Lately I have been helping a lot of people in job transition. After ten, fifteen, or even twenty years with the same company, doing the same role they now find themselves without work. In trying to find a new job and sometimes change careers, they usually go about it the same way. They look at the jobs available and then see how they can make their skills and experience fit what is available. They feel frustrated, unsure, frightened, and desperate. Their self-esteem is diminished. They feel worthless and hope that finding a job will fill them again. They don’t know who they are without the job they used to have. They worry about replacing income and health care. They are sad and hollow.
And they are looking at the transition the wrong way.
They give their power to corporations and open positions. They ask. They beg. They try to fit themselves into existing roles. They hope to say the right things and be accepted by the hiring manager. And they never consider if they would be happy in their new position. It is like getting divorced and desperately trying to marry the next person you meet.
What they need to do is dream.
They have been gifted with an opportunity to create their next years. They have been jolted out of the convenient norm and given the opportunity to create something they are passionate about. They have been given a new lease on life. It warms my heart when I see clients come alive when I give them permission to explore their dreams. They all have a dream that has been haunting them, nagging at them, and with one word I help them allow it to become something they can consider. And all of a sudden it is a new game.
They bring up their passions. They bring up a unique talent. They describe their perfect life. They are energized. They are excited. They are confident. They are hopeful. It is so beautiful to watch.
Instead of trying to fit themselves into existing jobs, they begin to explore themselves. What do they want for the next phase of their life? Not just a job, but what do they want their life to look like. Do they still want to work sixty-hour weeks or are they ready for a bit more balance? Do they want to continue to commute or work virtually? Do they want their career to be primary or move their volunteer work center stage? They explore how their skills and previous experience can be used in an industry they are passionate about. They begin to create their lives.
Instead of trying to justify why they are good for role, we start to explore what they were created to do on this earth. By looking at their unique skills, passions, and values we uncover possible careers which are perfect for them. Instead of just earning a living, they begin imagining living their perfect life.
Are you stuck in a rut? Do you have a job which you do not enjoy? Is your heart ready for a change but your head is afraid? Take some time to uncover your skills and experience. Then determine your passions. What is it that you love and are attracted to? Next define your values. What is important to you? Then see how this information comes together. What opportunities do your skills, passions, and values create? This is not the space for any “yes, but.” Do this all with blue sky, white hat, open thinking. Once you have a few ideas, then ask “who could pay me to do this?” Explore who could benefit from your unique skills, passions, and values. Create a resume and personal brand to express what you uniquely offer. They pursue the companies who are looking for you.
And then be grateful for the amazing life you have been gifted.