Career Change: A Glittering Invitation To The Emotional StalkersWritten by Patricia Soldati
As much as you are yearning for career-change, and as much as trends actually favor it, just contemplating a shift is a glittering invitation to four emotional stalkers who love nothing better than to play a nasty game of team-tag at your personal expense. When you unmask these bandits -- even a little -- they begin to lose their emotional charge – leaving you free to more fully explore opportunities to re-invent yourself.
Stalker # 1: The Devil You Know. Just imagine that you’re headed for work. You’re at station, briefcase and newspaper in hand, waiting in a narrow sea of gray look-alikes to catch 6:10 train. Or, jailed in your car, radio droning, you crawl along highway, hypnotized by swaying bumpers ahead.
You arrive in town, grab your daily coffee, rise silently in a packed elevator and pad to your office, numb before you even start your day.
Work done, you reverse direction, back and forth, each day more effort than one before. After ten or twenty years, once colorful work has faded. Yet how good it feels to know ropes! How seductively easy it is to stay stuck in what you know! To break out of your comfort zone, tap into most inspiring, personal benefit that your career change can bring you: More intriguing and challenging work? Being your own boss? or, perhaps it’s luxury of more personal time to pursue additional interests. Mentally scan your list of friends and acquaintances who are fulfilled in their work. Who has a working life that you would like to have? Who is demonstrating that hard work and life in full bloom are not mutually exclusive realities? Stalker #2: Clueless in Seattle. If you have a passion for particular work, or specialized expertise that you intend to lever, Fortune is smiling and waving you forward. Count yourself lucky, indeed! The rest of us face thorny battle of believing that there is work out there for us that is we can embrace with our logic brain and our heart brain. Two different animals, worlds apart! Intellectually, lots of options exist, but how do you make visceral leap that one of these options is right for you? This was my #1 dilemma in 1999. Objectively, I knew that I had good skills that I could leverage. But emotionally I was not a believer. Since I didn’t know what THE work was, how could I believe it was possible? I would have given up then and there, if it wasn’t for a friend who suggested that I was trying to accomplish too much, too early. He saw me desperate to “swing from tree to tree” and challenged my need to nail down exactly what I was going to do for work before I even started change process. “Figuring out what to do for a living IS process,” he explained. “The answers unfold slowly, with diligent work.” He encouraged me to explore my talents and work preferences fully and methodically. And to think with my heart. “It’s your heart,” he advised, “that allows you to leap.” Stalker #3: The Slippery Slope: Money. Our desire for financial security screams at a deafening crescendo and sabotages our willingness to step forward even one inch. Fat paychecks, bonuses, expense accounts, paid vacations and health benefits -- perks to flutter our hearts and, on occasion, puff our egos with a sense of status and independence. The green stuff pays our bills, educates our kids, entertains us and gives us a sense that all is well with world.
6 STEPS TO RE-INVENTING YOUR CAREERWritten by Patricia Soldati
Meaningful work honors deepest part of your being. It is embodiment of your gifts and talents and all that you value. Finding it in a safe, smart way requires these six steps: 1. Soul Searching. Your journey begins with some intriguing self-examination. This step goes beyond looking at your work experience and skills. You also consider your values, interests, and personality preferences. This can be done informally through use of specially-designed exercises or it can be done formally through professional assessment testing. Taken all together, soul-search phase allows you to come up with a comprehensive personal profile that will help you develop future work possibilities. 2. Identifying Options. The key word here is “options”…not “answers”. In this step, you use your profiling “clues” from Step 1 to brain- and heart-storm as many possibilities for future work as possible. This is one of most creative parts of change process – and best done with one or more friends or colleagues who have a broad view of business marketplace. At about this point, it’s important to begin to create a compelling future vision for your work and life. The act of creating your vision is inspiring, and it can actually help to pull your career change journey forward. 3. Testing. Testing has three purposes. The obvious one is to avoid making a big mistake by jumping to a solution too fast. The not-so-obvious purposes are to network more deeply into an area that you think you might like to make a career of, and to learn as much as you can about it from an inside perspective rather than from afar. It is experimentation with a purpose – while you keep an open mind and heart.