Transitioning to a new career: From theory to practice

Much like a car, for your new professional project to be a success, you need to make sure you, as a job-candidate, are “roadworthy” at all times, so that when opportunity knocks, the journey to your new company goes smoothly. Leaders League got the headhunter’s perspective from the founder of Atorus Executive, Marie Hombrouck.

Posted mardi, juillet 11 2023
Transitioning to a new career: From theory to practice

Marie Hombrouck knows a thing or two about professional transitions. On top of running her own executive talent agency, she went through the difficult experience of having to make an unexpected career turn and retraining.

An M&A lawyer by training, the 40-something is a self-confessed “child of the great recession,” who saw the 2007 stock-market crash from the inside. The sub-prime crisis proved to be a watershed moment in the career of the young lawyer as, “it made me realize that workers needed to be more agile,” she recalls.

The job for life no longer exists for the vast majority of us and, now more than ever, promising graduates are going to have to carry out a variety of roles and work for a number of different companies during their career. As luck would have it, Hombrouck discovered the recruitment industry, which quickly cast a spell on her.  In 2017, having accrued a decade’s worth of experience she decided to take the plunge and set up her own firm. Despite her determination to make a go of it, it was, to say the least, a risky proposition, as Hombrouck explains. “As a new mother, using your own money to become an entrepreneur is like jumping off a cliff and building your airplane on the way down.” Concentration and urgency are key.

Six years on from founding Atorus Executive Marie and her team have carved out a niche for themselves in the crowded headhunting market. Her speciality? Helping middle-aged workers manage their careers.  

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
However well you are doing in your job, assuming you are in complete control of our career is a dangerous illusion. All the more reason, then, to be ready to move when the time comes, as it surely will. According to her you should neither endure problems nor wait for them to appear. Hence the need to avoid resting on your laurels or falling into a routine, but rather be proactive and cultivate your network, so you are ready to pounce on each opportunity.

This is all well and good, but will count for little unless you have a clear vision of where your want your career to go. According to the boss of Atorus Executive, the first step is to be honest with yourself, conduct an exhaustive audit of your abilities to identify strengths and weaknesses yes, but also to truly know which part of professional life you want to leave behind and which you want to develop further. Vague notions won’t cut it.

To be ready to undertake your new career challenge and know what it is we really want out of our professional life Hombrouck leaves no room for debate, “Agility is the cornerstone of career self-management”  and that goes for someone who has reached “the pinnacle of their career” as well.

In conclusion, even the most fulfilled of us must keep both feet in the starting blocks.