So you're at that point where you're asking yourself if this is really what you want to be doing for the rest of your life, and you think the answer is "no" - but you're not yet sure what you would do instead? This can be an unnerving time but it's also an exciting one. It's your opportunity to give yourself the space to reflect on what you want to do for this next stage of your career and then, when you're ready, to recalibrate and start taking steps in what will possibly be a very different direction (or, who knows, might just require a few little tweaks!).
Here's what you'll need to get to where you want to be:
1. A clear definition of success
The first step is to get crystal clear on what really matters in your life, from a 'big picture' perspective where you consider all different areas of your life and not just work. It's important to get clear on WHAT it is you want to do and WHY before you get caught up in the HOW. Make sure you also don't succumb to black-and-white thinking and give up before you've even started because your vision just seems so far off - there are lots of scenarios that lie between that big ideal vision and where you are today.
2. A re-framing of your beliefs
It's possible that, deep down, if you're really honest, you do already know what you'd like to do - but you're holding yourself back with a set of assumptions about what is and isn't possible. "Work is work, it's not supposed to be enjoyable." "You can’t earn a lot of money doing work that you love." "Maybe it's possible for *them* but it's not for me because of [fill in the blank here]." Questioning these assumptions will help you to think differently about work and how it fits into the rest of your life.
3. Personal career criteria
When you truly reimagine the future, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the different possibilities, potential roles, and business ideas. Rather than try to draw up the ideal job description or exact business plan you'd want to pursue, try getting clear on your decision criteria. These will include things like salary or income, hours, commuting distance, flexibility to work from home, and other practical factors, as well as less tangible aspects like feeling more connected to the company mission, working more closely with people, and so on. That way, you'll have a framework to help you evaluate the opportunities that come your way.
"You can't go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending."
- C. S. Lewis
In the meantime, I recommend getting started with these resources...
I've selected these specific podcast episodes to help you get started:
- Why redefine 'success'? Listen on Apple podcasts >>
- 3 exercises to help you find out what 'success' means to you Listen on Apple podcasts >>
- Reimagining Success: The 5Ls Listen on Apple podcasts >>
- 3 first steps to reimagining success Listen on Apple podcasts >>
- Making the right decision Listen on Apple podcasts >>
When you start questioning what you're currently doing, you may discover that the people around you don't 'get it'. It will be very helpful to 'find your tribe', the people who understand exactly what you're going through.
The One Step Outside Facebook group is a community of like-minded professionals who are similarly working on reimagining what ‘success’ looks like for them in their careers and their lives.
Celebrate your wins and frustrations, get advice from others who have done what you want to do, and vote for your favourite topics for the monthly live training where you can get answers to your questions when you get stuck!
After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5, I've collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative.
The stories include those who have moved into a different sector; gone freelance; launched their own business; created a portfolio career; or taken a leap of faith, not yet knowing what the next step will be.
I also share my own experience and those of my clients, drawing out key insights to help you create your own career transition story.
When you're thinking about changing career or launching your own business, it's easy to get lost in all your day-to-day tasks or get caught up in worrying about money or how you're going to get people to buy from you. The first step, however, has to be understanding what's important to you, what your overall vision is for your life and work, and how that fits into your personal lifestyle and priorities.
Together, we'll get you from a position of confusion, feeling stuck and endlessly procrastinating, towards a place of clarity, conviction - and taking confident steps in the new direction that you choose.