THE COMMUNICATOR How to stop your detours turning into roadblocks
REGGIE Selma was a CNN photojournalist. Based out of the same Washington, DC bureau as I once was, he was the first African-american cameraman assigned to the White House. He covered every US president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. He travelled the world, notably strolling the Great Wall of China with President Reagan and meeting iconic leaders such as Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela.
Yet change inevitably happens. Even careers as stable and enriching as Reggie’s don’t last forever. For my cameraman friend, his illustrious CNN adventures came to an end when he recently retired.
It’s not surprising that research proves what we all can imagine, that a change in a job situation can catapult a person into a state of confusion, uncertainty or even depression.
But, Reggie has fallen into none of those. Instead of fading into the sunset, he is launching a successful second career as a speaker. He certainly has plenty of entertaining material from decades of covering the hottest stories in the world.
With his energy, humour and vitality, Reggie makes it look easier than it is. In today’s rapidly-changing economy, the London School of Business and Finance reports that over half of the people they surveyed would like to change jobs — but many don’t for fear of the unknown.
Whether you take the leap yourself or you find change handed to you in the form of retirement, redundancy or perhaps something more personal, there are common communications behaviours to will help you improve your next chapter.
Here are a few I’ve observed, not only from Reggie, but also from others who are equally as inspiring. MOVING 10 pounds, it takes less effort to stay where you are than it does to make the change. If it’s a stable job with regular pay and a growing pension, you may be tempted to coast. As I wrote last week in this column, a career coach can help you find the courage and direction you may be waiting for.
If losing weight means you need to hit the gym regularly and skip that glass of wine or pint for a while, you may benefit from hiring a personal trainer.
Reggie has his wife. Hopefully, you have a supportive family too. I also urge you to enlist a neutral third party. Join a networking group. Find a mentor. Surround yourself with encouragement. Just don’t try to go it alone. YOUR PURPOSE