Looking to a new and improved future??
Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but it IS possible to turn your passion into a career. Here’s some evidence in the form of six very successful people who did just that!
If you read my last installment, you are aware that I’m running for office in NJ at the state level. It’s a full-time addition to an already full-time business and a full-time position as chief operating officer of a household with teenagers. This is not unlike what many of you are facing as you search for a new job or build bridges to your next career move.
PREPARE: Realize that what you are about to embark on will require taking back hours of your day. Clear the way to make that happen. Get out of unnecessary commitments and begin lining up people who can help you.
LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD: Please don’t tell me you can’t. You either have to ask for help or hire it. Rely on friends to drive your kids or take over volunteer responsibilities. Let your household responsibilities wait, or if you can afford to, hire out the pieces you will no longer have time for. My husband has taken over shopping and preparing meals, which had been my exclusive responsibility.
USE YOUR TIME WISELY: Make your new effort a top priority daily. What MUST get done today to move it forward? You can and should do more than the one thing, but you must have one FAIL PROOF item that WILL happen every day for your new direction or query.
BE CHOOSY: Along the lines of valuing your time, be sure that you are focusing on priorities in the rest of your life too. However, be very choosy. It’s OK to say no to things that will derail or distract your efforts right now. You have to be a bit selfish for a while. “No” to everyone who wants to meet for coffee, “no” to meetings with no agenda, “no” to even your workout some days. (OK I’m talking about myself on that last one)
KEEP A MASTER LIST: Keep a longer-term list of things that have to be done in separate parts of your life. (Current job, future project, home life) and constantly re-prioritize. Delegate to get the most important things taken care of first while keeping your eye on the next thing coming up. (I’ve often said my years as a waitress made me very good at this—but I know that may not be that helpful for you!)
RUN TO WIN! —Yes, that’s political campaign lexicon, but when you are working towards a new job or a career change, you don’t do it to lose. You do it to win. Assume the win and behave accordingly!
IF you hold on to the vision of what you are trying to bring into your life by changing jobs or careers, I would expect you to be inspired. That inspiration needs to fuel you as you keep up your life as a double agent. Fully living the life you’re in and the one you are growing towards.
You can do this! Let us know if we can help.
If finding a new job is on your list of to-do’s this December, you may think you should skip this month and get back to it in the New Year. Not so, say these experts; January is actually the most competitive job searching month of the year.
Here are some great ways to capitalize on the season to give yourself the gift of landing that job sooner rather than later.
Big career changes are traditionally served with a side of FEAR. A big, whopping, overflowing dish of terror might be accurate too. Can you do your best thinking and make clear choices while feasting on fear? NO!
In a flight or fight state, pumped up on adrenaline, our actions can be super powered in bursts, but a long inhabiting of the adrenalized state will interfere with memory and learning powers.1
One condition I have for working with a client who is figuring out next career steps is that they cannot be in a rush or panicked about their situation. Years of experience have taught me that although fear is an appropriate response when life hands you a curveball or you’re going through a difficult time, the exploration that will yield the most satisfying choice of work, does not come from extreme emotional conditions.
Effective career and self-exploration just isn’t possible in a flight or fight state.
Sidney worked in the food and beverage industry and was growing increasingly stressed and unhappy with her work. She liked her industry but not the demands of her particular job. She was being proactive by beginning to explore a career change, but her stress was so high that she had no bandwidth to make much progress. As panic grew, the process stopped being effective. It was like asking a person who can’t swim to calm down while she’s drowning.
What do you do if this sounds like you?
Change your order — If instant answers are the only thing that will satisfy your hunger for results, know that they are not likely to be long-lasting or fulfilling. Choose to make a healthy decision instead of jumping into instant satiation.
Dine instead of feast — With the intention of enjoying every course and savoring the experience, you’ll have a very different experience than a feast where the emphasis is on quantity and variety. Take your time. Chew carefully and slowly. If circumstances make it hard to do this, then create two plans: one that will hold you over and one that offers a longer term solution.
Keep temptation at bay — It’s so easy to weaken and let fear tempt you into letting yourself down. Keep fighting to uncover the truest answers that lie deep within you. If logic brings up fear and ceases all action, beware. Pause and decide again if what’s coming from this fearful place is the best choice.
This is a tall order, but it’s do-able. If you need support keeping fear off the menu, let us know. We can help get you ready to make a big change that will be healthy and fulfilling long-term.
1 Matthew Joseph Sharps, Processing Under Pressure: Stress, Memory, and Decision-making in Law
I’ve written before about being Jewish and why I love Christmas. This past Saturday, when I went to yoga for the first time in awhile, I heard something from the teacher’s dharma talk that gave me new insight into the ‘Secret Sauce’ that makes the holiday season so special.
This may seem obvious, but stay with me. The Secret Sauce is wonder. Yes, wonder!
Obvious in some ways: Kids remind us of the bright-eyed innocence we once possessed, the lights and sights (New York City at Christmastime, a snow covered field) and the glitter and majesty of gifts, parties, and religious rites. But it’s more than that. Wonder is a state of full presence. It’s a state of connection to our greatest capacity for love and compassion.
As Jesse Prinz, a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, said, we might feel a physical sensation like the swelling of our heart when we are in a state of wonder. Cognitively, we cannot connect what we are experiencing to something we already know or it wouldn’t be wonder. Even if we’ve seen something before, if we feel wonder, we are seeing it in a new way or as if we were seeing it for the first time. We might even gasp and utter the word “Wow!” as we process what we see and feel.
The heightened expectation, even in the face of an event we anticipate annually, puts us in a state of wonder. For there to be wonder, there must be a lack of certainty. We can’t be ‘in’ wonder if we know what is going to happen.
It’s like my yoga class itself. I go to class with a reasonable expectation of what will transpire. We’ll sit on our mats, wait for the teacher to begin, spend some time centering and reflecting, warm up our bodies, then move in to increasingly difficult movements until we hit a high point and start slowing down. Finally, we get to stretch and then lie down in savasana (dead man’s pose—my favorite —who doesn’t love lying down to nap while exercising!?) I know what’s going to happen. But I don’t really .
I have to be fully in the present to be in the poses. The endorphins kick in as the work gets harder. Fully present to breath and movement, and soon, I’m in wonder. Wonder at the simplicity that is also difficult and the collective breath that moves the whole room to a place of greeting the divine within us and each other (although late comers to class asking me to move my mat so they can find a place pisses me the hell off—divine evolution is clearly a work in progress!)
Consider this, if you will. We do this thing called the holidays every year. We basically know what to expect and yet it induces wonder. We must surrender a lot of ‘reality’ to feel the magic.
This can also be a sad time of year for so many. If the ‘secret sauce’ is wonder and not dependent on family (which most people complain about anyway!), can we create that magic for ourselves? How do we take a melancholy time and turn it into wonder? As I said, it requires surrendering reality and getting in touch with the love, the discovery, the newness of right now whether it’s fully desirable or not. It’s not easy but it is in our sphere of influence.
As we enter the final days of this year, consider how you could launch in to 2016 with wonder and do things differently than you’ve ever done before? How might you change things up to allow a state of wonder to guide you?
Ponder that with a hot chocolate or hot toddy. I’ll see you on the other side of the holiday season.