When I speak to people about what they’re thinking of doing next, some appear to be steadily progressing, others in the midst of curves being thrown at them. We all grapple with future career plans, and how to transition to the next step:
Should I stay and tough it out or just get the hell out right now?
Should I take the promotion, and am I ready to do it?
Should I take the payout and leave, or hang in there to see what the new management is like?
Should I consider that new job offer with the competitor?
Should I start my own consultancy and be done with corporate life?
Should I change my career from now on and do what I REALLY want to do?
Should I take off a few months and regroup from the burnout??
“Would someone please tell me what the hell I’m supposed to do next?” underlies all the aforementioned, and it’s perfectly understandable.
I can’t answer those questions, but I can tell you to always think on how to reinvent yourself, especially if you’ve been in the game for a fair stretch. (By “reinvent” I do not mean changing who you are, but truly take stock of your skills and consider where else you could apply them).
In doing so, you may well answer the questions above–stay put, move across the street, change industries, hang your own shingle, do some teaching, mentor others, take a board/NPO role, or a variety thereof.
That is reinvention, it is also transition, and good for you too..Oh yes it is, don’t shake your head.
Few things are more liberating and fun to do–scary too, but the fulfilling things in life are often the least certain, and all clichés of trying and failing are applicable in this instance.
Move it up, try not to procrastinate We get ourselves busy on minutiae and overlook taking care of ourselves, mentally and physically. If you’re going to consider your transition to the next stage, no one else will do it for you. You cannot outsource your career, your life or your health.It’s yours to grow, and yours to ignore.
I see those who are [nearly] cornered. They recognised what HQ was doing, had actually heard of significant changes that would impact them, and told by others to prepare to move on. They nodded their heads, decided it wasn’t really all that bad, worked harder to make it go away. But that’s not the world we occupy.
Getting caught unaware is a lesson we all go through, but once is more than enough. Learn from it, and keep ahead of the curve. Don’t get checkmated, meet the threat..
When thinking about the next act of your career, do NOT close your eyes, wait until tomorrow, when you’re in the right frame of mind, after you get hold of that one special contact, finish that one last project, plan that business trip which requires so much preparation. All are excuses, all part of the ebb and flow of business life.
Take a small step if that’s all you can do, but a step nonetheless. Your strengths are grounded exclusively in your action, not through pontificating.
Written by Neal Horwitz, President of Henry Hale Maguire
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