No one wants to get laid off, and it can feel like a disaster when it hits home. But at times, these unexpected turns in your career, lead to a brighter path.
The best time to be thinking about your next job is before you need it, while you are still employed.
Start now by exploring some of these ideas that will better prepare you for if and when the day comes to make a change.
7 Ways to Lay the Groundwork for Your Next Job (Even if You Don’t Know What it Is)
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.
Are you stuck?……
It was nice to hear from so many people who saw the first video that debuted on Monday. I hope I’ve answered your questions here in video TWO which is about the second block to clarity: IDENTITY.
Do you allow who you think you’re supposed to be get in the way of what you really want?
I know I have.
I spent years dragging my feet to make a career change because I felt so many people were invested in me doing what I did before. So many other people’s hopes pinned to me pursuing and achieving my Broadway dreams. It took me longer to leave that chapter because I was attached to the IDENTITY of the artist before I realized I could be an artist in other ways.
If you or someone you know is stuck not knowing what to do next in life or career, this could be part of what’s stopping you.
Watch the second video HERE and join me for some upcoming events that will help you find your way out of the hell of second guessing and into the new future you’re longing to create.
Thank you for taking part in the 10th Anniversary celebration of Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction!
Please comment on the blog to let me know your thoughts.
You are NOT what you do or have always done……
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!
It’s that time of year, resolutions and new goals being set to make a leap into a new annum. A time of reflection and renewed hope. Nothing new to the person in career transition . Renewing hope is a daily, if not weekly occurrence in that case.
As Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, once said, “Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy”. That statement encapsulates why most people give up on their resolutions and why career transitions can grow hopeless and come to a standstill. Hoping is not enough. Hope and faith are important elements but they have to be backed up with action. A LOT of action!
This economic climate can make you want to give up but that does not serve anyone. In fact, now is the time to get outrageous and become so intense in your desire for what you want to achieve that you are willing to do whatever it takes. Calling people you don’t know. Sending out more resumes than you thought possible. Putting yourself in opportunity’s way by creating your own way of doing things. Trying something entirely new because you can and because it just may work out better than more traditional venues for success. These times are calling for a big stretch.
Here comes the other potential pitfall. Earlier it was not taking enough action, and now as your willingness to do so is hopefully growing, you have to watch for the deflating possibility of not seeing results. At least not right away. If something is not moving in your world despite all your efforts, you need to understand that there is much you cannot see or fathom. How many drops of water does it take to turn a dry riverbed back into a rushing force of liquid and momentum? How much digging does it take before you hit gold? You may quit too early and never know if you stop believing.
It’s appropriate to take a break and see what the wind whispers as a new strategy. It’s OK to change direction or to let your dream change form, but . Stretching to reach your dreams means taking the bigger action and continuing to take them battling any notion that nothing is happening even if the evidence is not immediate.
Energy moves and so keep moving your world by taking smart action. You are sending a ripple out and you will cause change. Think of where you’d like to be in December of 2011. Work your way backward to today envision each milestone you had to hit to be where you want to be at this time next year. NOW, plan your first step of 2011. It will be bigger than you’d logically would have come up with.
Be renewed, be refreshed and keep on reaching for your career dreams.
Based on Chapter 12 of “Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction”, “Following Your Life Blueprint®”.
Can you cause things to occur? Can you make luck happen?
It can feel like the odds are stacked up against you in the current economic climate and job market. In our work at Now What?® Coaching, we’ve found that once you tap into what you really want to do (despite logic or how improbable it is) the roadblocks melt away one by one as you persevere to beat the odds. We find you CAN create your own luck.
What does it take? Perseverance, blocking out naysayers, following your intuition against the odds and taking risks. BIG risks.
I saw the movie, SECRETARIAT, last night. Even though I knew the outcome of the horse’s history, I still found myself completely intrigued and committed to championing the main (human) character, Penny Tweedy. Penny was a housewife who had not been involved with her family’s horse farm for many years. When her mother died and her father was no longer able to take care of things, she stepped in. It was her intuition, research, and tenacity that sired the success of her racehorse, Secretariat.
All the odds were stacked against Penny. She had little experience, she was a woman at a time where ridiculing her publicly was still an acceptable tactic for her male opponents, her own husband and brother were her biggest naysayers, she did not have the money to do what she wanted to do and she was operating on her 20-year memory of her MBA studies (not mentioned in the movie), her gut and her spiritual connection to her horse.
She and her horse accomplished the impossible according to conventional wisdom. To Penny, it was always possible and it is that conviction that is required to beat the odds. Odds, which in Secretariat’s case, were never repeated, by the way. (no horse has ever beat those times)
Putting yourself in opportunity’s way, in the most basic terms, means getting yourself out there. Talking to people, operating like you are already successful (despite your fear and feelings of being an impostor), taking chances by asking for what you want and stretching beyond your comfort zone.
What happens when you do that is that you are putting a stake in the ground. You are telegraphing to the ‘ethers’ and to the people in your life that you are serious and that your intention is to set the course to this particular thing happening. When you cut off all other options, you operate differently. You can’t afford to let fear stop you. Life will tell you quickly if you’re wrong, but in my experience, by the time you get to this point, you are on to something that is very right for you. Obstacles are still likely, but they increase determination instead of the opposite.
Do it. Put yourself in opportunity’s way. Push through and watch the tides turn in your direction. It’s not forcing results at any cost, but rather re-educating the universe, yourself and those around you as to what you are willing to have in your life. OPPortunity is UP to YOU.
Based on Chapter 10 of “Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction”, “Put Yourself in Opportunity’s Way”. More on this topic in Laura’s upcoming “The Prosperity Plan” (January 2011)
Here’s a far out idea. If your job search or dream goal is not coming along as you had hoped, write a story about how it could and watch your circumstances change.
“Really? Can that work?”, you might ask.
Yes, it can and let me tell you why. When you write fiction and allow your imagination to take over, you are wiping out linear, logical thinking and tapping into your intuition, also known as your superconscious. (vs. subconscious) When we approach a strategy linearly and it does not work out, we have a hard time tapping into a new, creative approach and tend to get stuck repeating the approach that is not working over and over again.
When we use our imagination, as in writing a fictitious, outrageous story about how our goal can come to be, we are tapping into our intuition, getting away from linear thinking and coming up with new ideas that may work to change our circumstances when put into action. We are also tapping into a greater knowing within ourselves that may not have been obvious to our conscious, linear mind.
For example, Marty is a hard working CFO of a hospital and has been ready for a new job for a long time, but has been stuck and not getting any substantial results from sending out resumes. He has used the bad economy as a reason to drag his feet and not be too aggressive about his search, assuming he should be grateful to have a job and not rock the boat to find another. When he gets a burst of energy about his search, all he can think to do is to send out more resumes.
When asked to write an outrageous, fictitious story about how he lands a new job, Marty struggled at first. That’s not unusual. We are not used to using our imagination or even thinking it’s a worthwhile exercise to stop and write a childish story about getting what we want. Yet, Marty managed to leave his disappointment and disbelief aside for an hour and let his imagination take over.
“I am sitting outside the hospital one day and the CEO’s of several hospitals are walking around during a break from some sort of conference. Two of them come over to me at different times and tell me they have heard of me and wondered what it would take to get me on their team. We have meetings in the next couple of weeks and they have a bidding war to get me. I have my choice and go with the highest bidder securing a contract that with bonuses that could create great security for my future. Within a month from that day on the bench, I am in a new job and very happy.”
Marty’s story seems far-fetched. That’s GREAT! That’s the point. Now, will his story come to be just because he wrote it that way? Likely not, but we have seen stranger things happen in our Now What?® career transition coaching work. However, where the gold is here is to then interpret what your intuition may be trying to tell you as it snuck into your story. What parts of the story are actionable? What hints can you glean from it?
Marty saw that he was not networking at all and that he had to be out to industry events and shaking hands again like he did in the beginning of his career. He took that message from his intuition to heart and created a linear plan of action for being in touch with more industry people. This was his ticket to a new job. Within six months of active networking, he was getting responses to his resumes and interviewing with hospitals that he would be happy to work for. In eight months, he had a new job.
No matter what you may be stuck about, career or not, use fiction-writing as a way to see your situation differently and be released from the ‘no -results-zone’ and ushered into the ‘opportunities-come-my-way-zone’.
It really is all in your mind and how you see things……..I want you to see what I see……POSSIBILITIES. You really can write your own ticket.
Based on Chapter 9 of “Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction”, “Life Often Does Imitate Art; Write Your Own Fiction”. More on this topic in Laura’s upcoming “The Prosperity Plan” (January 2011)
The number one reason that people do not follow their heart when it comes to the work they would most love to do is money. There are mortgages and educations to pay for and practical wins out over ideal most of the time. What if that conventional wisdom was false? What if the pull of what you really wanted to do was so strong, that the force of your desire creates a vacuum that brings money into the fold as well?
What most people forget is that doing something new may very well mean a financial set back, but it does not have be permanent. You will grow and advance in the new thing. Money will grow.
I can think of two clients in particular who despite gaining sharp clarity about what was next for them professionally, did not move in their new directions because of money concerns. I’ll have you know that within a handful of years, each of them were in the profession they had yearned for and money was working out just fine. Their ‘sure thing’ had become less sure and suddenly, they had nothing to lose by following their ideal, heart-based professional path.
One of these folks was a man who despite having a fledgling headhunter business, chose not to move into teaching. Today, he is a happy, popular teacher with a Facebook Fan Page created by his students. The other was a woman who had a strong philanthropic bent but worked in banking. One meant little money and one meant plenty. She eventually found her way to the non-profit world and is happy and satisfied, making it work financially.
Sometimes, it takes having no other choice to really follow what you are meant to be doing, but life would be easier if we made the choice while it was still a CHOICE. The money does work itself out. A spouse might start doing better or you ‘luck’ into a break in your housing costs through refinance or an inheritance or perhaps you change locations and the money and lifestyle come together in a harmonious blend.
The hard truth is that there is no certainty. You may think you are choosing the ‘safe’ way by staying put, but for how long will it stay safe?
Stepping out into the abyss of the unknown in the name of what feels right even if you are also fearful, allows the floor to come up to meet you.
It can’t always be terra firma that you leap to.
Can you change the way you think about money to allow your new direction to come to be? Think about that. Write about that. See what new possibilities emerge.
LOOK for more on this topic in Laura’s upcoming book “The Prosperity Plan” (January 2011) or check out Chapter Eight of “Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction” (Tarcher-Penguin) Available on Amazon.