When the world (or your world) is hit by a major catastrophe, it tends to spur you to re-evaluate your life. It inspires re-prioritization. Often, professionals start reflecting on their careers, questioning if the time that they have been investing in a lucrative career has actually been adding any value on a wider scale, and if it will matter once they are gone.
These are the people who tend to be my clients.
Of course, other things can spur these thoughts, as well. Seeing someone else make a change to a career that is more passion-filled and purpose-filled can make you wonder why you decided at some point that wasn’t an option for you. Was that the truth? Or, was it a story? What purpose did that story serve? How long will it serve you?
If you have had a moment like this and your reason for keeping things status quo was how long it would take you to a better place, what did you really think it would take? Are you really not able to make that happen right now?
What are the costs of staying the course?
Are you going to work each day with a knot in your stomach? Do you notice that your breathing is frequently short? Are your shoulders often tense? Are your thoughts often negative? Do you count the minutes until you can be done and go home? Do you dread Mondays and live for Friday? Do you come home mentally and emotionally exhausted? Do you feel bad about the non-work-related responsibilities that don’t get done, or don’t get done to the quality that you prefer?
Does this happen more often than triumphs, or do they outweigh the triumphs?
Do you really know how much this is costing you? Do you know how your physical health is being impacted? Have you fully evaluated the impacts on your mental and emotional health?
Do you know how your relationships are suffering? More so, do you realize that there is another option?
What is your next move?
Your options are:
- Stay the course
- Learn how to influence positive change where you are
- Do the same thing, but for a mission-driven organization
- Inventory your talents and skills, and then reinvent and rebrand yourself for a totally different career
- Retire and donate your time to worthy causes
If you go with number one…
Chances are good that change will come whether you will it to or not, and when it comes, it may not be anything close to change that you would want.
If you go with number two…
How quickly you can effectuate change is variable and dependent on many factors, such as your credibility and current ability to influence leaders, the size of the organization, the culture of the industry, the scope of the change, and the stakes for the top players. In our Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, we teach guide conscious leaders in successfully launching a minor conscious change initiative by week 18. That is to launch, however, not necessarily to completion. It requires participants to invest 45 minutes on a small group coaching call, completing a 15-minute weekly assignment, investing 5-15 minutes reading articles or watching media daily, and listening to an audio recording as you lay down to sleep and after you open your eyes to wake. It’s designed for busy executives and professional parents juggling work and family responsibilities. I know many programs have said this – we mean it!
Are you a good candidate for the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint? Apply and find out.
If you go with number three…
You could have a conversation tomorrow that could lead to your next opportunity. However, intentional career management means being able to assess comprehensively if that opportunity is really the next best step. You want to assess if it’s really in alignment with your core values, if you would feel optimally fulfilled, if it will support your desired lifestyle or if there is perhaps something even better.
The first step is gaining at least 80% clarity on the role, the company, and a plethora of other criteria.
The next step is branding. Don’t skip this step and go right to writing a résumé. A strong résumé may generate a lot of interviews, but a lot of interviews may not be right for you. A branded résumé helps employers self-qualify themselves as a great fit for you and positions you as a top competitor from the get-go. An authentic, powerfully articulated brand will also make all of your efforts easier. Our Epic Branding process takes 3-5 weeks, and some of that time is dependent on your ability to partner with us, provide us with the needed information, and procure feedback from stakeholders in your career.
This might seem like a lot, but if you put in those 3-5 weeks, by the end you will have a résumé, LinkedIn profile, and perhaps other collateral, that will inspire a sense of urgency from conscious employers, and momentum will be that much easier to achieve. Momentum in a job search means greater confidence, plus a greater sense of ease in interviews, better leverage in negotiations, and more freedom of choice in what opportunity you ultimately choose.
Once you have your branded materials, it’s campaign time. By week three using the Epic campaign tools, training, and support, you will start forming better habits, make better choices with your time, and start to enjoy your job search activities and their results. From there, momentum builds very quickly! The wild card is how long the hiring process takes for your chosen position, industry, and company. The time of year can have an impact, as well. The holidays and summer are harder times to get all the stakeholders in a room. These days, companies have to move very fast to snag talent before their competition. The timing between the first interview and start date could be as little as 3 weeks to as long as 2 months for most non-executive positions.
Without branding, expect to elongate the process of vetting opportunities that ultimately are not a fit, which can be determined in early conversations or when they tell you after so many interviews that the offer went to someone else.
Epic Careering has proven branding processes. Schedule a consultation now.
If you go with number four…
Epic Careering has programs to help you map out your career discovery journey, but they are not finite processes. Life doesn’t always offer the conditions conducive to making major life decisions. Crisis can provide clarity, but it can also paralyze our decision-making brain centers. So can trauma, stress, and too many competing priorities. You will have a partner to support you through these times, and also provide you with tools, exercises, and coaching to help you achieve the best mindset and emotional state from which good decisions are made. The goal is to do this within 30 days. It’s realistic in ideal conditions to gain 80% clarity on your new career focus within a month. Then, see the branding and campaign process above for the timeline from this point.
According to Gretchen Rubin, 19% of people will hold themselves accountable to follow best practices, pending they know them, without outside accountability. 17% will rebel against best practices and outside accountability. For the other 64%, knowing the best practices isn’t enough to get you 100% of the way there. Let Epic Careering show you how to manage a successful campaign AND develop career-making habits that will improve your conscious career growth and trajectory from here through retirement. See branding above first, though.
If you go with number five…
Congratulations! While so many professionals spend their whole careers looking forward to retirement, did you know that the change that comes with it can be quite unnerving? Think about how much of your identity has been tied to your profession. Once that’s gone, will you feel like something is missing? A part of you? Will you worry about people moving on and accomplishing or failing without you? Will you know what to do with all that time that will give you that same sense of purpose?
I highly recommend that you reach out to Ford Myers. He can help you custom-design your retirement lifestyle.
If you’re still left with questions about your next move, schedule a complimentary consultation call to discuss your options with us.
Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006.
While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.
Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.
She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.
She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.