Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Career Changer

The passenger tapped the cab driver on the shoulder to ask him something. The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the sidewalk, and stopped centimeters from a shop window.

For a second, everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said,"Look mister, don't ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!"

The passenger apologized and said he didn't realize that a little tap could scare him so much.

The driver replied, "You're right. I'm sorry. It's really not your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver. I've been driving a hearse for the last 25 years."

I always enjoyed this joke, not just because it's funny, but because it illustrates the power of transferable job skills -- but also how those skills need to be adapted to the new job.

I've worked with a number of career changes from the mortgage industry recently, and it's a lesson they can learn from. Not everyone who worked at Enron, or for subprime mortgage lending firms, or Worldcom -- or whatever -- was bad, but when you change jobs, you need to be more alert ... watch for the signs of trouble early. Warn your clients not to let themselves be "startled" when they see the same things happening in their new industry.

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