In the wonderful world of podcasts, there are some great ones that might spark a dream in you, open up a possibility you hadn’t yet imagined, or peak a new interest. So, next time you’re going for a walk or a run or have a little extra time in the car, give a listen and see what’s here for you.
Now is a great time, whether you are employed or unemployed, entrepreneur or employee, to give yourself a little something special by giving your career a boost. Take a few moments between now and the end of the year to set yourself up for a stronger 2018!
If you are job seeking, January is a great time to apply for a job, so now is the time to prepare to present your best self to your next employer.
“I know what I want to do, but it won’t pay the bills!”
My answer to that is “It may not pay them all right away, but don’t let that be a reason to stay stuck.”
One of the biggest obstacles to people making a change (when they DO know what they want to do) is math. The math doesn’t add up to making the monthly/annual nut from day one.
“Yes, that’s true. AND… .?”
It could add up after the first year
It could make you enough money on the side to create some savings for when you attempt full time
It could put you in the position to create an alliance with someone else where you can get paid right away
It could take longer than you’d like to make the change, but you can use that time to pave the path in the new direction
It could leverage you for new opportunities that you can’t even imagine yet
It could work right away!
This is not Pollyanna speaking. This is 25 years of evidence doing the talking.
I’ve seen artists leave teaching jobs to make it creating their art full time.
I’ve seen doctors move on to related fields and be successful after much angst
over possibly losing their credibility
I’ve seen musicians leave their day jobs and develop their own unique opportunities.
I’ve seen executives change fields successfully, having no experience in the new one
I’ve seen lawyers use their training in a way that was a benefit in non-law jobs
They all made the math work … eventually.
How do you DO that?
Prepare: If you know you are ready to do something else and you know what it is despite HUGE reasons to stay put, you must start preparing.
- If you don’t have what Stephen Covey called a “possibilities account,” aka savings to invest in yourself, start cutting back on expenses in order to create a cushion.
- If your new direction offers an opportunity to start making money right away, start! And bank all that money to support a future leap.
- Involve family and friends in setting the stage for a new direction. Support makes a difference and holds you accountable.
- Complete any training or studying you need for your new direction BEFORE dropping your income.
I’m working with a woman on the operational side of show business who wants to move into another aspect of the field. She has started delegating to more junior people in her office to free up her time. She has begun asking for introductions and meeting with relevant contacts. She takes an extra hour before work studying up on people and projects she wants to be knowledgeable about. Over the course of a few short weeks, she has made solid progress toward making a change. Preparation is making a huge difference, and she is moving very quickly towards solidifying her first opportunity to make money in the new area.
Execute: Start making inroads
- If you need to become known in a new field, start asking for introductions and contacting strangers to gain information and to let them know what you are interested in.
- Volunteer in your desired field to get experience and meet as many people as you can while doing so
- Do what you want to do. Just do it. Start blogging, creating your art, volunteering your expertise or even charging for it. Just get going!
- Get your resume ready, design the website, order the new business card. Just take steps in the new direction, no matter how big or small.
- Explore the many possible ways your desired direction could provide income. For example, my son who started in music playing only one instrument, has no intention of being a poor musician. He’s learned how to program synthesizers, taught himself how to operate sound equipment and musical computer programs, jumped into musically directing musicals, volunteered as musical coordinator, contacted people who play on Broadway who have let him sit in on their show, and taught himself other instruments. He has been making money at most of these things since before his junior year of college. I’ve seen adults successfully take similarly fruitful steps in non-artistic contexts. Diversifying makes it likely you’ll work in the field of your dreams.
Leap: When the day job is getting in the way of the new thing … LEAP.
- If you’ve prepared and executed, there may come an obvious moment where the math still isn’t quite right, but jumping in with full attention is now the only way it has any hope of ever adding up.
In closing, I’m reminded about a very likely obstacle that might be making you resistant to everything I’m suggesting here. TIME. You might be thinking: “I haven’t got time to do all this.” Yes. And? That’s for a whole other post.
I’ll leave you with this:
“We make time for what we want to make time for.”
Now go run those numbers again … let me know how we can help.
Midlife is a natural time for many to ponder what they’re doing with their lives.
Wondering if you’re locked into a career you’ve devoted decades to? Not necessarily!
These folks share how they’ve made a change with no regrets.
It can be scary when you know you want to make a change, but you don’t know how it will work out. Do we ever really know? No!
So, go ahead and treat it as an experiment, give it a go, and let these tips support you through the process.
They want you! They need you! They tell you that no one can do the job but you! Boy, does that feel good. But somewhere deep down, you know it’s nothing you truly want a part of, even if they are saying everything you want to hear.
I work with people who are hatching their next career and many, many times the old/current job comes calling. It’s an easy way out of the hard work of finding the next gig, but should you go back?
How do you know if you’re being falsely seduced or if it’s a true opportunity?
Check Your Ego – Some flattery is obvious, but not all. You have to be honest with yourself and be aware of how the seducer is playing into your insecurities and needs. If part of your reason for leaving was feeling unappreciated and all of a sudden that need is getting stroked, you have to realize that it may not last once you go back.
Check Your Gut – Your Ego and Your Gut (intuition) are not the same animal. Your gut is more truthful and sensitive. However, when your ego is being courted and promised a panacea, the gut can be harder to hear. If the offer feels ‘icky’ (a very scientific term) in any way, take pause. What are your fears? What do you know wholeheartedly to be true despite what is being promised?
Make Your Demands – Even if it’s just as an exercise to decide whether to go back, if you’re considering it at all, make a list of what you need to feel good about it. Is it more money? Is it certain changes to your job description? Is it particular treatment, access to a certain person, or communication from a certain person? Looking at these answers may bring to light why you wanted to leave in the first place; then you can ask whether you can get what you clearly know you need.
Run or Suit Up – I’m working with a female executive right now who agreed to go back and together, we made the list of her demands. She is “suited up” and prepared to put firm boundaries in place so that her new requirements stick. It is dangerously easy for you or others to slip into old patterns because everyone is used to the precedents that were set in the past.
Retraining people on what you will and will not do and what they can expect is hard and takes discipline and consistency. It can be done, and this executive will give it some time and see if a positive change is possible.
If you know it just won’t work or be worth it, then RUN. Get away from that seduction like an antelope would run from a hungry lion.
If it’s a fight you can’t win, save yourself now. There’s no point delaying the inevitable. Know you will find the next thing and it WILL BE better.
If it’s time for a change, for a new you, who might you become?
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!
Layoffs, downsizing, and “rightsizing” are a common occurrence these days, and often they happen without rhyme nor reason.