Making Peace With The Present
By Kelly C. Wells
In the midst of a career change it can be difficult to stay positive within your present reality. Perhaps you sent out your resume dozens of times and finally got an interview. Then, you didn’t get hired. Argh! Despair sets in. Your current job gets even more unbearable.
It may feel like a permanent situation, but that is not the case. In reality, all things are temporary and “this too shall pass.” Change is the universal constant of life. Remembering this can help ease the pain of transition and remind us all to make peace with the present.
Not now does not mean never! One door closed means another window will open. We may never know why one opportunity was lost, but we can be assured that it was for the best.
Throughout the career change process, we learn more about ourselves, what we don’t want, and what truly motivates us to succeed.
I recall a time that I was in the top 5 candidates for a new job. I was eager for a change and really wanted out of the company I was working for. I had a total of three long interviews and… I was not selected. Yes, I was disappointed, but if I were being honest with myself I would have to admit that the new job was not well suited for me.
I was focused on escaping a job I didn’t like and I was temporarily blinded by the hope of something new, not necessarily focused on long-term success. In all likelihood, the initial high of getting hired, making a little more money, and having a new work environment would have disintegrated into regret.
What are you running from today? As the saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” You want to be sure that any move you make is based on your inner values and nurtures your passion and purpose. Don’t stop asking, “What do I really want?” and don’t throw more money and time at education if it isn’t going to take you there.
Time is on your side if you realize how to use it to your advantage. Here are some things you can do to make peace with the present while you work through your career transition:
1) Take a class in a new area of interest, even if it doesn’t pertain to your current work. Exploring new possibilities is the best way to find hidden talents and seeds of greatness yet to surface and blossom. When you have been unhappy in your current work for a long time, it is easy to get into a rut and to feel a loss of identity. Fan the flame of new interests and see if it lights a new fire in your soul. At minimum you can start having fun again and stop thinking that your career represents your whole life.
2) Take some career assessments or career personality tests. Like I’ve mentioned in a previous article, these test usually do NOT define your dream job. However, they help you to understand yourself better and to define what motivates you. Getting to know yourself and your most treasured values will act as a blueprint for future career choices and reveal which choices are most compatible for you.
3) Get support on your path. If your car is not running properly, you take it to a mechanic. If your body is weak, you go to a doctor. Yet most people who are lost in their careers never invest in a career coach. Even if you are low on funds, find a way to get help. There are community outreach centers, free or low cost teleclasses and seminars, and numerous books to help you find your way. Your church or religious organization may also offer free classes and other resources.
4) Realize there may not be one end-all-be-all career waiting for you. The 9-5 existence offers some security, but this lifestyle is becoming more intolerable for people who crave creativity, freedom and adventure. More than ever before, there exists creative ways to live and work. For some people it means starting a side business. For others it may be a “portfolio career” of several unrelated professions. The possibilities are endless and one of the benefits of career coaching is to discover alternatives to the 9-5 that work for you.
Most importantly, changing jobs or careers is not a one-time event for many people. Career reports estimate that the average person will make 3 to 7 career changes in a lifetime. This tells me that people grow into different careers when their desires change and that they can find greater levels of career fulfillment as their lives unfold.
Making peace with the present means that you accept where you are in the process and look for the lessons and wisdom in your current situation before moving on.
Explore your passions in depth and get to know what makes you tick. Get support for your dreams because there is nothing more important than your own happiness.
Your potential and your purpose exist in this exact moment. Nurture your potential as if it were the acorn of a mighty oak. You may not yet see the magnificent branches to come, but they will emerge as you water and sun their roots with persistence, patience, and self-knowledge.
Take the time you need “in the now,” and your future will be all you desire it to be.