges and even better, they can show you the blind spots that you might have missed out on.

- EMPATHY — A small group builds your empathy muscle: you learn to have more empathy with yourself and others. Most of the people I work with get really reassured when they can hear that inspiring people have struggles too. The problem in a no-failure-facebook-everything-is-amazing-culture is that people feel out of place if they don’t have their shit together 100% of the time. Your group reminds you that even people you really look up to can struggle, and it is totally normal.

- UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF — A small group accelerates your learning and understanding of yourself. By saying things out loud, the reflection process becomes easier. Breakthroughs are harder when you are alone processing ideas in your head.

- ENERGY AND SUPPORT — A small group gives you energy and support when you hit the lows of the transition. A career transition takes some time, and there are times that suck, times when you believe you won’t find anything you are excited about. These days, your group is there to help you stand up again.

- STRUCTURE — A small group gives you structure. By meeting regularly and having a framework, you keep moving. You keep moving despite your job or non-job challenges, what life throws at you or the ups and downs of your motivation. The structure that the group provides ensure that you will move forward.

- ACCOUNTABILITY — A small group means accountability. What is really important is to voice out your goals regularly and get the support of the group to get to them. Goal setting complements structure to achieve accountability.

- CONNECTIONS — A small group adds exponentially more weak ties and solutions to your career transition. One of the exercise we do in my own career transition group is the “how can I help you” exercise at the end of sessions. Each person gets to ask the others one thing, and everyone tries to find solutions and connections for this person. Your small group is a tangible resource to your career transition.

You’ve gotten the idea. With a small group you can really go further and take yourself to the next level, beyond anything you could have done alone. So what do you choose to do with your career transition? Try many things, fight against your willpower, exhaust yourself before running the next thing or take yourself to the next level?

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” — Ken Blanchard
Cecile Pompei