How to Take Control of Your Career and Remove Fear

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I know you want to take control of your career and remove fear. With all the rapid changes in the workplace it’s natural to experience some fear. Will the company stay profitable? Will you be able to continue to progress and move up the organization? Are you going to be replaced by a robot? We delve into these questions and more in today’s episode of the podcast.

Many of my coaching clients are accomplished, mid-career women who:

  1. Are worried that the changing workplace seems to be leaving them behind
  2. Want to turn their career upside down and do something different but they aren’t sure what they want to do

Today’s guest, Nicolle Merrill has a delicious blend of skills that helps both groups.

In this episode we discussed:

  • How to take control of your career
  • How the world of work is changing and why
  • The changing world of work does not mean you have no value
  • Whether robots are taking all our jobs
  • Why we shame people for not moving up the corporate ladder
  • How we’re missing opportunities to up-skill
  • The skills we should focus on to remain relevant in the workplace
  • How you build influence in your workplace

Tips to Take Control of Your Career

It is possible to remain confident in a workplace that seems to be moving to parts unknown. We tend to isolate ourselves and think that we’re the only ones experiencing this change. In truth, these uneasy feelings are really common.

Start paying attention to how things in your organization are changing and figure out to handle them. The workplace is changing at all levels, from the executives to entry-level positions.

The way we were taught to think about work and career ladders is very different but everybody hasn’t caught up yet.

These changes are happening whether we like it or not. Learn what’s changing in your role, organization, industry, etc.

Start your planning by reflecting. The power of reflection is incredible, but we don’t always take the time to do it. Experienced people tend to think we already know all we need to know.

The Power Skills You Need In Your Career

You should focus on power skills to take control of your career because these are portable and move with you from role to role, are not industry-specific, and are extremely valuable to employers.

  • Digital understanding – How is digital technology shaping the workplace
  • Data fluency – Understand the basics of business and data analytics
  • Communication – Active listening, public speaking, and writing for context
  • Knowledge management – How to determine what information is important and how to apply it
  • Collaboration – Being able to produce work with people whose ideas and experiences differ from yours

Who is Nicolle Merrill

How to Take Control of Your Career and Remove FearNicolle Merrill is the founder of Future Skills, a consulting company that examines emerging forms of expertise, skills, and training for the new world of work. Nicolle also freelances as an AI chatbot designer and conversational AI analyst with a focus on reducing negative impact on users.

In her prior work, Nicolle was Associate Director of Career Services at Yale School of Management, where she led cutting-edge career workshops for international MBA students and global executives. She left her work at Yale to upgrade career training for the future of work.

Nicolle’s non-traditional career has always had a global twist. She’s worked as an adventure sales person in New Zealand, a private jet travel writer for both the Four Seasons and National Geographic private jet tours, a global program manager in Thailand, a business development lead for a London-based ed tech startup, and a global career coach at Yale School of Management.

Nicolle is also the author of an upcoming book on the future of work, career changes, and emerging careers, out in October 2019.


The good thing about all this changing in the workplace is that we get to define our careers now instead of signing up for what existed before. Click to Tweet
The sweet spot for leaders is to be able to combine technical understanding of business needs with communication skills. Click to Tweet
Seeing other people's career paths always gives me hope, there are so many different paths to success. Click to Tweet
Burn the career ladder down, it's doesn't work anymore. Click to Tweet
Packaging up your accomplishments is not bragging. It's painting a fuller picture of how you contribute to the organization and its goals. Click to Tweet
Maybe your desire to do something different isn't new. You may have been ignoring yourself all along, but she won't be ignored any more. Click to Tweet
If you move to a new career, you are not starting over. You know so much and you take all that good stuff with you to the next role. ~ Nicolle Merrill Click to Tweet

Career Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Nicolle Merrill on Twitter

Harvard Business Review, Cross-Silo Leadership

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