Layoffs, downsizing, and “rightsizing” are a common occurrence these days, and often they happen without rhyme nor reason.
Searching for the “perfect” job?
One thing to consider is whether this company might be a good fit for you in terms of growth. Is there room to explore different options within the company so that you can stay excited and energized about your work?
Here are some things to consider and some great questions to ask as you interview.
Layoffs are an all too common reality in our world, so sometimes we are not afforded the time to ponder what might be next before we are thrown into the search head-on.
Here are some tips from someone who’s been there on how to navigate this new terrain while determining where you want to go next.
Some people are lucky enough to “follow their passion” and find joy and abundance, but often passion alone is not enough.
It is frequently interpreted as “interest at the moment,” and interests change over time.
Passion is part of the equation toward fulfillment, but there’s more…
Notice things are feeling a little stale at work?
Not really ready to leap?
Here are some signs it might be time to start thinking about what’s next and some steps you can take starting now.
There is so much I often write about ‘back to school’ season, but this year, I have a new take on it.
Over the last few weeks, I was ‘schooled.’ For only the second time in two decades, I went out for a local theatre opportunity to play a dream role. This past Sunday I ended a short three-show run as Adelaide in the musical Guys and Dolls, and it tested me… big time!
Snagging the role was a wonderful feeling and I enjoyed every moment of the whole process. Well, almost every moment… I wished we didn’t have to put on the show and we could have stayed in ‘play’ and discovery mode indefinitely. Getting ready to perform challenged my comfort zone. Anyone who has seen me speak or do theatre knows that I’m not afraid of being on stage. However, wanting to be the best I could be was an exercise in humility and perseverance. It was a tug between breakthroughs and disappointments.
I got schooled. Here’s how it went.
Language Arts– Luckily, this production was a ‘concert’ version. We were fully staged and choreographed but to keep costs down on sets (read none), to have script in hand. However, all songs were memorized. Damn! My mind which used to learn shows in ten days ‘back in the day’ struggled with that. Humble pie with a tough pill to swallow on the side. It was hard to accept that my dependable ability to memorize material was not so dependable anymore.
Math—When my oldest son was five and taking piano lessons, he would say “music is math, mom!” For community theatre, this show represented a high talent, highly professional group, many with degrees in pedagogy and vocal performance from prestigious schools. They came to the first rehearsal with their music learned! Ahhhh. I had to catch up on my ‘math’ and finding the time to study while keeping the rest of my life afloat was tough.
Social Studies—A small group of people gather with a common purpose. We are putting on a show. We go from strangers to friends over seven weeks to achieve a common goal. This one I could do!—easy class for me.
Gym-LEARNING DANCE STEPS. Developing MUSCLE MEMORY, practice practice practice. Just when I had one perfect execution, the next time would suck. Again, the inability to count on what was once a sure thing was upsetting.
Home Ec and Art—Almost as fun as learning and performing the role, was crafting costume pieces and personal props. I LOVE doing this. I can distract myself from other responsibilities for hours doing this. Pure joy.
Psychology—The horror of not being perfect. Despite studying with my voice teacher and having HUGE breakthroughs vocally on obstacles that have plagued me for thirty years, my goals for a perfect show every night were not reached. It became a lesson in hanging in there and giving it your all, despite setbacks and disappointments. I couldn’t give up midway because I didn’t hit that elusive perfection in one song. I found peace in thinking of Olympians who trained for years and could still have something go wrong in the critical moment when they were so close to the gold.
What happens when you get back to life after being schooled? You ask yourself: Was it worth it? Was there a gain? Were the lessons, mistakes and bumps worth the adventure?
I set out to the get the role. I never thought about what I wanted out of it other than the joy of doing it. Once I started pressuring myself, I felt disappointed that I wasn’t flawless. I had a visceral experience of shifting in the understanding that you can still excel with imperfection and that it can be joyful.
What about you?
Happy Back to School!
An astonishing 50% of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs – that’s a whole lot of unhappiness leaking out into our workplaces, homes, and communities. This can’t be good for anyone! If you’re among the dissatisfied, check out these simple starting points offered by Now What?® Founder, Laura Berman Fortgang, and get yourself moving toward a better future. Why wait?
Are you craving a radical change?……
When you feel lost and unsure about everything except your own anxiety, it is hard to articulate anything positive or hopeful for your future. It’s at that point that people tell me:
I don’t know what I want!
I empathize with that feeling and the resonance of truth it has for the person who’s suffering but I also know it’s not true. Not really. The “I don’t know” syndrome is really just a reflection of deep fear that keeps us paralyzed.
This video, the first in a three-part series, will walk you through the ‘first block to clarity’ that we encounter when we work with people on career transition issues.
Watch to learn how to turn your list of complaints and problems into a clear list of what you want! Understand why you can’t name it now, but how you will be able to in just a couple of minutes post-viewing.
Please comment on this blog or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your thoughts.
Name it! Get clear!
The last few years have felt like they’ve been speeding by and this one is on steroids compared to them. I feel catapulted into outer space by the speed at which time flies. Oddly, the feeling bookends the individual days that seem to have plenty of time in them.
The push and pull, pulse-racing and deep breathing seems to be the ying and yang of recent times and I think it reflects what happens for the clients I work with on their careers. The rhythm of life and business don’t have a steady pace. It ebbs and flows and so does your career search or your ability to move ahead.
Can you harness that or control it? The key is to be ready for it and expect it. Circumstances don’t stay good or bad. Things are always in flux.
The way to deal with it is to create conditions you can control. You can control (or at least plan) a structure within which to work on the changes you want to create. Be consistent in those actions. For example, if you are looking into what you might do next or you are sending out resumes, keep doing the research and wallpapering the internet with your resume no matter what. Repetition is key.
I’ve recently started to step up my exercise regime after a long streak of doing minor amounts of physical activity due mostly to back issues. I hate working out so much it was easy to let the smallest amount of pain keep me from trying. However, the middle-age spare tire has been growing and the lazy streak had to stop. I’ve had to get back up to speed slowly—first taking restorative yoga classes and aerial yoga which is very easy on the body. Finally, it was time to take an intermediate level class. After the first one, I couldn’t walk for five days. Once I could walk, I came back every other day. My level of fitness is increasing. Weight loss will come but consistency is going to be the most important factor. I’m not back to doing a headstand or handstand. I am not back to full flexibility but I know it will come if I keep up consistent action. I know that they gym with weights and cardio will interest me again as I keep feeling better and wanting to build strength further and further.
Here is what I want you to take away from this. Consistent action. We can’t wait to see success. We have to just keep building and stop measuring the results.
Obviously, you are not going to persist if something is not working at all but with steady, consistent work peppered with the occasional burst of high-intensity creativity and action will get results. Just don’t give up. I’m saying that to myself too.
I worked with Scott in the last year on figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. We succeeded at gaining clarity on what his next career move needed to include to gain the satisfaction he was missing. When we parted ways, his job was to keep networking to make his way into a new field. What transpired over consistent action and time (less then four months) was that he was approached by a vendor he worked with through his job to lead their $800 million company. Scott’s story will appear in the updated and revised anniversary edition of Now What? coming out March 2015 so stay tuned for details.
Be consistent. Keep on your career quest. I’ll keep going to the (yoga) mat. Time won’t stand still for us but we will be less at the effect of it if we stay the course.
Exploring next career moves, doing a job search or starting a new endeavor like your own business are all daunting and often, frustrating propositions. Many times you’ll come up against a lack of results or clarity that dumps a heap of hopelessness on you in the from of “I want to quit!!” Should you?
To quit or not to quit? What do you think I’m going to say? No! Of course, you don’t quit. Not yet anyway.
I always say: “ Life will tell you if you’re wrong. YOU don’t need to decide”. Roadblocks, a lack of results, obstacles and setbacks—those could all certainly be interpreted as life saying, “give up”. But maybe there’s another message.
If you were running a race or working out at the gym and you experienced pain, you’d have the choice to stop or to work through it. Most athletes work through it being sensitive to the threshold where they’d cause major injury. The smart ones also know to build in recovery time in between the big competitions or work outs.
When it comes to your exploration or ramp-up, ‘pain’ can mean, “Wait!” Just pull back, observe, divert your attention to something else to gain perspective and then
re-engage. Taking your foot off the accelerator and coasting in ‘neutral’ for a bit can go a long way to knowing whether to proceed and how to do so or whether to redirect your energies to something else altogether.
Maureen is Senior VP in the finance industry and she has been on a campaign to further her career. She knew it wasn’t time to begin a job search but she did feel that strategizing a way to be better known and more valuable in her organization as well as her industry at large, was necessary to her future plans. She made a Herculean commitment to networking and even cold calling at an ambitious pace of several times a week. She was quite successful and then hit a wall. People weren’t calling back at the same rate, the lunch meetings weren’t happening and the pipeline was drying up. There was some harsh self-criticism, berating herself for quitting her pace, but we reframed that to allow herself some breathing room. In the open space, an opportunity appeared to be given larger responsibility along with greater exposure within her company. Succeeding at the new task would be a huge boost and resume-building highlight which would poise her for a promotion or better opportunity elsewhere.
Let’s call what happened to Maureen the result of ‘focused in-action’. She wasn’t giving up but she was allowing a break to see what might emerge. In this case, an opportunity came up but you might find inspiration for a different strategy, the idea to call on someone else you may need to talk to or you may find a slight course correction.
The next time you want to quit, take a break instead. Allow some focused in-action and pick up within two to three weeks. If you go longer, it will become unfocused in-action and you could derail. If nothing emerges in your break, you may need to go back to drawing board. It’s OK.
Quit? Never. You may have to go a different way but keep your eye on the ultimate prize—-a satisfying line of work. It just may look different than you thought.
Let us know how we can help.