“You’re so good at re-inspiring yourself,” a friend said after I recently shared with her how excited I was about my work. Since that conversation I’ve thought often about her comment. This is my thirty-fifth year in business and I’ve had to design “next chapters” many times over the years in order to remain inspired. It’s something we all have to do or we run the risk of living on automatic and never having the lives we want. Next chapters require entering the unknown and that can be scary and/or overwhelming but the good news is that we don’t have to do it alone.
Is it time for you to design a new chapter?
There are many times in our work when it’s appropriate to end one chapter and create a new one. This past month I met with someone who’s closing a business and deciding what to do next, another who’s designing and launching a business, a third who wants to move from being an external consultant to working inside a company, and a fourth who’s unhappy at work and wants to find a job that’s a better fit.
Here are some other situations when you might decide it’s time to write your next chapter. If you’re bored, restless or disappointed in your current job, no longer feel engaged with your work, and can’t visualize an exciting future, you might decide to create a carefully crafted conversation (not whining or pouting – ahem!) with your boss based on a clear request to reinvent your work right where you are. Conversely, you might decide the best answer is to leave and find a new job that fosters learning and growing.
If you’re fifty or above and can’t bear the thought that you’ll be working at the same job or in the same way for the next fifteen to twenty years you might decide to redesign your work and life in a way that satisfies your need for more freedom, flexibility and/or meaning.
If you’ve been passed over for a promotion or left out of important decision making and worry that a pink slip is in the near future, you might orchestrate leaving so you can exit with dignity and land on your feet.
If you’ve always wanted to have a business of your own and time is flying by, you might put an end to wishing and get started. If you’re already self-employed but feel isolated or resigned, you might create changes that reignite the fire you originally had for your business.
Don’t try to do it alone
Whenever you’re completing one chapter and beginning a new one, you’re more likely to be successful at managing both and accomplishing your goals if you (me included) have help along the way. It’s powerful to have a coach as a committed listener, someone who can provide perspective, remind you to be guided by your values, urge you to listen to your heart and trust your intuition, and help you manage difficult conversations or relationships. A coach can support you to gain clarity about the work you would most love to do and how and where you want to do it. A coach can support you to achieve your goals and follow through on your intentions. And, it can be fun to work with a coach.
It’s too easy to be passive, hoping that someone will rescue you or something will change. Even if that happens, it might not be what would serve you best. Instead, get your courage up and take charge of your life. Strengthen that initiative muscle and find help to create and sustain a vibrant, engaging work/life.
What’s your next chapter? How can I help? Let’s explore how we might work together.
Providing success coaching for professionals for thirty-five years…