“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
Whether it’s a career crossroad or a mid-life quandary, the exploration of what we are built to do in our lifetime seems to be a question that rarely can be avoided. What people are surprised to find is that our purpose in life is something that we’ve already been doing or already are. In fact, it’s often something that has been both a blessing and a curse.
Think of the most essential part of who you are, how you are and what you do without even trying. It’s that thing that you do and that people have sought you out for. It’s that trait that you likely don’t even value because it is such a given in your life.
Maybe it’s that you naturally lead, even when you don’t want to. Or perhaps, it’s the way you are relied on in a crisis or how you influence people to take action that you don’t seek out but happens anyway. It may even be that compassion you have for people who have had it tough because you were dealt a similar hand and can relate to them. It may be a memory you’d rather forget, but you keep finding yourself in the same situation helping those that are going through something similar. By doing so, you have hit upon the reason why it happened to you.
For years, it was a drain on John that people always cornered him in his office to talk about personal things. Despite feeling useful when he supported people through tough times, he could not get his own work done, so he often found it frustrating to be needed in that way. As he thought about his looming retirement, it occurred to him that he might be able to turn his blessing/curse into a new career. He went back to school for counseling and started his own practice a year after he retired.
Whether your purpose becomes a career in itself or just a way to turn up the volume on your talents (and I guarantee, your satisfaction) it’s an exploration worth doing.
What’s your blessing/curse? It may not really have a curse to it, so just live it up in a bigger way and watch your life change.
In previous posts we’ve cited examples of job seekers who successfully landed positions by blogging or using Twitter. Today we bring you some practical tips for using LinkedIn. Do you have an example of how you’ve used social media to land a job or help you in your research? We’d love to hear about it.
“You have to separate your net worth from your self-worth.” Chris Gardner
In today’s article, two women discuss the paths they each took to changing careers. Erica Curless is a former journalist who became an equine and canine massage therapist and Shirley Bonuccelli is a former school librarian and financial planner who now details cars for a living. Here they share their “radical-change strategies” as well as thoughts on their lives today.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Napoleon Hill
It’s been three years since Paul Potts won the Britain’s Got Talent competition. Since then his audition clip has been viewed millions of times. Watching this moment still inspires and reminds us that a person’s life story can play out in amazing ways. Paul’s story includes: dreams of singing as a child, pursuing music as an escape from being bullied in school, experiencing various obstacles as an adult, and then a coin toss decision to show up for an audition. Now doing what he feels he was “born to do” Paul says, “In life you sometimes take a turn you weren’t expecting, you don’t know where it leads but you have to take that path.” Read Paul’s bio here.
Some helpful thoughts here that may broaden your perspective on career change. In the Now What? career transition coaching process, examining your life story is often a pinnacle moment because it helps you connect the dots in a new way. Patterns and possibilities emerge that can only be detected in the context of your whole story. Once understood, the next chapter often writes itself.
Special thanks to Britta Stromeyer Esmail, the author of today’s article.
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
Most people suffer from what I call “the misinterpretation of the dream”. They had (or have) a dream about what they wanted to be when they grew up and if it never came to be, they either consider it a flight of fancy or a failure. Wrong! There is so much left untapped in that discarded dream that can show you what you can be doing now or adding to your career reinvention for utmost satisfaction and meaning.
What we have been trained to do is see our dreams as a literal mandate from our hearts, minds and imaginations. If I dream of singing on Broadway then, clearly, I am to be an actress with all that it entails. However, when you are given the key to the clues that the dream holds, you are no longer beholden to one form that your work life can take.
One woman who received the key realized that her futile attempts to break into the broadcasting field did not mean she had failed at her dream. What she really wanted to accomplish by being a broadcaster was to get vital information to people that they needed for their lives. She realized that she could do that in many, many forms and it did not need to rely solely on landing a position as an on camera newscaster.
Sometimes a discarded dream can be a place in your life history where you got away from your truest self. A place where you left your soul on the side of the road to live the life you thought you had to live. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are supposed to go back to that dream because being a baseball player at age 52 just may not be feasible, but it does mean going back and picking up your soul from the gutter. It might mean getting that old glove back on your hand and remembering who it was you got to be (or wanted to be) and then bringing that person into your life today. The dream must live; it will just have a different form.
I once met a man who wanted to challenge my method of looking for the wisdom in people’s dreams. He had accomplished every dream he had ever wished for, so he felt he could debunk there being any theme or connection between his dreams that would mean anything to his current conundrum about what to do next. This man’s past dreams included being a magician as a kid, an architect, which he did become, and a branding and advertising person, which he also became. What he was confused about was that he could not reconcile his love of outdoor adventure sports like rock climbing and kayaking with his next career move.
It did not take long to recognize that each of his dreams evoked a sense of awe in people. A magician’s impressive illusion, the architect’s astounding work, the ad man’s billboard—they all made people be amazed and awed. Nature does the same thing. Upon tying the dreams together for him, he told the truth that he wanted to have an adventure travel company and introduce more people to the awe of nature. It all made sense. He knew what he wanted to do and why. He wasn’t confused anymore.
How about you? Can you reinterpret your dreams and find the clues in the past that point to your future? No dream is foolish. It’s just our interpretation that is flawed. Go back, retrieve yours and soar!
Based on Chapter Four, Your Past Holds the Clues to the Future, from Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang