From business to art: How did Marco manage his career change?
Aktualisiert: Jan 8
Marco is a long-time friend that I met during an internship in Berlin. We even worked together in the development of mobile products. I think, at that time, he impressed us all by fluently speaking 5 languages and learning German on top of that!
What a long way we've come since then! Marco returned to France, started his career as a consultant... only to realize that he wanted to take a completely different direction.
An interesting and inspiring story showing that it is possible to change and be happy!
Photo by Paulo Wutrich
Sandra: Can you please describe your current job?
Marco: For the past few years, I have been juggling between three "professions", all three being part of the artistic world so to say, which are nevertheless quite distinct: Actor (movies, series, theatre, voice), Presenter/Host (seminars, conventions, parties, shows) and Model (in videos, photos, ads, etc.).
S.: What did you do before that and how did you get the idea to change?
M.: I studied science, namely three years of Civil Engineering in Applied Mathematics and after that a Business School. Then I worked for almost three years as a consultant at Ernst & Young, a consulting and auditing firm in Paris. I knew for a while that all this wasn't really for me, but when you have an engineering father, you convince yourself that it's the only good alternative.
Working at La Défense (Parisian business district) in an open space has literally exhausted me. Not to mention the long daily trips in suits and ties in crowded subways. But when you have on a permanent contract in a big company like that, you think you're lucky and you can't imagine anything else. At least I didn't know what else I could do. And then after six years studying I wanted to earn money and discover the professional world.
So I went through a series of missions in the company. I worked on various more or less interesting subjects. I inevitably learned things but I was bored to death. I had become a Pack Office profi. Word, Excel and Power Point had no more secrets for me!
Then came the last straw that broke the camel's back. A mission that didn't go well and that pushed me a bit towards the exit. "A bad for a good". I realized I couldn't "ruin my life" like that. I was very fortunate to reach an amicable agreement to terminate my contract. Until this point I didn't know how to get out of it. This way I didn't need to resign, it just sort of came to me.
S.: What did you take into consideration to conduct this change? How long did the transition last?
M.: When I made the decision to stop everything I had no idea what would await me in the future. I just knew that I didn't want a life locked up in an office anymore.
I had some time ahead of me. I took advantage of two or three months to rest a little and take time to think. That's when I had a decisive meeting for my future with someone recommended to me, Franck Lavigne, coach and trainer.
I had an idea of the type of work I wanted to do. I wanted to be my own boss, to be in a human, artistic, creative environment where there were really no limits, neither in terms of salary, nor in terms of evolution and learning. I wanted a job that was very stimulating from every point of view. I also wanted to be able to use my linguistic and social skills, having lived in different countries before arriving in France.
During a little exercise with this coach, I realized that I wanted to try and work as an actor, which for me, ticked all the check boxes of the "ideal job". I took it as a challenge and we set ourselves a period of three months to try it. I started almost from zero but it quickly became obvious that this was it, my dream job.
I went through a series of acting internships and I quickly started to shoot in student short films, commercials, amateur theatre, etc... I trained mostly on the job, gathering experience in the field. I worked hard to "catch up", because I started a bit late. After a year and a half or so, I started to make regular money from this activity, which I combined with a few side jobs to help round off my month's income.
After about the third year, I was able to entirely devote myself to this. So I've been making a living as an actor, presenter/host and model for a few years now. In my opinion the key in this field is diversification. It's very difficult to live entirely from the acting profession itself. So I quickly understood that I had to be able to do a little bit of everything and be very proactive, because nothing falls from the sky.
S.: How did you manage the financial aspect during the transition period?
M.: I had the chance to negotiate the end of my contract with the company I worked for and not leave empty-handed. So I had a small financial mattress that allowed me to see a little bit of what was coming and not have the immediate pressure of having to find a new job.
S.: What would you recommend to someone who would like to change jobs or career but is afraid of the consequences?
M.: It's a bit of a cliché, but clearly "you only have one life". Uncertainty is part of the adventure and you have to work hard if you want to be able to live from your passion. But nothing comes free and easy. Of course it's easy to say. But if we feel deep inside that we don't belong somewhere, then we have to make things change. It might take time, but it's essential to get out of your comfort zone in order to evolve.
Talking about it around you can obviously be useful, but it can also be a trap, so you have to be careful not to let yourself be fooled by social pressure. You have to be the master of your destiny and dictate your own future. Otherwise, you take the risk of remaining trapped in the same pattern all your life, which doesn't necessarily suit you.
Why not turn to someone who specialises in professional (re)orientation? It can't hurt, and it can unblock situations and help to establish action plans.
There's no miracle recipe, since everyone has their own problems, but you have to try and find your own resources if you want to change things!