Most career transitions follow a similar pattern.
There’s the phase of recharging, in which we carve a path back to ourselves. We rest and recuperate and go on sabbatical and give our bodies and minds a chance to just do nothing for a finite period of time.
Next comes the phase of reflecting, in which we create a deeper understanding of ourselves. We think about who we are, what we do and why we do it.
Then, there’s the phase of reframing, in which we cast a new vision for ourselves. We imagine the new and exciting types of work environments that might allow us to thrive.
Finally, there’s the phase of rallying, in which we advocate for ourselves. We hit the streets and pull our chair up to the table and create a holy shit moment that’s worth paying money for.
During this process, it’s important to ask ourselves a few questions. I’ll share a few of the most important ones from my own journey.
1. Am I willing to let go of everything I’ve tried and built and accomplished so far, except for the person I’ve become, and use that as the raw material for whatever comes next? This question involves surrender and acceptance and vulnerability. It’s a simple yes or no answer, and not everybody is existentially prepared to face it. We have to be willing to stand at the foot of an unblazed trail and forge ahead despite our fears. But if we’re brave enough to answer that question, we can move onto the second one.
2. What am I intrinsically the best in the world at, that I have been put on this earth to do, that I’ve already been doing my whole life, that nobody can take away from me, that some lucky organization would love and value and pay money for? This question is much more practical. It forces us to assess our abilities within the context of a new work environment. In fact, it’s helpful to answers the question visually.
Years ago, I actually made a massive spreadsheet of all my personal and professional assets, talents, skills, accomplishments and passions. Just as an exercise to gain a holistic picture of my total value package. But when I showed it to my mentor, he suggested making a second spreadsheet, but in the context of an organization. Asking myself the question, what would be the impact of their ownership of my value?
That’s when my career transition kicked into high gear. I had recharged, reflected, reframed and now it was time to rally.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...What questions will you ask yourself to discern the future horizon of your work?
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