Are you prepared to leave or lose your job (or to leap up or off the ladder)?
I am in the process of “consciously uncoupling” from my job of 9 years, and a career of almost two decades in BigCo management consulting. The reason why, the process to get to this point and what next will be covered in subsequent posts.
For now, let me say that my immediate goal in the next few months is to share the principles of The Good Life in an earnest attempt to make the world a slightly better place. The Good Life is a philosophy and practice of living I’ve developed and used to realign my life to be more balanced, happy and meaningful. The journey is only part way through but I’m excited to share what I’ve found in the hope that it can help you too.
So back to the question at hand: Are you prepared to leave or lose your job?
A lot of us want to leave our jobs but we are not prepared to.
Many of us will lose our jobs and we are not prepared to.
Preparing is about being ready to deal with an event as well as being willing to do something. It’s a truism but many of us spend all of our time working in our careers, not working on them…until it is too late.
Ironically the way to get prepared for these eventualities is largely the same as if your desire is to get promoted, to make more money, and get more meaning from your current situation (i.e. leap up or off the ladder). Preparing is both offensive and defensive.
Now I face my own transition, not theoretical – real life. You can probably work out by my career tenure that I’m in my early 40’s. I am married with one beautiful child and another on the way. I have a mortgage and bills to pay, and so on. I feel as prepared as I can be, and have been ready for this moment for a little while now.
In terms of preparing in the event you lose your job, you can work on your career by:
I did each of the steps above. Here is what I found:
The value of executing these simple steps goes way beyond the price of admission. It is almost impossible to anticipate fully the benefits of things we know we should do but don't. If you "get" these steps but don't do them then you become stuck in the same situation - I learned this first hand.
The reason is quite simply that we must open up some new avenues to get to a better situation, and those avenues start as small side-streets that you walk past every day. To complete these steps fully you must, in practice, start to answer the questions of "who am I?", "what do I want?" and eventually "how do I get to what I want from where I am now?".
For me it became clear that it was impossible to satisfactorily answer "the work question" without thinking about what I wanted across my whole life, and then fitting work into this. I wanted to live a more healthy lifestyle, improve the connection to my family, be more grounded and living on-purpose and I wanted to use my full set of talents and interests to make the world a better place, by helping others to find happiness, balance, meaning in their lives.
I’ve developed a personal methodology of how to work through that and will share elements of it in future blog posts, and hopefully document it all in an upcoming book. The other side feels good, but the work has only just begun.
What this adds up to in terms of the questions that opened this post is that to be prepared you have to find a plausible alternative to your current situation. This could be a different role, job or business or changes outside of work that enable you to have the required attitude and appetite in what you chose to do for work / vocation. This is the topic of my next blog post "Where's the money (and the meaning)?".
So whether you’re preparing in case you lose your job, or for when you need to leave, or how to leap up or off the ladder the steps outlined above can help. It is only when you start to implement these keystone simple steps, acting and interacting with others, that further actions, gaps and opportunities become apparent and you get momentum. Start now, since you'll need time to act on what you find, before work or another part of life becomes in crisis for one reason or another.
Since this is the first post on my site please check back regularly to see updates in coming weeks as well as the opportunity to join the mailing list for additional select content.
When you get to the other side perhaps you'll feel like me - that work is planet revolving around you again, rather than the other way around.
Have a good one!
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