Is There Another Way?
Yes times are tough, but right now may just be the best time to change your life and career. Our columnist Patricia Hayling Price will show you the other way
Have you heard that voice inside your head asking, "Is there another way... is my current job/career the best way to integrate meaning, purpose, my values and a way to support myself and my family "?
Professionals at all career stages are having thoughts about transforming their lives by reinventing their careers. We are undoubtedly in a recession and you might be thinking that it is especially bad timing to consider a job change.
However if you just lost your job or are uncertain about your current position then consider using this turbulence as a catalyst to re-invent your life.
Don't dwell in self doubt no matter how convincing its counter points become... "I am too young and unproven to move on just yet" or "I am just about to hit my stride and I can't risk moving now. " or " I am too old to be of value now...why try?" and the old stand by, "I wouldn't know where to start!" ..
Face it we are not all lifers: the ones who live by the company and stay on forever. In fact lifers are sometimes inflicted with career paralysis. Others lack the energy, creativity, or courage to take the leap.
The truly blessed lifers stay because they actually love their work. Perhaps they have found their calling and have the wisdom to know that passion for ones work does not equate to a permanent state of nirvana.
They are more fulfilled by the plus column and never expect an empty negative column. They don't confuse a fulfilling career with a fairy tale. The lifer route isn't for everyone.
Perhaps an opportunity has landed in your lap that you should not walk away from. Remember, moving on for good reason doesn't mean you are a quitter, nor does it portend instability or doom. It might just mean that you finally "get it!"Life that is -your life. So go on and claim it!
Re-inventing your career, especially during the first brave steps, can be a bit tricky. When a major company or brand decides to transform itself the skies darken with "transition teams, consultants, transformation processes, communication vehicles etc." People are not that different; they represent a personal brand. They need similar due diligence and structure.
A good career coach can provide an environment of supportive autonomy by balancing support and freedom for self direction and re -invention. My clients are smart, I just try to make them wiser, well equipped and better positioned to achieve the mission.
No doubt that self awareness, resilience, adaptability and realistic optimism are fundamental to whatever formula there might be for success.
A career blueprint that leverages your passion, values and strengths is what's needed. Engaging your head, heart and gut will help bring the blueprint to life.
Expert packaging of your skills, experience, credentials and competencies will offer an easier on-ramp to your career destination.
The right packaging translates your distinctive value proposition so that it resonates with clarity to the gate keepers (the venture capitalist -the lenders, the hiring boss or the board). Once you have landed, a coach might stay on to support the first 30-60-90 days of performance effectiveness and provide tune ups over time.
In career and relationship transitions we hear stories of folks going from the frying pan to the fire! I caution transition seekers to beware of their motivation. Your eyes must be wide open about the hidden costs and benefits of transition. This enables adequate preparation. The idea is to move with good judgment towards some improved level of fulfillment.
Temper tantrums, menopausal moments or a couple of bad business quarters are not great reasons for career reinvention. If you find yourself saying "I am just sick of these *** people". It could just be a tantrum.
Emotional decisions are rarely sound ones. Tantrum fixes can include a vacation, a joyful diversion or a corporate culture shift.
Do not discount that it might be "YOU" (not the boss or team mates) who is in dire need of an attitude or behavior adjustment. Behavioral coaches can work wonders! A prolonged sense of feeling stuck is one good indicator that it is time to move on.
Another sign might be found in the reason/season test. On the day that you accepted your current role you might have done so for a reason or a season. Perhaps the reason is no longer important to you. Perhaps that season has ended for you or your employer.
To find "another way" requires that you tune out nay sayer and fear monster. Tune into thinking and feeling, sensing and responding with head, heart and gut engaged and balanced. Transition is not easy, re-invention doesn't happen overnight. But transition is a natural state,one that we are in most of our adult lives. It is just when we call it by name that it we tend to evoke panic.
You must find a way to turn off the noise and the chatter - be a continuous learner - forget what others are doing or expecting of you - forget what looks right or what seems to offer the fast route to fame and funds.
I promise you that there is a new and inspired professional life for anyone who has the passion, skills, confidence, vision and discipline to go after it.
With the right approach the view can be well worth the climb!
About the Author: Ms. Hayling Price is President of Patricia Hayling & Associates - a talent development business. She leverages over 20 years of corporate experience in business development, marketing, leadership development, and communications. Patricia took her leap of passion from the executive ranks at IBM to her curent practice. Her insight and expertise as a speaker have been well received at numerous forums, like the ForbesWomen in Leadership Conference. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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