Whole Career Advice from Entrepreneur Don Hutcheson (E39)

Having a successful career is more than just choosing a job and sticking to it.


It's Time for a Better Career Change!

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September 27, 2016
Don Hutcheson on The Art of Personal Growth Podcast

Historically, finding and walking your career “path” was a simple process. You learned skills, found a job, and committed to that job for 30-35 years until your pension kicked in and you could follow your true passion. In this week’s episode, I talk with entrepreneur, inventor, author, and coach Don Hutcheson to talk about careers today.

When Don gives career advice, it comes from a lifetime of personal and observed experience. Through serendipity, Don turned away from several career paths that never developed, and ended up starting six companies in the past forty years. He also runs the Discover Your Talent Through What You Love podcast.

In addition to advising that all workers should spend time gaining personal insights into their goals, priorities, and passions (*cough* Flower Exercise *cough*), he also gave advice for each of the three phases of your career. Check them out below.

Free Career Advice Download

With Don’s help, I’ve created a special four-page worksheet that details the above advice and provides you with three important questions you should ask yourself at each phase of your career. This free PDF is available to download below, and can help get you started crafting a fulfilling career you love.

Click Here to Get the Career Cheat Sheet

Early Career Advice

In your early career, Don’s best advice is to embrace how complicated it is to find a fulfilling career. It’s far more complex than talking to your high school guidance counselor, declaring a major, and taking some personality inventories.

“Until you know yourself holistically and you get a sense of what really drives you, your life’s purpose, and know what your talents are from experience and feedback from people. Until you set goals that resonate with that, and are really disciplined about it, you’re not going to be able to get where you want to go.”

It’s perfectly okay if it takes you several years to figure out what you love doing, what drives you, and how you can make a living at that. In today’s internet based job market, it’s not hard to take an online class in the evenings or grab a freelance gig while you try new skills.

Your early career is your best chance to learn about yourself as a worker, so take advantage of that, Don says.

Mid-Career Advice

In your mid-career, it’s time to take inventory of how your career is going, and where you want it to go next. Typically by mid-career, Don says, you know your strengths and weaknesses, but may be in a role or have responsibilities that aren’t the best fit for you.

“If you get [to your mid-career], and you learn the different options, you can make a transition and it doesn’t destroy your life. It makes your life worthy.”

Even in mid-career, holistic assessment of yourself and your goals is crucial to staying satisfied with your career, or adjusting your course if not. If you need to make adjustments, mid-career is often a point where you have the financial and social support to do so – and that doesn’t mean having a traditional mid-life crisis in the process.

Late Career Advice

For those in the later stages of their career, Don says it’s time to start considering your legacy. Personally, this advice resonates with me even in my own career stage.

“As you get older, there’s a whole piece of this that revolves around values, legacy, and meaning. It’s always there. It drives your life. It’s a foundational piece. What can I give back? What can I share? I’ve got all these, hopefully, talents and skills that have built my life and career, but how can I pay that forward?”

If you’ve successfully – or even not-so-successfully – navigated through your early and mid-career stages, your late career is a great time to figure out how you take your knowledge, skills, passion, and wisdom, and pass it on to those who will take over for you whenever (if ever) you finally decide to retire.

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It's Time for a Better Career Change!

Don't Put Your Happiness on Hold!

Start Now!