7 Career Tips: How to Navigate your Career through Change

Last week saw the third installment of the US Alumni Club's Career PowWow, in partnership with FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm that provides multidisciplinary solutions to complex challenges and opportunities. We partnered with FTI's Balance Network, a forum for both men and women to learn and share their experiences of diversity and inclusion in the world of business. 

The three panelists - Raja Palanaippan (former trader and now founder of a fintech startup), Joan Wales (scientist and Head of Operational Risks at BP) and Ralph Steward (engineer and Head of EMEA Rewards at Experian) - came from very diverse professional backgrounds which allowed the discussion to be truly engaging.  Here's a list of the top tips they provided us:

  1. Finding a sponsor/champion is the key to making a career change - you need someone that is prepared to say "give her/him a chance"
  2. Networking is important, in fact critical, to career success
  3. When opportunities come, grab them as they may not come back
  4. Spend time developing relationships, especially when you join a new company or start a new role
  5. Position yourself where the change is happening, and showcase your capabilities that will allow you to fit in the new direction your company/industry is going
  6. Whenever you are in an organization, you are constantly being assessed - never let your guard down and always think about how you come across
  7. Three qualities that companies look for in talent: Judgement, Drive and Influence. 
Career PowWow featuring Christine Brown-Quinn, Raja Palanaippan, Joan Wales and Ralph Steward

Career PowWow featuring Christine Brown-Quinn, Raja Palanaippan, Joan Wales and Ralph Steward

Our moderator, Christine Brown-Quinn, did an excellent job of directing and subsequently synthesizing the discussion. She's provided us with her Career Navigation Plan that covers many of the themes and strategies discussed.