This question was posed to me by a friend, currently looking for his next great career opportunity as we talked about his transition and the tough job market. There’s no easy answer, but I offered what keeps me going…
In the times of my life, when I’ve been in transition, whether by my own choice, or the company I worked for, I’ve always held a belief that there is a plan, a destiny if you will. Sometimes, I’ve been too much “in control” to see I was out of control, sometimes, I was so sure I was going down the right path, that I was achieving my goals, but knew, deep down that something was missing. And as a result, either or I or the company I worked for, made a choice.
Transitions in careers is tough, and affects you on so many levels, no matter what you do, did or didn’t do…
I only know that at my core, I am willing to do just about anything legal and moral to take care of myself and my family. I’ve worked multiple jobs, taking roles that were below my skill level. I’ve had to make really tough choices sometimes, taking a step back at times to move closer to what my heart tells me is the direction I should be going in. I’ve also been on the racetrack of careers, moving so fast to “get ahead” that I didn’t realize I was on the wrong track. Once the crash happens, it’s hard to see how to get moving again..
So when that happens, employed or not, I go back to the basics…
1. What am I about? At the end of the day, I am about taking care of my family, and doing what is necessary to take care of what is necessary, to be free to do what is necessary to go where I want to go.
3. Where do I want to go next? Long term first, then what is the next position or type position I need, in what specific type companies, located in what specific area that I NEED to take to get where I want to go?
4. What’s the next action step I need to get closer to those positions, companies, industries?
5. While I’m taking steps to get where I want to go, what am I willing to do to get where I want to go, whether it means changing my lifestyle, my job, doing something that is out of my comfort zone or below my own ego?
These may seem like hard questions, especially setting a course of direction that may seem unclear, that is difficult for your ego, yours or your family’s expectations to accept, but in the end, it’s about understanding what you want to be about, what you have to give and being willing to invest in that, with time, talent, passion. Maybe you feel that you’ve been doing all you know how and nothing happens… so “What can I do differently”, who can I talk to that can offer advice, that can open new doors of thinking?
Not every “purpose” has to be world changing… but in being yourself, and following the desire in your heart, you will be world changing to those around you, and the ripples of your life will touch the world.
So when it get’s hard, when you are doing all that you know how, how do you keep going?
If you know what you are about, what you want to do and are willing to pay the price, and do what is necessary, set daily, weekly, monthly goals that will give you a reason to cheer and know you are taking the RIGHT and NECESSARY steps to get where you want to go. And while you are doing that, DO WHAT IS NECESSARY to take care of you and yours.
In training for a marathon, the hardest part can be getting out the door, but if you do, then as you keep doing the miles, doing what is necessary, the miles come easier, and the mountain does not seem so huge…. so it is in life.