Whoever said that hard work and perseverance doesn’t pay off sure didn’t meet Tanya.
What Tanya Malcolm Revell did when she was looking to make her big career change was no easy feat.
Besides being an American looking for work that fit her in London, U.K., Tanya is also a Career Change Bootcamp alum and our guest for this installment of our most recent CCB success story.
“I will never go out for a job just because it has presented itself on some random Linkedin job blast that sounds good. I’ll focus on companies that I know that I will be appreciated in, that I know I will be able to grow in, I know that I will be able to work in some sort of collaborative environment.“
– Tanya Malcom Revell
Curious how she did it?
You’re in luck
Here’s a case study on how Tanya leveraged her previous work and life experience, overcame her obstacles, and established brand-new relationships with the key players that would lead her to land her new career.
Tanya’s Ideal Career Goals
Tanya’s top priority was to find a job that aligned with who she was and offered her exactly what she was looking for.
At the top of Tanya’s career needs were sharing a belief system with an organization that valued the things she valued, such as:
- A collaborative environment
- Growth within the company
- Recognition for a job well done
“Okay, look. If you want something this desperately, or this badly, then why wouldn’t you work outside of your normal operating levels or your normal conventions? What’s the worst that they can say?”
– Tanya Malcom Revell
Whether it is lacking the confidence in our own knowledge and skills, or debating which path to take to get where you want to go, we all have our career change roadblocks.
For Tanya, she knew what she was capable of and where she wanted to take her skills and experience.
The things that were slowing her down were:
- The fact that she had just moved to a new country
- Her hesitation to reach out and establish a connection with people outside of her own network
Like most of our stumbling blocks (outside of getting the correct work visa), it was all in her head, and she knew it.
How did she break free from this mental roadblock?
She changed her perspective.
In her previous work experience, she had to reach out to people to get her job done.
She brought on that new mindset of “this task must be completed in order to get the job done,” to continue her process to reach her dream career.
With those challenges in mind, Tanya was determined to make this career search a more focused one than what she had done in her previous job searches, so she enlisted the help of HTYC.
Tanya knew that if she was going to make a successful career switch in a new country, she wasn’t going to be able to continue on her own.
She found HTYC and enrolled in our Career Change Bootcamp, which equipped her with the framework and support she needed guide her through the finish line of snagging her new job.
Here are the key elements that Tanya followed in order to land her new position.
1. Identifying Strengths
Here at HTYC, we’re big believers that people do best when they work in their strengths.
As with any big plan for change, you need to layout a foundation to build on. When it comes to working in your strengths, you need just that — a list of all of your strengths.
In order to identify her strengths, Tanya completed an exercise from the CCB program that consisted of things like:
- Looking at her job experiences in the past to identify what she excelled in
- Looking for patterns, repetition, and connections from her past
- Asking for input from her close friends and family
You can learn more about the process here.
Once she developed a list of her strengths, she was able to move onto the next step of figuring out what she valued.
2. Evaluating Values
Values like strengths are an integral part to determining where you work next.
Don’t think so?
Think about this:
Would you go for a job that you knew didn’t value your work ethic?
Would you work for an organization that wasn’t flexible with your work schedule?
Would you apply somewhere that you knew didn’t promote from within the company?
We all have different wants, needs, and would-like-to-haves, so why not know what those are?
While you’re at it, make a list of what you definitely don’t want in you next job, too!
For Tanya, knowing all the things that she didn’t want in her next career and knowing the things that she had to have in common with the next organization she worked with, helped her narrow her scope of companies that she would be more intentional about focusing her time on.
“Putting in the work and the effort throughout the bootcamp, really paying attention to myself and my thoughts — what worked, what didn’t work throughout my career, what I was looking for, what my wants were, what my motivations were, my minimums, my ideals, etc.”
– Tanya Malcom Revell
3. Creating an Ideal Career Profile
As we all know, our lives change over time. Depending on conditions, so do our values.
By looking back at you past job experiences, you learn a lot about what you don’t want in your career.
Taking the lists of strengths and values that Tanya defined in the first two steps of the process that HTYC outlined for her, she was able to create her own Ideal Career Profile (ICP).
Creating an ICP is something that Tanya credits for helping put herself into perspective.
With her ICP, Tanya was able to narrow down job positions AND organizations that really aligned with her career and life goals.
Getting all of her ‘asks’ down on paper let her pool her energy to focus on her end goal.
Although she knew that she would never find herself in the perfect role for life, she knew that the ICP that she created would be ideal for what she was looking for now as an American living in London for now.
4. Connecting with the Right People
As soon as she did the research on her career wants, needs, ideals, and minimums, she knew she wanted to work for Wanderlust, an event production company that produces yoga festivals globally.
The next step of the process required Tanya to take the bull by the horns and reach out to key people within the Wanderlust organization.
She broke this step down by first, reaching out to others in her network to see if she knew anyone that had connections at Wanderlust. With that one action, she made a connection to the Co-founder of Wanderlust (!!).
So you found a connection?
The next part of this step is building and fostering your new connection with the understanding that you’re not going to just to flat out ask for a job.
Fostering a new (and important connection) requires you to do a bit of an information exchange. You want to give something to people as well.
How will you help the organization?
What skills do you bring that makes their lives easier?
Within your communications, you’ll want to make sure to convey interest (and enthusiasm!) in their particular brand/organization.
“Just putting this all down on paper, I realized that it’s not rocket science. At the end of the day, this is me. But what it did for me, it helped me put me in perspective. It helped me really think about myself in a different light. See myself through a bigger lens.”
– Tanya Malcom Revell
Lusting After Wanderlust No More
Tanya applied all of her learnings from the CCB program (listed above) and landed a position at the organization she targeted from her Ideal Career Profile — Wanderlust.
Tanya is currently spearheading a project to bring the Wanderlust festivals to the UK and Europe.
What does she attribute her successful career transition to?
Tanya is particularly proud about getting over her fear to reach out to her network.
She was able to be more intentional about seeking out specific people and establishing relationships with the key players at Wanderlust.
Without that piece of the career change process, Tanya wouldn’t be in the position that she is in now — working her dream job at the exact company she targeted during the first steps of her career change research.
Things may not happen overnight. But, eventually if you follow your process and are consistently following up with the people you reach out to, a career transition will happen for you.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even when you don’t see a glimmer.
The career change process is just that, A PROCESS.
With perseverance comes the drive and motivation.
Don’t forget what is driving you to change careers.
Sometimes, all you need to do is step back, breathe, take it all in, and refocus on your ideal career goals.
I made this happen.
“It wasn’t somebody coming to me. It wasn’t me trying to throw my resume into a random lotto of 100 million other people for the same job. This was me networking. This was me building relationships. This was me sticking with it, even when I wasn’t getting a response on an email or a phone call. I was just calling back and making sure they knew who I was.”
– Tanya Malcom Revell
Just to recap some of the biggest takeaways from Tanya’s career search experience:
- Know your wants, needs, and values — and don’t just go for any job that pops up, go for a job that aligns with YOU
- Breaking out of your comfort zone, putting yourself out there, and networking is more beneficial than not — what’s the worst they can say?
- Push past the negative and continue to focus on yourself in the positive. Your situation isn’t permanent. You will make the change!
- Hard work, dedication, and perseverance is what will get you through the rough bumps in the road (see bullet point #2)
We know that your decision to change careers isn’t something to be taken lightly. You want your next career to be everything you want and more (we totally get it!). That is why we’ve created the Career Change Bootcamp program to guide you to build a strong foundation that will go even more in depth to help you determine what it is you want out of your next career.
“Don’t let the hard days, or the days that you think you’re not moving forward or nothing is happening, stop you or slow you down…If anything, you should double down in your efforts.”
– Tanya Malcom Revell
Transcript from Episode
Scott Barlow: I am so excited to be here. We have a very special guest with us today. We are going to dive deep into her story and I’m ecstatic to share with you all. Welcome to Happen to Your Career Tanya. How are you?
Tanya Malcolm: I am doing very well thank you.
Scott Barlow: Very cool. We were chatting before we started and you have such an amazing story and we have witnessed a lot of it firsthand. I want to get into that but tell people what you do now.
Tanya Malcolm: Absolutely. Hello everyone. My name is Tanya. I work with Wanderlust which started as a yoga study but now produces festival and events throughout the world. I can’t say I was lucky because it took a lot of hard work and perseverance, but I got myself into a position where I am now part of the production team bringing Wanderlust into Europe and the United Kingdom. It’s full steam ahead.
Scott Barlow: When you say it literally just happened, you mean yesterday.
Tanya Malcolm: It literally just happened after lots and lots of time but it was well worth it.
Scott Barlow: That is what I’m interested in because I don’t know the full story. Tell people a little about your background even before this change.
Tanya Malcolm: I started in NYC in television production. I cut my teeth in the MTV music television arena. I was there for twelve or thirteen years on and off doing television production and doing different facets of the music television arena. I was a television producer and did experiential marketing around events and worked on festivals. Until recently I was working as a tour manager for pretty big bands. I had done this for years and my overwhelming thought process for new jobs I’d take was I really don’t like this. I don’t like something in my job because it’s not fulfilling. It wasn’t necessarily the work itself, although I’m sure there are bits and pieces that drive me nuts. It’s not that but a bigger umbrella, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but there is a new job right in front of me so I’ll grab it anyway. That was my story year over year. Taking the available job and not diving deeply into why am I having these thoughts and why isn’t this career fulfilling. Why does the circle keep happening?
My journey started – you heard what I said about not being fulfilled – but the transition started to happen when my husband and I decided to move outside the United States to the United Kingdom. I was ecstatic for many reasons. For my career I thought it would be a great opportunity to reinvent myself, look at what I had been doing and start from scratch. Which sounds all well and good. Ideally it would have happened and I’d get a new job in the next month or day or whatever.
Scott Barlow: 24 hours at least, we’ve arrived where is it?
Tanya Malcolm: Unfortunately there was a longer ordeal of getting a spouse work visa. I sat down and said I refuse to fall into my old ways. I need to think about what I want out of my next position and I’m in a great place to do that right now. There is no overwhelming monetary need. I felt that years and years in NYC because it’s all about the next job and who knows you. I thought I should slow down and evaluate where I am. I tried to do it on my own but realized I was going nowhere fast. The job searches were leading me and were scattered. I didn’t know where and how to focus and was getting more and more frustrated. As I looked at the calendar time was flying by and I was getting bummed out. I think I went online and said I need to find a podcast on career transitions. I stumbled across your interview on maxlist. I listened to you and Happen to Your Career bootcamp and I said this is me and what I need. I need a voice who can help me to get to the bottom of what I truly need not just for myself but work life balance for me, my husband, and my career. I went online and called or emailed you right away and I was talking to you like right away. I was inundated with the Happen to Your Career process.
Scott Barlow: I think we somehow ended up on a skype call. I thought I’m just going to call her.
Tanya Malcolm: That is exactly how it happened. I was talking to my husband and said I feel like this is the first time I’ve found someone or something that is going to make me focus and my purpose is about to explode everywhere. After going through different conversations with you I did the bootcamp and the rest is history. I’ll give you the short version then dive in.
Ultimately putting in the work and effort, really paying attention to myself, thoughts, and gut on what worked and didn’t throughout my career, my wants, what I was looking for, my motivations, my minimums, ideals, etc. and putting it on paper. It’s not rocket science, it’s me, but it helped put me into perspective. It helped me put myself in a different light evaluating my needs and wants. I could see myself through a bigger lens. I was able to properly position myself in this career transition which was the missing key. I didn’t know how to position myself and focus and what I wanted at the base.
Going through it all and coming out with this great career profile and focusing my search on companies that share my belief system and values. I targeted Wanderlust. After I had the profile I knew I wanted to work for them. There were a few other places on my list but it was always key and number one. I did everything you coached us to do. The reach outs the massaging your network to get introductions and being bold and forward. I do that in my job but was hesitant to do it in my search.
Scott Barlow: It’s outside your normal operating.
Tanya Malcolm: That was the other piece. If you want something this badly why wouldn’t you operate outside your normal operating conventions? What is the worse they can say? It is better than no answer. Right? I did all of that and I got directly to one of the co-owners of the festival. He responded to my email. Because I’m in the United Kingdom he shot me to the branch that does all the branding outside the United States. Conversations started with that entity. It was a painful process because they weren’t quite ready for the deeper conversations, though they recognized I’d be a good fit. You and Lisa have mentioned this during our coaching sessions that it’s not necessarily what they can do for you right then and there, but establishing a relationship and keeping it so you are the first person they think of when there is an opportunity.
Scott Barlow: This is so wonderful. I am not surprised at it anymore, but amazed that when you define what you want, and know what you want, and take action or go for it, very often it manifests. It is a really interesting phenomenon I’ve observed in my life and students. It’s happened for you and the interesting part is one hundred percent of the time, or nearly, what we want is outside the realm of what we’ve done before and outside or comfort zones or operation zones. Which also makes it uncomfortable. Kudos to you for doing that. It’s not easy.
Tanya Malcolm: It wasn’t but at the end of the day, if you want something and you are determined to make a change in your life and career – I couldn’t go another day saying I am not happy or I don’t like my job or don’t want to go to work today, I was over that. I spent way too much time thinking of the negatives. All I could do was focus on me in the positive and the future. I could not dwell on the past. It wasn’t beneficial to me or my job hunt. I am still flabbergasted that the conversations went well with Wanderlust. They said the London events are starting up and we want you to lead the charge, can you start tomorrow.
It was exactly like you presented it, the hard work, the dedication, having your career profile, and diving that deep in your wants and needs. Coming up from that you can find what speaks to you and represents who you are because you are focusing on that. That is where your career search is going. It will be a positive outcome for you no matter what.
That has been the biggest revelation. I will never go for a job because it’s on some random LinkedIn job blast and it sounds good. Other than me focusing on companies I know I will be appreciated in, able to grow, and be able to work in a collaborative environment. A big part for me was having a flexible work schedule. I don’t like taking the tube during rush hour; I don’t know many that do, but having the schedule to work from home when I want and go into the office when I want. They are completely fine with that and I did a couple fist pumps in the air when I heard it. More importantly is working with people whose values are aligned with mine. I got everything I wanted; not one or two but everything.
Scott Barlow: It feels crazy right now but the cool part is now you’ve done that you realize you can build that for yourself every time you want to make a switch or if something changes in your life and you have to make a change then you now have the tools and experience to know it’s possible.
Tanya Malcolm: Absolutely and I have the tools to pivot. It’s called a career pivot for a reason. I feel more confident in being able to shift left or right, front or back knowing I will move forward in a direction that aligns with me. I’ve never had that before.
Scott Barlow: Let me ask you something. You are at an interesting place because you’ve just went through it. I’m interested in your opinion. What do you feel like were some key events that had to happen for you to be ready to make this type of change? I think it’s different for everyone.
Tanya Malcolm: Phase one was figuring out what the heck I wanted out of my career and my next phase in life. Everybody has to do that before they can be successful. You can go through your life and jobs and be successful but to get every drop out of it you have to figure out what make you tick and keeps you going.
Scott Barlow: Let me ask before that, what caused you to get frustrated to the point where you were wanting to do it differently than before? You mentioned the move to London and opportune time, but I know plenty of people who have moved abroad, I’ve interacted with them, and they aren’t at the point to take action.
Tanya Malcolm: I was working in television production and entertainment. I lived in Los Angeles before moving to the UK. Being inundated in the entertainment arena, was a great stepping stone, but it really quickly frustrates you by the amount of ego that needs to be managed – artists, producers, etc. Through my search and profile I understood I’m good at being the person who can morph myself into different situations. I’m good at flexing and being supportive. I was doing that to an extent but it was detrimental to me and my career health. I was giving out more than I was getting back. I chose it but doing it year after year, while I was progressing in title, I wasn’t getting it back in support or a little kudos, great job. It didn’t make me feel good at the end of the day.
The event was a success but I was at a five on a ten scale on what I would get out of it. I was frustrated with that. I would move through television productions and festivals thinking something different would happen. At the base I really liked the work I was doing but it was the piece I thought I could change. It wasn’t working in that arena. With the move I knew I wanted to put a stop to the cycle and I wanted to get more out of myself and what I was doing for others. I wanted to be empower a community and be proud of it; hey mom and dad look at what I just produced, not just a random show on MTV. That was the impetus to starting the journey. London was the conduit and Happen to Your Career was the platform.
Scott Barlow: I love that. Except it might change from London. We can only work from London.
Tanya Malcolm: That is my story from the front end in a nutshell. Other things had to happen to make it happen, I’ve always been into yoga and health and wellness. I haven’t been the crazy 24/7 type of person but it’s integral to my life. No matter where I am I take time to go to the gym, or YMCA, or have a good meal or go on a walk. It’s always been a foundation of who I am. It was great but I don’t have the network here in London so I had to establish a network and put my face out there and take leaps that didn’t feel comfortable. I had to present myself at events with a business card and a handshake. Make people know me. I did that with a couple key influencers in the health and wellness market and it resonated. I put myself in front of yoga studies. If there are opportunities to volunteer or help out if it’s once a week or event based I am here. I got signed on with one of the largest yoga studios here in London. This is a little secret but we are going to try to get them onboard at Wanderlust and I have all the connections now.
Scott Barlow: Hold on. This is something interesting and happens to nearly anyone who goes through this process. It’s fascinating to me. You go through and are doing the work and inevitably you build relationships and then, you don’t know when or where, but they become useful. For a variety of different reasons. Not just transactional. It’s super cool.
So now you got to know the people and you were interested in knowing them in the work you’ve done and now you are getting to work continuously.
Tanya Malcolm: Absolutely, the people I have met doing that, the world is large until it’s not. The health and wellness industry in the UK is booming. It is still fledgling compared to the U.S. The people that shine and take a part and participate you will see over and over again. Having the touchpoints with the yoga studios and the gyms. There is a great health platform, Aggregator, that brings the health wellness news in a nice package to the consumers and I’d go to their events and meet influencers in the health and wellness arena, whether its clothing lines or food products. A bunch of different POD’s in this arena. After you would meet them and exchange cards. I kept building so much so that with Wanderlust, the big part of any event is the ties to the community for the consumer and presenting stuff to them that they like. Having gone to all these events where they present what is upcoming and trendy I had already done the research. We just now have to engage them. I couldn’t make this up even if I tried. Just staying on top of it. Here in London on a rainy day I didn’t feel like going to an event, but at the end of the day what do you have to lose? I did it and every time I’d walk away looking at my contacts, I had a great time, I learned about xyz. Nothing has been too small or too big.
Scott Barlow: Let me ask you about a couple pieces of the process/journey. You mentioned earlier that you had sent an email and connected with one of the main people for events. I’m curious, what you actually did in that case and why you feel that particular email or contact worked.
Tanya Malcolm: It wasn’t as streamlined as that. I came out of a certain week of the bootcamp knowing I wanted to work for Wanderlust. I started looking at my network to see if I had any ties. On the first level I didn’t think I did. I started mentioning it to everyone. I’m trying to manifest it so I threw it out there. I told everyone I’m interested in working for Wanderlust do you know anyone? I landed on a co-worker who didn’t know anyone directly but knew someone who was good friends with one of the founders. Based on my relationship with her she reached out and confirmed she knew someone with a relationship with the co-founder. She introduced me on my work, ethics, and what I could bring to the party. This woman took my friends word that I’m badass and introduced me to the founder. That was great. I had an email address and someone setting it up but what sealed the deal, and Lisa and I went through this, when you are sending out emails, and they get a ton of them, you have to differentiate yourself. You have to show it’s not just you trying to get something but that you want to give something as well. It’s an information exchange first. You need to know what that means. I could help with transitions overseas. I sent a badass email to Shawn outlining everything. He said you do seem like the best person let me introduce you to the people handling the Middle East and Asia.
That is how that transpired it was really cool. I don’t think he would have given me the time of day if the introductions weren’t as strong as they were from my friends. Also my written communication from myself, if it had lacked or didn’t show my enthusiasm. I’m one of many, as much as I like to think I’m amazing, which I am, but on paper that can fizzle fast if you don’t let them know you are willing to be the brand or buy into their brand.
Scott Barlow: Recently I’ve done a lot of research on how these connections are made and why they are effective. It’s interesting that most, not all, but most of these types of opportunities, it’s my dream job opportunities, are found based on interactions through weak ties. Meaning it’s not someone you know in your immediate network because if you interact with them all the time or regularly see them, you are probably aware already of the people or opportunities they know. It’s usually in the less strong ties and relationships where you find the things not known to you when you seek them out. In this case it was a former co-worker. People underestimate the weight carried behind a strong recommendation and psychological reasons that trust and credibility are already there when you have the initial weight behind it. It adds a one hundred and fifty pound weight to whatever force you are already carrying. Your awesome written communication you sent off – I imagine a parachute or sailboat getting a huge burst of wind behind it. I’m struggling for an analogy.
Tanya Malcolm: I agree 100%. It was articulating it. I’m looking for a job in this company or this type of company do you know anybody? Keep me in mind. That was my mantra.
Scott Barlow: This is amazing for so many reasons. I’m curious because we have so many people that listen to the show that are where you were not that long ago.
Tanya Malcolm: I was that person.
Scott Barlow: You’ve been there. You are there and you are frustrated and not sure what to do differently. What advice would you give?
Tanya Malcolm: Don’t let the hard days or days where you feel you aren’t moving forward stop or slow you down. That was the really hard part for me when I couldn’t see the end in sight. I couldn’t get the connection I wanted or I had negative or no feedback. Don’t let that stop you. Double down in your efforts. It’s harder to do than say but caffeine and chocolate will get you through it. Just do it. Because I worked so hard when it happened it felt that much sweeter. I would have been happy no matter what, but knowing that I made this happen, it wasn’t someone coming to me or me trying to throw my resume in a random lotto for the same job. It was me networking, building relationships, and sticking with it even when I wasn’t getting a response. I made sure they knew who I was. Stay strong, kick ass, and remember you are who you are and you bring a lot to the table.
Scott Barlow: Absolutely love it. You did such a great job and I so appreciate you taking the time and coming on and sharing your story so everyone else can benefit from it. Congratulations, I haven’t told you that yet.
Tanya Malcolm: I’m staring at the sky and still flabbergasted. So thank you it was an amazing journey, you held my hand along the way and got me to the other side and for that I will be eternally grateful.
Scott Barlow: I appreciate you letting us along for the ride. Thank you again.