career changechange jobsnew careerWould you leave a safe job for a chance at something better? | Career Coach Sherri Thomas

July 22, 2012by Sherri Thomas2

Where’s the point that you would stop settling for an average or mediocre career, and put it all on the line for a chance at something better?

Rich Dubek found his tipping point after spending 20 years working in television as an award winning reporter in Phoenix. He talked about the frustration he had, the risks he took and the strategies he put in place to set himself up for success in the next chapter of his career in my new book, The Bounce Back.  Here’s an excerpt from Rich’s story…

“I had been a successful, two-time Emmy award winning Senior News Reporter for many years at a local NBC television affiliate. I loved my job, and I had recently broken some major national stories, exceeding all the lofty goals set by my employer. But I had worked long hours under the most stressful of circumstances as I continued to “pay my dues,” sacrificing time with my family in the process.

After 15 years with the same TV station, I set my sights on a new goal – to move from being a TV news reporter, into a TV news anchor. In the rapidly changing media world I knew news reporters were getting younger and cheaper, while being asking to do much more for less. In addition, the bottom line – not the quality of work as a reporting journalist – was rapidly becoming the priority for TV news management and this didn’t match with my personal values or ambition.

I was on top of my game when my employer wanted me to sign a new 3-year contract. I only asked my employer for one thing: The opportunity to advance my career with fill-in anchor opportunities in addition to my reporting duties. They offered me a pay increase but clearly stated I would not have the opportunity to anchor.

I realized that I needed to assess my long-term goals. Did I want to lock myself into a job I already had mastered for three more years, with no option to branch out and learn new skills? Was it worth missing out on my wife and teenage sons’ life events such as holidays, basketball games and band gigs?

If I left the TV station, what would I do? Go to another TV station where I might get a better opportunity but more likely would be stuck in the same industry with the same standards and demanding work schedules? Or do something entirely different?

A couple of things were clear: I really enjoyed telling stories, producing videos, and helping people become better communicators, and I had built a successful career doing these things. I didn’t want to move to a completely new career, I just wanted to apply my skills in a different way. I had also heard about the freelance media world, where “news people” could continue to work in the business but on their own terms. This sounded appealing. After my assessment of the situation, and a long talk with my wife (whose support was and still is critical to my success), I knew it was time for me to take the leap of faith. I decided to walk away from my successful job and paycheck and go out on my own.”

Rich goes on to tell about how he made the decision to quit his job, and the strategies that he put in place to set himself up for success as he ventured out to start his own successful business, AZ Freelance TV.   He talks about how making a decision about changing careers isn’t just about a new job, but that it’s also considering factors such as lifestyle, family, independence and self-management, as well as income and benefits.

Just because you get hired in a job, doesn’t mean that you have to stay there forever. Your drive and passion can change over time, and with that, may come the need to change your career. Career changes are hard, but the key lesson out of Rich Dubek’s story is that when you plan ahead, mitigate the risks and set yourself up for success – you actually can have it all!


Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in my new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.  You can download the three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at

Sherri Thomas


  • Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson

    August 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Like they say on Wayne’s World: “We fear change.”

    Unfortunately, I usually need something that gives me a bit of a push when it comes to change, career or otherwise. You could consider it loyalty up to a point, but there is a big fear component involved.

    I’m glad I made the change to what I’m doing now, working pretty much for myself and my wife’s business. It gives me a lot of flexibility to pursue new avenues and learn new things. It has taken some of the fear out of changing since it is constantly changing and it hasn’t killed me yet 8=)

    • Career Coach Sherri Thomas

      August 25, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Hi Bill!
      Thanks for your comment – and happy to hear you are in a good place in your career!
      Yes, making a change in our careers is always a tough choice and usually happens when we are are forced to make a change (like a layoff, pay cut, or some of career setback.) My passion is helping others make their career transition easier 🙂
      Feel free to download (or let others in your network know who might be interested…) 3 FREE chapters of my new book, “THE BOUNCE BACK – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback” at

      Thanks again for writing Bill!
      To your success –
      Sherri 🙂

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