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K H Prior and Associates




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In Transition

As the concept of lifetime employment is eroded, individuals have to take greater responsibility for their careers. Individuals who devolve responsibility for their career or life balance solely to a company are abdicating a critical responsibility.

Professor George Kohlreiser and Nick Shreiber (former President and CEO of the Tetra Pak Group) discussed this issue in an IMD (Switzerland) paper. They recognise that a most important attribute for anyone today is greater self-awareness. By understanding and accepting the transitions we face in our professional and personal lives we ensure a healthy mind and body. The more we are aware of our own needs, values and aspirations the less likely we are to be taken hostage by a company, a lifestyle or even an expectation.

We all face ‘moments of truth’ in our careers — occasions when we can maintain the status quo or choose to move out of our  ‘comfort zone’ deliberately choosing a more difficult path — one more likely to further our growth and improve our life balance.

In essence, all life components are tied to our identity. Our physical, emotional and spiritual being are connected and need harmony. Career moves and transitions can have a very positive influence on the development of a person’s identity.

It is acknowledged that maintaining a ‘truly’ balanced life is no easy task. It requires a mindset similar to a pendulum that swings back and forth as needed, under the control of the individual.

The IMD team recommended that individuals should visualise their lives as a book to which you add chapters along the way. Some chapters are better than others but they are all part of the same book — your life. Each chapter represents a different phase and is marked by a shift in your creative energy and focus. A chapter may end when you sense a need for deep renewal and want to kick-start motivation. When your creative energy and focus are shifting — your gut feel and intuition are the best indicators of the need for change.

The mentor’s role is to help you manage all aspects of the transition and provide support in the early phase of the ‘new’ venture.