I shared the story of my career transition from Opera into the Professional Development work I do today. Making that change eighteen years ago was a huge challenge.
My career journey all of the sudden took a turn into uncharted territory and I was shaken to the core, but also changed for the better. If you find yourself in the midst of a career change where you find yourself “off-roading” away from the safe or expected path, I encourage you to take heart. The following three tips can help you move past resistance and fear, and move forward on your journey:
- Live in the moment/ Suspend Judgment – Do you find yourself living in the future – worrying excessively…writing the script of how things will play out before they’ve even happened? ie: “It’s impossible to get an interview with that company”…”I’m over-qualified for that job”…”I’m under-qualified for that job”…”I’m too old to work in this field”… “They want someone with more skills.” The bottom line is you have no idea until you try, so knock on every door that interests you.
- Don’t take anything personally – In the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, his ‘second agreement,’ ‘Don’t take anything personally’ encourages us to let other people’s judgments about us bounce right off. Miguel Ruiz advises, “Everyone is on their own path and operating from their own point of view and that doesn’t have to concern you.” When it comes to the negative energy or opinions of others, put those blinders on and keep moving forward – staying true to yourself and your desires.
- Stay flexible – There’s an African proverb that says, ‘The wind does not break a tree that bends.’ If we can go with the flow and bend no matter how hard things get, we can withstand whatever comes our way. Keep in mind that this extends to perfectionism – which can have a paralyzing effect on the journey. Since there is no ‘perfect,’ I heartily give you permission to let yourself off that debilitating hook and simply do your best.
I love the E.L. Doctorow quote about navigating forward into the unknown: “It’s like driving at night,” Doctorow says. “You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” There is no doubt that moving forward when you don’t know where you’re going is scary, but I encourage you to have faith that your journey is taking you just where you need to go.