Sounds a bit like Rhymin & Stealin, or, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, but whatever it sounds like to you, it’s the process I’m working through right now.
First: the grieving
That was the advice I received the day after learning my services were no longer needed at work. Both parties were ready to move on, but the news still stung and I was advised to take time to mourn the loss. That was helpful because it helped me to clear my mind. It gave me a chance to feel what I was feeling and not act like it didn’t bother me. It did bother me and I needed to grieve the loss.
Now: the dreaming
“What do I want to be when I grow up?”
Although it’s better to ask that when you’re young and have it answered by now, plenty of people restart their careers in their 30s, 40s and 50s. They start their own business or change industries completely because they felt a draw to something different. They do it out of necessity, need, the economy or passion. What I’m learning is it’s OK to try something different.
For my parents, and the greatest generation before them, the deal was you worked one or two jobs your whole career. You got a gold watch at retirement (if you were lucky) and lived on a pension (even luckier). They stayed put for the most part – and that worked for them – but it’s not the case any longer. You’ve got to be willing to learn a new skill, take a risk and go about things differently or you’ll end up where you’ve always been. I value consistency, but how many more chances will I truly get to hit the “reset button” and try something new? I’m guessing not many, so now seems like a good time to at least explore the possibilities.
The last month has been filled with one-on-one meetings, assessments and tests to determine the next course. I’ve filled white boards with ideas I never knew were in my head, read books and replaced playlists with pod casts about success. I’ve been to meet-ups, captured ideas on Evernote while running and reintroduced myself to the Y. Some fear and loathing and some joy have been experienced along the way as well. I’m getting my career compass bearing, but also stopping to smell a few roses along the way like:
- jumping on the trampoline with my daughter
- camping with my oldest son
- sitting with my youngest son as he learns to crawl
- taking some load off my wife so she can do some things she wants to do (I should also say here that we’ve never communicated better than we have in the last month – we’re in this together)
- hitting the matinée with the whole family
- serving on a mission trip to Peru
- getting in the best shape I possibly can get in
- working on micro-business ideas
- learning what my true interests, skills and motivators are and aligning them with my future
I look forward to the next job. It could be working for myself, someone else, or a combination of the two. Whatever it is, I’m thankful I grieved and finally let some of the dreams out of my head. I’m also thankful for the time to camp, cook, crawl and jump with the ones who mean the most to me.
That’s an unrealized dream coming true.