Is a midcareer transition madness? It might change your life for the good.
Abandoning a 10-year career as an opera singer in Australia to reinvent himself as a personal development trainer posed an immense challenge to David Corcoran’s sense of self.
“I have been singing since the age of 23 … as a tenor, but I often felt frustrated with singing because it was limiting,” said Corcoran, now 39. “Entertaining people was not enough for me. I wanted to inspire people and I couldn’t do that as an opera singer.”
So he moved with his family to Vienna in 2015, working for a while as a trainer in communications skills. In March 2017, he founded Resonant PD with a focus on using the voice to aid personal development.
David shared with me insights on the challenges and rewards of a career transition after we met for the first time at Vienna Toastmasters Club 551 (Toastmasters International is a nonprofit network of clubs that teach members public speaking and leadership). His two-year-long journey of reinventing himself helped David to use his best gift – his voice – in a new way. Now known by many as “the voice guy,” David combines theater techniques, body language, performance and emotional intelligence to help his clients thrive in all areas of their lives.
In today’s globalized world, many experienced professionals feel unfulfilled in their jobs or choose to support a spouse or partner and struggle to find a new start. Some find the challenge overwhelming, or simply feel they lack the courage to make a change.
David was kind enough to share some of what he has learned about taking the necessary steps to a new or more fulfilling career path:
First steps. You may be filled with self-doubt. Seek help. This is the city of Freud after all. Seek counseling to help you face your fears and overcome your “inner critics.” Find a mentor who can guide you on your new path, offer support and help you make connections in your new field.
Identify your strongest skills. Evaluate your skills and how they might be transferrable to a new industry or profession. Identify your core values and what you have to offer.
Mindset & charisma. Change your mindset to focus on growth and personal fulfillment. Some of the books listed below can help.
Build networks. In addition to friends and colleagues, extend your contacts and increase your chances of meeting people who can help you by joining networking organizations, not only in your field. There are a number of networking organizations for expats: Vienna Toastmasters Club 551 and InterNations, for example, but also check online for international business and social organizations.
You could find the effort worthwhile. Taking actions to pursue work that feeds your spirit and makes best use of your gifts will give you greater fulfillment at work and in life as a whole.
David Corcoran’s selected list of self-help books for career changers: Leadership Gold and The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell; The ONE Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan; Mindset by Carol Dweck; The Charisma Myth by Olivia Cobane.