I was on a panel a few months ago. At the end of the discussion I was asked to give some advice for people who are going through career transition.

"Focus on what you have, not what you don't have. Focus on what you can, not what you can't!", I said.

There was a company that wanted to find out why they had more men in management positions than women and why men were more likely to apply for open positions in the company than women would. The findings were interesting. The survey showed that men felt that they were qualified to apply if they met 60% of the requirements whereas women felt that they were qualified only if they had met something like 80 % of the job requirements.

You see, one group of people were focusing on what they had. That gave them the self-confidence to apply for the job. On the other hand, the other group, or the women at the company, were concerned about what they didn't have so they would not apply unless they had about 80% of the qualifications. A shift in the perspective can change the outcome.

"When you change how you look at things, the things you look at change." Someone once said.

Many years ago I went to work for a personal care company. I managed 3 product categories. As a newcomer, I was baffled why the company had been putting most of the marketing dollars into just the largest but money -losing category, leaving the other 2 categories with little marketing budget. So I took a look at the 2 "orphan" categories. I noticed that although the overall markets for these 2 products were smaller than the "favorite" category, they were growing much faster and growing steadily.

One of the "orphan" products had stayed in the No. 2 position in the market for over 10 years. I was curious why it had been No. 2 for so long without ever making it to the No. 1 position. I did a little research and got a pleasant surprise. Our product had everything that consumers were looking for in this type of product but the company never realized the strengths and potential of the product. It was never positioned as a leader in the market. There was a lot of resistance in the company to change the marketing strategy for the second-tier category because it had been profitable despite its No. 2 position. There was the consensus in the company that if it is not broken, don't fix it. They were happy to be No. 2. After some work, I convinced the management to change the product positioning. In less than 12 months after I started highlighting the product advantage, the brand became the market leader for the category. Sales more than doubled in 2 years.

"Believe in yourself so that other people can start believing in you!" I said to the audience.

What is one assumption you have about your life that you could challenge to open new possibilities?

If you believe in what you want to do, you can make it happen!

Author's Bio: 

Nancy Lin (http://www.yelp.com/biz/nancy-lin-san-francisco-2) is a motivational speaker and a coach, specializing in life and business transformation. She helps change the way clients look at their lives and businesses so they can take them to the next level. By exploring the client’s inspirations, life purposes and inner strengths, she assists them in making a meaningful change in how they work and live so they can expand beyond pre-existing limitations and attain a fulfilling life and career.

Go to her blog http://www.fruit-for-thought.blogspot.com/ for more thought-provoking articles on how to live your life fully or sign up for her newsletter at change_agent_sf@yahoo.com