Changing the direction of your life
It happened almost by accident. In the summer of 2015 I lost my job very suddenly. It made me see how your pattern of life can change very quickly. Sure I was able to find a consulting assignment quickly, but something had changed. I was no longer the average experienced job seeker. It was harder to get interviews for those top jobs and still harder to garner the kinds of offers I had received in the past.
By December, I decided to take a different kind of job that would utilize my skills but in a new way. It was a big company and there was a lot to learn. The people at the company seemed to appreciate my expertise and I in turn valued the assistance my colleagues were able to provide in the many systems I had to master in order to do my job. My clients liked that I could provide answers quickly and speak with authority on many issues.
During the following year I didn’t look back but began to wonder about the path my career had taken. Then at some point my husband began to talk about moving to a different place where there would be a different lifestyle than what we were used to. From there we started to explore an area north of where we lived and found we had some friends in that area who recommended it highly. We visited the area and found it just what we had been looking for.
We sold our home and moved to the new location over the course of four months. During that time a former company that I had consulted with in the past reached out to me to rejoin them, which I did. So consciously over the course of a year and a half I changed my career direction and my life. It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. The changes are enormous. Our lifestyle is different, but it is healthier and more satisfying than it was before.
Sometimes making the decision to change can bring you to a whole different place. It’s not easy and can be fraught with self-doubt as to whether you’re making the right move, but it can also be liberating and allow you to do something you had never dreamed of before. The question that seasoned individuals often face is the surprise of others who cannot understand that they might want to slow down and smell the flowers. Some friends recently sold their home and possessions and bought a trailer that will enable them to travel the country. One spouse has a financial consulting practice that he can manage ‘on the road’, the wife just wants to see things she’s never seen before whether it’s Washington D.C. or Yellowstone National Park. Many friends questioned this new direction; others were downright envious and wondered if they too could take the same steps. What’s a life for anyway?
When you consider that life is a gift and can be lost at any time, you realize that it’s important to make the conscious choice to do something different for yourself. You have to keep in mind that your choices may not be the choices of others and that some individuals will wonder why you seem to want to take a different path. Ultimately it comes down to wanting to do something meaningful, make a contribution while still enjoying your life. The choices that were suitable five or ten years ago are no longer appealing. You may have to search your soul to come to that realization, but once you do, the path will open up clearly.
As I work with people doing career coaching, it’s very clear to me that career direction really depends on where the person is in their life, it’s very personal. Coming to terms with what that means for you as an individual is an extremely private and complicated process. Resolving these issues and then acting on them can be the most rewarding activity in your life.
Have you been through a similar transition? What were the things that occurred to you along the way? Were there pivotal moments when everything became crystal clear? Send me a note.