“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Edmund Hillary
I’ve been working in the HR field since graduating college and have been at my current company for eleven years. Recently a boss whom I considered a toxic influence has moved on and things are a better, more status quo. I’m trying to figure out a good transition job to see if I can still enjoy HR before deciding if I want to step out of the field entirely. I’m working with the Now What book but I’m struggling with the Life Story exercise. I’m stuck in the analysis of it and can’t find what you call the Golden Thread.
Your life story is what formed you and there are themes there. You’re probably working way too hard at analyzing the story and it would be helpful to have someone else look at it. For instance:
- What were the things you excelled at in grade school and high school?
- What did you get accolades for in your younger years?
- What were your dreams when you were younger?
In answering Laura’s questions, these are some of the things that were mentioned: traveling, going to new places and having new experiences, discussing things, and asking questions.
Laura: All the things you’ve mentioned have the theme of discovery in them. You like exploring and digging for answers like an archaeologist. This is a “golden thread” for you and one of the overriding themes in your story. Traveling might be a good way to get back in touch with that part of you and take some time to remember that feeling you are looking for in work – that discovery sense. Even if it’s not far away travel, it will be good for you. So this is one of the clues your life story is showing you. As you consider your options, look at them with the frame of: Where can I tap into this discovery mode?
Our caller was instantly lit up and encouraged. She had never noticed the theme in all the things she liked to do. She saw how that was missing in her work and why she’d grown restless.
by Kirsten Meneghello, Now What® Facilitator
Our family went to the state fair this weekend and had a great time. I love to see the cows, pigs, llamas, and the proud 4-H kids showing off the animals they have raised. It’s a big deal.
While we were visiting the commercial exhibitors/vendors, we passed the requisite guy selling knives while slicing and dicing veggies and telling corny jokes. But I also met a really interesting guy who was selling an invention called the “Molecat.” It’s a device that kills moles instantly with percussion. It’s a pretty clever device and as I was talking with the salesman, I could tell he was really jazzed about it. I asked him, “Are you the inventor?” and he said proudly, “Yes.”
Since I’m a curious person, I asked him his name and how he came up with the idea. Vern said he used to work for Intel as a “troubleshooter” but was laid off a few years ago. He was helping his wife in the garden and they encountered a big mole problem. He put his troubleshooting and engineering skills to work and created a solution — the Molecat. Now Vern has a patent pending on the device and he and his wife run a business selling Molecats.
I was so touched by his story because when he got laid off from his job, he didn’t see it as the end of the world. He put his same skills to work — troubleshooting and engineering — and looked at opportunities to use them in his daily life. When Vern saw this opportunity, he took action and did something about it.
Since the economy has taken a downturn, there are a lot of people who have been laid off and have not taken it as well as Vern. But even if you have lost your job, you have to remember you have not lost your skills, creativity, work ethic, and knowledge that you have gained along the way. It’s important to step back, realize all you are and all you have accomplished and then apply it in a different way. I know all of us aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs or inventors. But we can “re-invent” ourselves, if we are OPEN to opportunity and take ACTION when we are presented with options.
P.S. I’m not affiliated with Vern’s product in any way, but if you are curious (like me!) about Vern and his Molecat, his website is www.molecat.com.
“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” Pamela Vaull Starr
While an online business isn’t for everyone, these tips from Genevieve Thiers, founder of Sittercity.com, stem from her experience following through with an idea. She was bold enough to start her business while still a college student and during a recession.
Have you ever heard yourself say, “That would be a great idea for a business”? Maybe it’s time to give one of those ideas a serious look.
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliot
According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, there has been an increase in experienced candidates applying for internships. Along with volunteering, internships and other apprenticeship opportunities can be a viable way to gain experience during your career transition. Equally important, they will expand your network at the same time. Check out this article for some good examples and resources.
I am a registered nurse and fitness trainer and recovering from knee surgery. I don’t want to leave the industry but I know it’s taken a toll on my body, so I’m trying to figure out what’s next. There is the possibility of opening a franchise with my brother. Even though he’s been successful with other franchises, I’m feeling a bit fearful. Do you have any thoughts that might help me assess this opportunity?
As a post-op patient, you now have something in common with your clients and patients. It’s clear from what you’ve described that you don’t want to leave the industry. While I’m not an expert in franchises, there are some issues to consider regarding money and risk and going into business with a family member. You’ll want to talk about things such as: your expectations, roles, escape clauses if it doesn’t work out, and how this with affect your relationship with each other. It’s essential to have that conversation first, yet many don’t. Research is also important. It’s great that he has a track record, however you want to weigh the risks and not necessarily mortgage your whole future. In other words, think about how much you want to invest. Is it all your dime or could you have a small ownership piece and be one of his managers? Perhaps you could pay as you go and buy him out over time, so that your initial risk is lower.
Also, I find that a lot of people will have a theme throughout their lives. I encourage you to do some of the exercises from Now What? (especially chapters 4 and 5) and see what your purpose is and what these themes are. Your purpose may have transmuted over time and changed vehicles, i.e., nursing was first and now there is another vehicle emerging. You want your discoveries in this exercise to be your guide for this franchise opportunity. Does it really match who you are or is it an ungrounded move? The bottom line is look before you leap both financially and emotionally.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent van Gogh
GINNY: Once you decided to build your own studio, was there any point where you had doubts or fears arise? And if so, how did you deal with them?
ANDY: Well, I think there are always doubts. I don’t think I had doubts about specifically wanting to do it. I knew that it was for me going to be a big undertaking. I think that when you’re in the mode of saying, “I like this prospect and I think it’s going to be good,” and you’re being creative about it and you’re practical at the same time, and you’re applying tools to take ideas and turn them into something that’s a real thing, that if you are excited about it, you have concerns or those fears but you deal with them and you keep moving towards your goal.