A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub - Know Yourself
We are excited to launch the first article in our, ‘A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub’ series. Our first piece, authored by one of our Personal Brand coaches, Dean Mumm, highlights the ultimate career transition.
From Captain of the Wallabies to financial services professional, Dean highlights the lessons he has learned about finding strength in one’s authentic self when the world as you know it is in a state of flux. The one piece of advice I wish someone had drilled into me during my professional sporting career was to take the time get to know myself. To understand what makes me tick and what I like doing away from my ‘day job’.
Transitioning out of one industry into another is never easy and becomes more difficult when it appears there is very little in common between the old and the new. It’s now been three years since I transitioned into the financial services industry (insurance) after playing 12 seasons of professional rugby both in Australia and the UK. From the outside, there does not appear too much in common between the two industries. It is true; the ability to make a low tackle on a 120kg player at full speed is not much use when you are trying to place a liability policy. Nor does modelling a new insurance product help you improve your ability to pass the ball 10m. Nonetheless, I have found there is a huge point of commonality between the two. A single factor that leads to success in both fields. This factor is the individual. I will, or you will, always be the lead in our collective stories. What is more interesting is that the same basic elements that drive us, our character strengths, our values and behaviour traits rarely change significantly. Therefore, the same strengths, values and purpose at the beginning and end of the day, which drove my contribution on the field as a rugby player, are the same basic elements that drive me in my day-to-day interactions in the corporate office as an insurance broker. So, the better you know yourself, the more likely you are to be able to mould the transition experience towards your personal goals and aspirations.
Since retiring, I have worked hard to understand myself a little better. I now have a greater understanding of my personal strengths, I am clear on my values and how I want to personify them, and strangely enough my ‘why’ has not changed since my playing days, it has merely evolved to represent who I am now. By no means is what I’m saying ground-breaking, nor does it guarantee that I know what lies ahead in the future. Yet importantly, it provides me with a lens to see whether an opportunity that comes my way suits me, so I can decide whether it is worth chasing hard or is best left for someone else. In a world with so much extrinsic uncertainty, it is important to have some intrinsic certainty.
You can choose to have certainty in what you want, what you like and what matches your personal strengths and values. In return, you only have to give yourself the opportunity to understand these dimensions a little deeper. I firmly believe that the future of work will focus on the individual and their ability to contribute. From my experience, this is the key thing to remain clear on during periods of change. What is my contribution, what value do I bring, what is the best way to invest in myself now to maximise opportunities later? I invite you to give yourself the space and use this time wisely to think about what makes you tick.
Coach & author bio: Dean Mumm is a former Wallaby in the Australian Rugby team, who successfully transitioned from his role as an elite athlete into the corporate space. Dean brings a unique understanding of the challenges of change to his role as a Personal Brand coach with Transition Hub.