We sat in our office, and he spoke enthusiastically about his achievements. When asked about the future, he said he couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. However, he confided that he was worried whether he could provide sufficiently for his family and his aging parents.I explained that most people are optimistic about the future of their company but that we need to plan for change. Our past careers are a mix of good and bad. It is human nature to overestimate the brightness of our futures. I asked him to write down his thoughts about the past 10 months. What did he feel good about? What were the things he was not so thrilled about? He wrote down the following list:The months rolled by and we sent Watanabe-san e-mails from time to time with market information, career guidance, and recruiting information on oncology marketing roles that matched his career; we even gave him a few calls. We didn’t hear back from Watanabe-san, and that’s OK by us — it’s our job to provide great information, and what people do with the information is up to them.

After some months, one position grabbed his attention. He wrote, “Philip, this position looks really interesting. Tell me more. Let’s speak on the phone.” We described the position in detail and when he said he’d be interested we presented his resume along with four others to our client. Watanabe was interviewed and eventually hired, with a 14 percent increase in salary and the opportunity to launch an exciting new product.

We kept in touch, and after about six months we caught up. Watanabe told me, “It’s hard to imagine how something so small (our 30-minute meeting) could help with something so important (his career).”

I asked, “What was the turning point?”

He said, “I don’t know exactly, but I do know that I needed to break free from past expectations, to bust out of my comfort zone and become OK with the unfamiliar”.

Once Watanabe-san took charge of his career, he was able to judge opportunities on their merits and to determine if they aligned with his goals.

We all have free choice. The number of choices and the quality of choices that we have are based on the quality and quantity of information available to us. One of the most important things that I have learned through recruiting in the past 15 years is that life is all about choices.

At every juncture in life, we make a choice, and it is those choices that shape our lives. Your career never really happens by chance; it happens by choice—your choice. A great career belongs to those who prepare and gather the right information today.

It is easy sometimes to think not much has changed in our lives. This is not the case and we know this by reflecting on what has changed over the past 10 months. Life is a mix of the good and the bad but change is always with us.

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Morunda www.morunda.com should be your choice of recruiting partner in Japan and Asia Pacific. Why? Because we live and breathe the pharmaceutical industry in Asia and the Pacific—we’re specialists!

  • Morunda has completed over 400 managers to director-level placements since 2001.
  • A cultural understanding of what it takes to secure top talent
    Over one hundred thought leadership articles published.
  • We hold regular seminars for candidates and clients alike with industry experts.
  • We understand the market, not only today, but where it is heading in the next 12 to 18 months