THERE COMES A TIME, in almost every career transition, when clarity comes and a sense of determination kicks in despite every logical reason for it not to. There comes a suspended reality where you almost can’t believe you are moving forward in this new chosen direction yet there is no turning back. A cocoon of reason disintegrates and transforms into a new being that can take flight. It is in this suspended reality that courage comes and doors begin to open without logical explanation as to why.
In the movie, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, the hero must step out into an infinite abyss to get help to his ailing father. With each step out into the nothingness, a rock floor would appear to catch him and allow forward motion towards his goal. That same suspended reality is what it feels like to follow a new direction for your life and career that you know is right but have no evidence or indication of getting the result you want.
How do you do it?
Up The Faith
When you operate in space without a net, where most people in your life think you’ve lost your marbles, you have to believe in your self and the goodness of life in general to make it work. It’s not the time to be a realist. It’s a time to be naïve and assume that everyone and everything will work in your favor. It often will when you become a self-contained, pressurized bottle full of faith.
Follow The Breadcrumbs
When you are researching a new field, trying to find a job or pursuing a specific goal in your new direction, every lead is a hot one. Being in the gap between now and future busyness in your new career, you have the luxury of time. You cannot afford to ignore any possibility that can take you in your new direction. Talking to one person can lead to the next person and so on. You will be amazed at the path that gets laid out in front of you as you diligently walk through every open door.
Keep a Solid Home Base
All this is not to say you should abandon all reason. What allows you to move forward with blind faith and curious tenacity is having a solid home base to operate from. You’ll need at least one person who believes in you when the rest of your posse thinks you’re nuts. If possible, keeping your day job will help too even though you’ll have less time for fact-finding. And if you are in between things, it’s OK, you can still have a solid base. Decide what you can invest in yourself financially and give yourself the time to make the transition. If that is not in the cards, a solid base is harder, but not impossible. It’ll then be built on the faith we talked about above and involving others so you can move along more quickly. Ask, ask, ask—for help, support—whatever you need. Create a base of emotional support no matter which level of financial cushion you can operate from.
A recent client made a decision to act on a long-time hunch that it was time to move on from his current job. Despite the uncertainty of the economy and the ‘sure thing’ that his position was after 20 years with the company, he knew he had to do it. He got on the phone and explored every hint, tip or lead that was given to him. Despite his family’s fears that he was blowing a good thing, he persevered, went on interviews, visited other folks that had moved on from his company years before and went to industry events to meet new people to talk to. He did find a new job that he was happy with and six months later, learned that his former company was making layoffs in the department he had been a part of!