Here’s how one woman changed everything to follow a new career path that better suited her.
How to Reinvent Yourself at Any Age
Here’s how one woman changed everything to follow a new career path that better suited her.
How to Reinvent Yourself at Any Age
No role models.
No expectation to even go to college.
A dream beaten out of him.
And yet, this dream did not entirely disappear, and now this man is able to say, “Finally, I am free of this, and I can go after something I’ve always wanted.”
When all you can see is what’s right in front of you, it’s very hard to be creative. You may be painfully aware that you can’t stand what you are doing for work right now and still be utterly unable to see any other options. It’s a phenomenon that I see over and over again as I talk to people who can’t find the incentive to stay where they are but have no idea what else they could do.
Sometimes it seems that a career is on a trajectory similar to a laboratory mouse which has to travel straight in a narrow lane from one end of the box to the other. There’s no way to see over the walls of the lane to other possible paths, and all you can see is what is right in front of you. There is no way out and only one way to go – straight forward – on the same path you’ve been traveling.
Of course, this is an incorrect assumption, but it is also a very hard trap to get out of on your own. The key is to understand what choices got you in the box. How did you end up with only one pathway?
It may have been the motivation to please your family or the intent to see a strong suit through. It could have been that you had to prove something to yourself or to others or that you didn’t think you could attain what you truly wanted. There are so many reason we find ourselves cornered by our resume and can’t see any other feasible way to go.
Josh was out of work when he hired me to help him figure out what was next. He detested his old job and knew he didn’t want to go back to the same type of work, but he could not get out of the one-way lane. The salary of his old kind of work was very alluring, but he would admit that the thought of doing the same thing again was mind numbing.
It took a lot of chiseling away at the barrier he had put around the truth of what he wanted. He wanted to tap into his roots as a musician. He knew that becoming a middle-aged rock star held no promise. However, we did eventually uncover many ways to combine his musical interests and business acumen to invent a totally new direction for him that had merit and were worth pursuing. He was able to get some traction exploring different possibilities.
A complete letting go is necessary. I imagine someone holding on to a ledge “white-knuckling” it. They are holding on for dear life and won’t let go. In my fictitious scenario, it’s not holding on in order to avoid falling to great injury or death, but it is with the same tenacity that people will cling to a path even while they admit they can’t stand the thought of continuing on.
Let go. Admit you don’t know what’s next AND stop running in one singular direction. Just stop and wait. Stop ignoring what is nudging you. Listen and trust it even if you’re scared. Stop and wait. You’ll know. And then, you’ll act.
I don’t believe it when people tell me they don’t know what they want to do. I think they do know but they are just too afraid to admit it.
Can we help? Let us know! We have a team of facilitators who’d love to help you find your next direction.
When I was five years old, my father was offered the opportunity to establish an office for his large American employer in Caracas, Venezuela. (It was a much healthier and wealthier place then that it is now.) I wasn’t privy to how the negotiation with my mother went down, but they decided to take the one-year assignment. It turned out to become a six year stay, and one I am forever grateful for as I’m still a Spanish speaker and a lover of exploring different cultures.
At least once in each of our adult lives, we’re likely to have to make a decision that pulls us towards an unproven opportunity and away from the comfort of established routine and relative certainty. I’ve listened to many a client weigh the fear and lack of a guaranteed outcome with the excitement and “rightness” of what’s calling.
In the last couple of years, I’ve worked with two established medical professionals who were presented with the opportunity to go in a related but new direction. One, felt deeply called to provide more holistic and integrated medical care but feared being ridiculed by the ‘establishment’ and never being able to return to traditional medicine if her leap did not work out. The other, was a very well-reputed surgeon who felt compelled to bring her talents to the world of artificial intelligence in the medical field (robotic surgery to be specific). She had no guarantee that it would be a wise career move although it sounded very plausible. Both women ultimately left the comfort of certainty to reap very positive results.
This brings me to my own hard right. Earlier this month, I declared a run for New Jersey State Assembly which is a part-time designation. It would be a tremendous honor to represent constituents in the everyday decisions and votes that affect their lives. Some of you may recall that I did run briefly in 2017. We’ll call that the apprenticeship. This one is fully professional and staffed by people who know how to win elections.
Although I had run before, it was not in my plans to run this time around. There were very big responsibilities keeping me in the land of certainty. However, let’s just say the Universe conspired to open the door so I would step through it. An abundance of professional support came to me without effort. As is so often the case, the “coincidences” were too great to ignore.
I intend to bring my skill set of solving intractable problems with small business owners, individuals who are career seekers, and executives to NJ state government.
What is pulling you off the known path? How can we support you to decipher what it is or to make it happen?
Prepare to join our next discounted round of Now What?® On Demand. Registration begins in March. This is perfect for you if you want to work on your own from the comfort of your own space.
And if you can lend your support to my hard right, it’s permissible from US residents and every dollar counts. Thank you in advance!
Even when there is a massive crash, it is possible to rise again and find a new way to be in the world.
If you want to change, you can.
These days it’s very rare to find anyone who stays in a job for life the way our parents did.
If you find yourself in the situation looking for a change, here are some tips to help you get through:
“Fear of failure, of looking silly, of being rejected, of losing status — it’s the single biggest dream killer in the world of work,” but don’t let that stop you from making what could be your best move yet!
What Jay Williams describes as his “worst mistake” in this conversation with Oprah, we at Now What?® would call an Interrupted Dream – to the extreme.
This story shows how one man overcame a devastating loss in his life, where he found support, and how he connected his past passion with his current career. So much goodness here to inspire us all!
Richie had a high-powered job in the financial industry. He’d been “between things” for three years when he came to coach with me. He was stuck in circular thinking that left him with only one choice that tortured him. He kept looking for another job in the same field, although there was no traction. He saw no other way. In his mind, nothing else was possible, and he felt powerless to change that.
Except . . .
Truth be told, Richie wanted to get back to his roots as a musician and lead a more creative life. He wasn’t willing to start living off his retirement savings (although he could), and the odds of becoming a rock star were slim. He declared it a dead end.
However . . .
Before one of our sessions, in my mind’s eye, I imagined a studio space where lessons, recording, small performances and a jovial musical play space could all coexist. I shared that with Richie and sparks flew. He knew people he could talk to, and off he went! What he found was that such places already existed, and that some of his contacts were open to investing in something like this.
Which one was the dead end? The new road or being stalled on the old road? The final destination is not wrapped up yet, but the momentum has been carrying Richie to new possibilities that will pay him. Not at finance industry rates, but likely enough to leave his savings intact for now.
So now, I challenge you, dear reader.
How powerless are you? Are you truly powerless or are you simply unwilling to jump into the wave of uncertainty? Like the old Robert Frost quote says: “The only way out is through.” The only way to know is to dive in. Explore, make inroads, and assess from inside an idea. It’s so much easier to discover from this vantage point rather than from the outside where it’s protected in a glass cloche that makes it impossible to touch.
As I say in “Now What?,” you don’t have to decide. Life will tell you if you’re wrong. Explore a path. If it gains traction, it has merit. Finances will, of course, be a factor, but you have to be honest with yourself. You may not WANT to begin touching your retirement, or you may not WANT to invest in yourself to get on your feet in a new endeavor, but if you CAN, why keep pursuing the path that hurts you mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
For those who can’t even fathom the thought of living without immediate income, this does not mean the end of the road for you. It means that you will want to include aspects of the newfound direction in whatever you do next. It means that you are back in touch with your “Life Blueprint,” or your unique way of contributing to the world that will bring you the most satisfaction. It MUST be included in some way.
It’s not what you do for a living that will make you happy. It’s who your job allows you to be.
Let us know how we can support you to make it happen. We’re here cheering you on!
“To thine own self be true . . . ”
It’s not just a line from a Shakespearean play! It’s great advice for anyone any time, and particularly for entrepreneurs creating a business that reflects, inspires, and supports them!
Stop comparing to others or trying to do things the way someone else does. Find what really works for you and flourish from that place!
Experience helps us to easily recognize patterns. Recently, I’ve seen a scenario enough times to know exactly how things were going to go. I’m here to warn you that if you’re going down a career transition path or completely looking for a career reboot, there are some dead ends you’ll want to avoid.
Here are three red flags (of many) that tell me in a free consultation I won’t get results with an individual and that their strategy for finding a place to land will tank. I know this because when I refer these people on to someone else to try to get what they want, they inevitably come back to me later when they didn’t get it.
“I want a list of fields that are hiring.”
Yes, and I’d like to winning numbers to the $300 million POWERBALL prize! This is not a strategy for success.
You may land a job. You may be able to cross that chore off your list, but you’ll be at it again very soon when the pick off the list doesn’t engage you in any way. Looking for the easy way, the way that “makes sense,” does not make sense if you truly want to find a good fit.
“I want contacts for recruiters who can place me in a job.”
That sounds reasonable. Having relationships with recruiters who are looking for matches for openings in your field is a good thing. However, when people ask to be connected to them, they are often operating under a false assumption. That assumption is that the recruiter will give a damn.
Recruiters don’t work for you. They work for the company looking to fill a position. They won’t take the time (nor can they) to nurture you or amend your resume unless you fit exactly what they need at the moment you contact them.
If you fit what they were looking for and you’re on LinkedIn, they would have contacted you already! Recruiters are to be included in a thorough search, but they are not the answer you may think they are.
“I need help with my resume and marketing. What I have isn’t working.”
This can be a very legitimate issue, but I’d put it in the “barking up the wrong tree” category when someone tells me they’ve been at the job search for a long time. When the doors are not opening after a worthy set of attempts, it’s not the resume that’s the problem. It could be changes in the industry or maybe the way you’re presenting yourself, but most likely, what it means is that you have to pivot and do something else.
Each of these markers tell me that you want a Magic Bullet. You want someone to give you the answer, the magical formula, that will allow you to sidestep the hard work and pain that it may well take to find a truly satisfying landing place.
Satisfaction doesn’t come from the job itself. Even the great financial relief of having a job won’t solve the soon-to-be drudgery that lurks around the corner when you settle for any old job.
Satisfaction comes in a job that plays to your strengths, stretches you, and gives you an opportunity to master something that matters to you. Satisfaction comes from who your job will allow you to be. None of the above strategies are likely to get you there.
If you’re wishing for a magic bullet (and, let’s be honest, most of us are), let us help you get to the real issue instead. You need to know what you want, and it becomes much easier to get it when you do!