Keep a Steady Pace
Endurance athletes talk about keeping a steady pace to maintain energy for the long haul. The same is true in making a career change. You need to stay persistent in your search and exploration or you will likely burn out and miss the opportunity of giving yourself the gift of doing your purpose work.
What does a steady pace in career change mean? It means staying present even when your fear (inner critic) gets loud. It means staying present when you feel uncomfortable. It means letting yourself swing out and try something new even if it does not make sense or feel logical.
Transitioning yourself into purpose work takes courage. You will no doubt question yourself and your journey. Others around you may question your journey. All of that is ok. Be gentle, be kind, be persistent. Tune into your heart and soul; this is where the truth lives.
I like to think about life in terms of chapters. In some chapters we are in flow, in others we are in clarity. In some chapters we are in pain, and in others we have no idea what we are doing. The career transition has a lot of “I do not know” plot lines. For these chapters, your best tool is to stay persistent, present, and keep a steady pace. Allow yourself time to explore new things, try not to be attached to the outcome, and when you find yourself frustrated it did not work out as you hoped, shift your perspective.
One of my clients is currently in a job that does not feel purposeful to her. There are parts of the work she enjoys, but this only amounts to about 30%. In our work together we are focusing on what might be next. She is in her mid- 40s and knows she as another 20 to 25 years of working. For the past month, her focus has been on finding the gratitude of what is in her present reality. Now her goal is to find what is next. She is stepping into the exploration phase. She is the breadwinner of her family, so she does not have the luxury of quitting. She needs her work. Each week she is committing to 1 to 2 hours of exploration, talking to people doing work she is interested in, and also researching possible careers that peak her interest. She is creating a steady pace; she is only in the middle of her chapter. The end is not clear, but she is taking baby steps, which is the key to maintaining her energy for the long haul.
Another client who completed with me recently went through this experience and is now doing work she loves. It took about one and a half years, but she stayed persistent and she is now in the new chapter of her work life. She had moments of fear, frustration, and wanting to quit, but she kept choosing purpose. She kept leaning into staying persistent. It made all the difference.
- What baby step can you take today toward making your career transition a reality?
- Where do you shut down and distract yourself to avoid change out of fear?
- How can you bring in self-compassion?
- What support do you need to make the change to doing your purpose work?
- If you are like my client, what part of your job today, do you like? (In service of lessening the heartache of not being where you want to be right now.)