"Why the change?" (it is not really a change).
People are often confused in talk about career change. Fred is not changing the skills and abilities he applies in his work, he is simply seeking to employ them in another organization.
Skills, abilities, & talents are transferable.
"I identified work activities that I enjoy, that I can bring to an organization (Fred's Strengths - on the blue menu bar above).
Fred thrives employing these abilities, and seeks to use them in the administrative sector, rather than in a short term transaction dominated setting, such as investment advising. Fred investedtime and resources, building academic credentials and developing formal recognition of research & analysis skills to excel in desired roles.
Describing Fred's work history and personality - A story embedded with potential benefits for your organization :
Monday, researches the market, updating his database (Excel Spreadsheet) of potential investment properties; verifying qualities and communicating with stakeholders. Next he reaches out to potential investors and referral sources in the effort of connecting with interested parties.
This is the same process, involved in recruiting, developing organizational engagement, and managing organizational processes - so is there a change?
The rest of the week can vary, base don the responses from Monday's efforts and the ongoing collaborations and scheduled project completion dates from previous or ongoing engagement efforts.
Fred completed 3 years at the University of Missouri, simultaneously working for the Army Reserve and earning a commission as an officer in the US Army. The Army transferred him to Denver, where he completed his Bachelor's degree at University of Colorado at Denver.
In Denver, elements combined that led Fred out of an administrative track and into business development. An internship in the office of the Lieutenant Governor where Fred supported state policy efforts to improve market competition and completed a paper; administrative and field work with the National Guard; course work surveying government policy's impact in social environment; acquaintance with a fellow who ran a company helping people lower their mortgage payments and keep their homes combined and lead Fred into a sales job.
Selling is one of the world's most valued and necessary roles, but actors employing self centered approaches, dishonest tactics and high pressure efforts, contribute a negative connotation to the term, sales. Many jobs and roles employ persuasive efforts and elements of sales.
Fred sold insurance and water purification systems door to door in Columbia and in Denver. He was frustrated with the unpredictability of commission income, excited with its potential return for the hours of work invested.
The combination described above, led Fred into a job that combined those elements, commission income, and an improved income situation - with great potential for income advancement. Fred freely admits that he could never be a super salesman - as his focus on honesty and rational processes interfere with selling many people - but he did build some objective breaking / hi-performance production organizations - based on value propositioning services and results.
Initially Fred "sold" this home savings program over the phone. It was a public service, a program initiated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The program was successful, because it combined government regulation and fees with strong incentive to marketers and lenders. FHA assumed financial risk, insuring the replacement of a high payment with a lower payment mortgage. The marketer, convinced the homeowner to apply for the new mortgage, complete the required application process, and pay the new loan as agreed. A lender paid the marketer and then sold the new mortgage to investors.
"Sales" were required in capturing and maintaining the homeowner's attention in the phone call and in other contact efforts; convincing the homeowner to work with Fred and the company he represented rather than other sources, with whom the homeowner might be more familiar; persuade the homeowner to complete the application process and comply with the required steps; to resolve any complications; and to convince the homeowner to refer Fred, the company, and the process to others who could benefit. Fred developed abilities quickly, as he had no formal sales training in college or anywhere else.
Fred was highly successful. The market recognized these things about Fred:
That the market recognized these items is evident in the organizational processes that followed. Fred was recruited by the organization that would become Wells Fargo. He was promoted, as he improved his production and employed others in the process. Fred was compensated to restructure organizational processes; improving service, conditions, efficiencies, and profits. Fred's abilities increased.
Fred was recruited to represent a different government regulated loan product; improve market presence and production over a wider area and different clientele. This work involved mortgages, but the clientele were now mortgage marketers. Some might interpret this as a career change, but Fred's explanation (provided at the beginning of this narrative) it was not - as Fred continued to apply the same abilities and skills. Fred advanced to manage a territory spanning two states and a production center of 16 people. The cycle repeated again with another lender.
During this time, Fred opened his own mortgage marketer, a brokerage and operated that income producing stream from 1996 to 2002, while he served the management roles. Fred's brokerage served consumer clientele, while his management efforts guided service to mortgage marketers, so there was no interest conflict. Fred added state and SEC regulated financial investments and insurance to the services provided to clientele. This reinforces the description his abilities inventory and demonstrates other skills:
All roles compensated Fred based on the results he generated - communicating and presenting, collaborating, developing commitments, managing resources and responding to changing conditions. He was compensated with commissions paid on production amounts which fluctuated with market conditions; and didn't have the luxury or comfort of knowing that a salary was regularly available.
Wells again recruited Fred to a new and experimental venture, private mortgage banking. In this role Fred was serving a wide range of clientele form the ordinary consumers served in his brokerage, to elite bank customers, with special needs or characteristics. This position required employment of all his abilities and the development of new skills. Fred structured andunderwrote mortgages in 27 states. This was unique, as underwriting and originating are traditionally separate activities for organization security.
Fred was recruited next to the nation's 6th largest privately held real estate held brokerage, to serve and develop agents and business activity. Next he was recruited to serve an affinity business development role for GMAC in Nashville. Both these positions employed the abilities described earlier, and added requirements to engage other businesses and organizations in developing training, education and presentation opportunities.
Being recruited; presented to an organization as a staffing solution by a professional (recruiter) compensated for identifying successful problem solvers ; is another form of market validation of competence and abilities. Recruiters are paid to obtain results. Fred was presented by recruiters based on their recognition and validation of his previous work. Recruiters presented his accomplishments to hiring managers; those authorities engaged Fred to work toward common objectives, based on their recognition of his previous accomplishments.
GMAC suffered a tremendous meltdown, due to policies directed from the highest levels of the company. The public read about this destruction in 2008, but the signs were visible within to the industry years earlier. Fred left GMAC in 2005 , obtaining the required local licensure, and applying his skills and abilities to serving investors with interest in the Tennessee marketplace. Fred combined his knowledge of lending & real estate; people (soft) and emotional talents; sales and communication; administrative and management abilities, research and presentation skills and focused on serving investors. He also began the higher education process to acquire the formal credentials that support organizational recognition of his experientially and practice developed abilities. Research informs Fred that a doctorate and academic practicum experiences, combined with his transferrable inventory, make a him a viable administrative candidate and an exceptional resource.
Whattype person isFred?
Working in organizations, Fred found, "I naturally gravitated toward people with a sense of humor - along with the super technically talented (even when they appeared gruff or less than welcoming). I never ostracized or enemitized anyone, and even made extra efforts to warm and tenderize those few who were extra-difficult to like."
Fred drew organizational leadership skills that impact him today, from his college and US Army experience. He wasboth a formal and informal leader in these settings. The Army forced people into leadership roles in service and in ROTC. College offered opportunities to lead informally. Fred describes,"I was self driven in college, my biggest complaint was not having enough time to explore all my interests and opportunities. There were so many - and conventional thinking kids around me did not recognize many of them, others were tied up in formal restrictions - which required time to negotiate. Still I learned powerful lessons in them." The best lessons are often subtle. Fred describes,"The Army published formal learning objectives, but also expected people to learn the informal aspects of leadership; recognition, praise, approbation, finesse, encouragement, empathy, good listening skills, when not to speak, alternative discipline styles, relative justice - all these concepts compose discretion - which supports personal responsibility".
Ronald Reagan is quoted as repeating, "There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit." Fred explains that quote describes opportunity in leadership and adds that Reagan probably made it an issue because of the inherent conflict "credit can be problematic in a commission compensation environment - where producers are compensated along credit lines." "One conflict I had with extreme private market philosophy, was in terms of balancing benefit to the organization against desire of the individual producer. Production environments struggled to manage conflicts in these scenarios. That is a major reason there is so much change and turn over in producers and positions in those markets." (H.R. people often don't understand the forces at work there.) "In Political environments, conflict occurs, as actors seek advancement via recognition. Fortunately, I approach work in an organization without that pressure and with incentive to share or award credit."
The previous paragraphs were drafted in 2015. I am asked, "Why do you to change?", from real estate advising to administration or research (effective administration involves an element of research) for a living. I don't see it as much of a change, but I can tell that many folks don't understand the common elements and want a more involved story.
I realized late one night while running Interstate Mutual Mortgage, that I didn't enjoy what I was doing. My work was frightening me, as I recognized that it was leading the country toward economic disaster and enabling lousy individual circumstances. My observations differed from Michael Lewis's (The Big Short, Liar's Poker), but the results were the same. I enjoyed the administrative, creative, problem solving, educating , communicating and presenting aspects of my work. After several months of research an reflection - I recognized that my personal best performance opportunities would be found in the positions I am seeking. All the steps I've taken since 1998, have been toward this goal.
Real estate investment work has paid expenses and provides income, but it has also been a form of treading water until I can transition into an public management - administrative, research, or higher ed role.
In every organization I assessed: my role expectations, boundaries and governance, and identified what & how I was expected to contribute.
I am a quick self driven, observant and self-educating, used to managing multiple tasks - (ask me what it takes to generate and close mortgages). Skills I bring to work:
Problem solving and managing
People compatibility and management
Teaching & training - enhancing understanding
Communications - spoken, written, presented
Research & explanation building
rational understanding and reasoning
Fred says he is uncomfortable promoting his accomplishments, "talking about my accomplishments feels uncomfortable, but people need to know that my experience will support success in their organizations & roles! ", Building relationships requires promotion. Fred says the last 5 years were challenging, balancing Master's & Doctoral studies with his continuous brokerage efforts.
Fred spent the last year primarily consulting withHomeUnion, an internet start-up organization promoting single family home investment among international and American investors. Fred sourced and provided properties in Middle Tennessee and Chattanooga for potential purchase, researching and reporting potential income, expenses, and cash flow. He serviced inquiries; comprehensively facilitated investment; researched; communicated (spoken & written);& presented (using technology and before groups). "This (role) was multi-tasked and pressured, properties sold as fast as they were sourced, investors had their own schedules and requirements, HomeUnion had additional requirements - there were multiple demands for my attention and little time to manage them all." Fred led national production in late 2014, but was overtaken as higher return properties became available, leaving Tennessee less desired. Fred describes his work, "Market dependent work (like real estate investment) is similar to life in the wild; quick and unforgiving - there is no safety net".
Fred notes that performing his brokerage work while pursuing his academic work was tough, but beneficial as it emphasized public and private sector differences and reinforced (through live example) organizational and administrative processes; leadership, management, implementation, evaluation, and reform challenges.
"It is difficult for many to recognize that I bring the talents to succeed and lead in these positions. Many people see my resume job titles and immediately dismiss me from consideration."
Joining an organization or project, I listen and observe to assess these categories: the goals & guidance of the leadership, the progress of the effort, the objections and complaints of the team, the attitudes and momentum of everyone involved, and the resources and options that everyone has recognized, championed and rejected - and their reasons. I need to recognize the boundaries that govern the implementation process and project.
Sometimes I see opportunities to for improvement, but I have to wait...catalog those & continue listening.Are there are other layers of obstacles that interfere with implementing changes? Some describe those other factors as "political or complicated" & those require attention.
I have one mouth to talk (or tell) but two ears, nostrils, and eyes; and thousands of sensory cells to listen, smell, see, and observe input from the environment. That suggests that survival is 80% paying attention and remaining quiet, less than 20% telling. Remaining silent is often more productive.
I seek an image of competence:
Recognized for integrity, loyalty, & dependability, and confidence maintenance
Smiles, upbeat and confident boosting for those around me.
Manners and smooth appearances
Quick and reliable response patterns and returned phone calls, emails, confirmations.
Strive to be quick on my feet
Remembering the perception is reality
Taking balanced and "cautious risks" - not wreckless leaps.
"People can trust me ...to listen, to maintain confidences and loyalties, and to follow up commitments"
Every environment and effort is different. Some demand that you accept certain boundaries or governance, even though they appear flexible, and work within them. Others require a complete and exhaustive exercise of creativity and innovation; findings documented and submitted; and your role is to wait for an implementation decision that still might differ from what was submitted and suggested. Reality dictates ego remains in the parking lot; work occurs under the organization roof. My traits :
Peer / effort leader
Positive attitude and focus
Accepting imperfection in the environment (I struggle with this one)
Fred's college experience and Army training provided a foundation for his work. Experiences as a producer, manager, business owner, trainer provided a wealth of skills. Fred reflects, "Peoplewith little market based employment experience talk about collaboration and cooperation, but they are important concepts when this month's income depends on them." and adds, "Public sector folks may not recognize that while I was doing the jobI was hired to do, I was searching (simultaneously) for thenext two or three jobs - often having tobalance their timeframes, simultaneously".