This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but you are going to change employers more than once over your career; this is the reality we live in today. Sometimes that change will be by choice and sometimes that change may be unexpected or out of your control (i.e. your job is made redundant or the organization you work for closes it’s doors, etc.). Unexpectedly feeling like you have to look for a new job (or suddenly having to) is a difficult circumstance, one that is both stressful and demanding. For some it is indeed a crisis. Yet, there are opportunities hidden in this circumstance that allow you to take stock of all that you have and all that you are, giving you rich context to inform what to pursue next in your career. Take heart, doing this requires courage.
Often when we are looking for a new place to invest our skills it is from a place of discomfort; there is a need to find the next role quickly and return to an acceptable balance the levels of comfort and control you want in your working life. But what if instead of putting your career eggs in the basket of “doing something” by immediately shopping for that next job, you stayed here for a moment and sat with your discomfort, easing into a period of contemplation to inform your next career step? As Zen Teacher John Tarrant said in his article It Would Be a Pity To Waste A Good Crisis “The beauty and nobility of your life may be more visible to you if a dark contrast is available”. What does thinking about what is uncomfortable have to tell you about what you need? How can it allow you to make much stronger choices in where you go next? Here are some examples:
There are many other examples of ways that discomfort comes to visit us in our working lives, you probably have a few that came to mind for you as you read that list. Objectivity plays a keen part in figuring out what your next step should be…listen to yourself, what do you have a yearning to do that you aren’t able to do at work today? Or maybe it has more to do with the communication or leadership style you prefer… either way, you can’t do a thing about it until you sit and identify what you need moving forward.
Without knowing what you need in your next career move (or place of work) your ability to engage with (and be motivated by) your work is diminished. However, giving yourself the time to digest what you have experienced in your career so far, and listen to see where you would really like to go next allows you to be intentional in both what you look for and how you approach finding your next career opportunity. Give yourself the gift of time when looking for your next career move; it may feel counter intuitive, but it is time well invested (and the only way to make good use of a bad circumstance).
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I believe in empowering others in many tangible ways. When I learn new career strategies or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website.