Ever been stuck on a big career decision – feeling out of alignment, confused or paralyzed? Over and over, I see three major decision points that stump us. Three career crossroads that we stop and stand at, gazing around… some of us for a long time.
Let’s stop doing that! Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re taking a pause at one of these crossroads. Let’s figure out which one and get you moving…
The first crossroads: what work should I be doing?
You may think this is a question for teenagers before they choose their major, and it is. But it resurfaces, often several times as we grow into our careers and our lives; when you’ve been through change; when you’ve grown significantly; when you feel out of alignment with your path.
Asking this question doesn’t mean you did it wrong up until now. You didn’t mess up! It means you’re evolving. It means you’re brave.
How do we solve it? I like to start deep by understanding values. Your values are the underpinning of all your choices. So, when you consciously understand your values, you will simplify your choices. For example, one of my top values is evolution. I am obsessed with growth and change. I am surrounded by plants and tree images all the time. So, what work should I be doing? Work that focuses on helping people evolve.
The second crossroads: what’s my next move?
This is a career transition. It’s what happens when you’ve outgrown your role or your manager or your company or your colleagues or your least favourite spreadsheet. You’re ready to change…. change jobs, change companies, go to flex, go to ownership, go to parenthood, go back to work, CHANGE.
Remember outgrowing your sneakers as a kid? It’s uncomfortable. Often, we need to get really uncomfortable and feel really out of alignment, before we are willing to take the risk of stepping into the unknown. Our human brains are wired to keep us safe and doing what we know, so it can be a BATTLE, even when you know on some level, that it’s time.
Whole generations before us simply avoided this; now, the economy of work is much more fluid. In a lot of ways, we are always on the job market, always marketing ourselves. Some people embrace this and others don’t; it’s fine. But when you want a change – when your feet get itchy and it no longer feels good 75%, 80% of the time where you are, it’s time to seriously think about that leap of faith. And then to stop thinking, and MAKE YOUR MOVE.
The third crossroads: ready to thrive
I’ll be honest: some people never get here. Even for those who do want to THRIVE, it takes a good measure of self-awareness, focus, willingness to take risks, and universal timing. It happens when you’re in the right place, when you’ve put your roots down in the right soil. And you’re ready to grow.
And it’s a crossroads because often, it’s not obvious how to grow. You probably need to learn skills you’ve never needed before. You probably need to get way outside your comfort zone, and risk looking dumb, and make some mistakes (a lot of mistakes), to really grow and thrive. But it’s all possible. It’s all exciting.
So even if you’re an expert at what you do, put your humility hat on and be open to stumbling. Double your rate of failure. Paradoxically, it’s the fastest path to thrive.
So, where do you stand?
Which crossroads are you hanging out at, and are you feeling the nudge to move forward? Just standing there gets old pretty quickly, so let this be your invitation to take action without delay. What are you waiting for?! (actually though, what are you waiting for?)…
PS! now that you know the problem you’re solving, check out the resources page HERE for top posts and free tools to help you. And if you’re feeling the pull for a conversation, you can always get in touch here.
Want more? If you’re into living intentionally according to your core values, getting super clear on what you want in work and life, taking massive inspired action and using your work as a catalyst for exploring your human potential, then welcome to the fold, kindred spirit! Get enlightened career strategy, inspiration and first access to new free resources by clicking HERE. And if you’re on the ‘gram say hi HERE. XO