Change is Hard - We've Been There

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I always talk about how I’ve been in this industry for years; I’m fortunate enough to do what I’m passionate about, and to work with such talented and driven individuals, to help people realize their own passions and reach their potential. What I seldom talk about, however, is the journey my team and I undertook to get to where we are. Doing this coaching work has been a lifelong passion of mine and it’s taken me 25 years to finally get to this point.

Starting my own company had always been a dream of mine. With so many years of experience in the field, I couldn’t wait for the chance to use my expertise and build a legacy, so starting Yeh IDeology as a recruitment firm all those years ago was a dream come true. For a long time, simply having a consultancy and doing recruitment was enough.

However, as we continued down the path of recruitment, we started realizing that the professionals we were working with needed more than just networking connections. Many of them didn’t understand how to assess the opportunities they were presented with or how to frame themselves for interviews with different companies. Time and again, these companies would come out of interviews with our candidates confused about what they could bring to the table and how to place them within their company structure. As our candidates’ frustrations grew, so did our desire to help them – but as a full-time recruitment agency, we simply didn’t have the bandwidth, time or resources to do so. It became more about the logistics of making introductions and scheduling interviews than about actually helping people with their own personal career issues.

Over time more and more people would approach us to help them with their careers and the nagging desire to do something to help stayed with us. For years, my team and I would talk endlessly about wanting to build some sort of service to help creatives figure out their professional lives. We worked on this goal sporadically, watching webinars and reading articles to try to figure out some kind of simple band-aid solution to this growing problem. Initially, we only had time to recommend an article or defer them to some other resources but this strategy yielded no results because people still came back to us lost. The busy complacency of running a full-fledged recruitment business kept distracting us. It was like being on a ship: the whole entire crew had to be rowing in one direction.

Our turning point came when our chief of staff, Divia, was watching me speak in the documentary Design and Thinking and I was speaking about how I wanted to help talent reach their highest potential. She paused the video, looked at me, and said, “Ang, you’ve been talking about making this shift for 10 years.”She was right. When was I finally going to make this pivot happen?

From that point on, we stopped making excuses and decided to finally go for our goal to pivot Yeh IDeology and launch a second service, our career coaching program, to help professionals directly in transforming their careers. It wasn’t easy. After our initial decision to make the shift, it took us several years and over a hundred thousand dollars of research, exhausting our network, working with industry experts in different fields, and analyzing how we were going to realize this dream. 

We knew we wanted to offer some sort of career-building service and we went through many different iterations of what this would look like. For instance, would it be a private one-on-one service, a workshop or lecture series, a conference, or perhaps a group learning program? Most of all, how could we ensure our customers would receive lasting impact? Building the program alone took us three years, plus another two years of blood, sweat, and tears of figuring out how to properly structure, scale, and monetize the program based on all the research we had amassed. This initial data-gathering and structuring phase finally culminated with the launch of our career coaching program. In the end, it took us several years to pivot and launch Thrive By Design. I wish our program existed 10 years ago because I would have taken it then.

It has been so gratifying knowing that the program is not only up and running but yielding transformational results for those enrolled. Yeh IDeology is now at a point where we have a clear understanding of where we’re at and where we’d like to be; the work doesn’t stop but instead of just busy work, we are on a path of refinement and continual growth.

Having taken Yeh IDeology through this transformational process I realize now first hand what our clients are dealing with. Getting started is always easier said than done, especially when it comes to making a major shift in your career and in your life. It takes a while for people to realize, especially if you’re so busy. Lots of clients have confided this same issue with us: they find that after years of being in the same role, with the same company, they’ve exhausted all their growth opportunities, hit a ceiling, and are suddenly stuck in a role that they are no longer passionate about. BUT, instead of actively doing something about it, we find people settle for where they’re at because there are just too many reasons not to make the shift they’ve been thinking about. They settle on letting all that busy work and the busyness of life keep them distracted from reaching their goals. Busy complacency.

If you’ve been longing to make a big change but find yourself hesitant or stuck, we can help you figure it out because we’ve helped numerous professionals through this AND we’ve also been there. Looking at where we are today compared with where we were, I have to laugh at how ironic it is that we’re now helping people climb out of the very career rut I myself was stuck in for so long. Even so, hindsight is 20/20 and I now realize that our journey took as long as it did because I didn’t get the help I needed. I thought I knew everything about where I was stuck and what I had to do to get out of it, but I couldn’t do it by myself and believe me we tried; it took finding the right external experts to properly “diagnose” the issue and guide me towards achieving that lofty goal. If you’re ambitious enough to make a pivot to reach your highest potential, you owe it to yourself to ask for the help you need to get there. 

We understand how challenging it can be to make a big career changing move like this, both on professional and personal levels – but we also know from experience how fulfilling it is to finally start that journey in that new direction towards making the change you’ve been dreaming about.

On top of the preexisting industry challenges like HR not knowing what to do with polymathic designers to the increase in creative competition to the ever-growing issue of ageism in the workplace, it goes without saying that we each have our own personal challenges and roadblocks to overcome. “It’s not a matter of time,” you might say, “it’s a matter of timing.” This may be true – but there will always be a million excuses not to do something. If not now, when? If not you, who? You owe it to yourself to meet that challenge and realize your full potential. 

If you’re ready to rise to the occasion, book a Breakthrough call today.

Angela Yeh
Founder | Yeh IDeology