DALLAS, Texas (KDAF) — Fear and uncertainty is widespread due to the massive disruptions to the economy, job security, and even our everyday family life and health from the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a double edge sword – the disruptions have created fertile ground for thoughts and ideas about making a change to your life and career, but it’s also a scary time to be taking first steps into the unknown.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
With a little guidance and planning, now is the perfect time to make changes for a better future. John Barden, Associate Dean for Executive Education at UTD has seen many people who may have considered returning to school or a career change out of reach, but ultimately and successfully made the leap.
“One of the things we’ve actually been telling them is to come on in with an open mind, have presence” says Barden.
That’s the first step that Barden lays out to help guide people in assessing if they are ready for a change. You’ll also want to do your research before embarking on something like an MBA program or joining a new company. Ask yourself: what industries you’re interested in? What role do you want to have in 5 years? In other words, know the world you want to walk in to. “You have to know the language,” says Barden, “and that’s one of the things at the University of Texas at Dallas we can help you do. Learning the language of business is extremely important.”
Maybe you’re not fully wanting to make a shift yet, but there are some indicators to look out for that will tell you when it’s time. Barden says that if you’ve been in the same position for a while and not much has changed, you need to retool. He says “stagnation is not good at all. If you look at your position and you’ve been in the position for, we’ll just say the last 8-10 years, and there hasn’t been any change, you need to retool.”
This retooling can come in the form of an MBA program, but also in the way of certificates or trainings. If you’re in North Texas, the Global Leadership MBA program at UTD is a great option, primarily as it’s entirely online.
Regardless if you’re sensing a change is needed, are in the middle of one, or well on your way in a new career path, Barden says there are two things you need to always have in order to be successful. The first is to maintain strong ethical values in our careers and life. The second, is to develop and hone your people and communication skills. Get out of your office, talk to people, and treat them and situations ethically.