Thursday, September 4, 2014
When working with clients on big professional reinventions and career or business changes, one of the most important phases of the reinvention or change is the exploration phase. It also tends to be the phase that people want to rush through. Typically clients come for professional coaching when they are dissatisfied with their current career or business and looking to make a change but don’t know where to start. Often it’s a big change – they want a new profession. They want to totally revamp their business or career and start doing work they feel more passionate about; yet often they are so anxious to get to that “next thing” they feel more fulfilled by that they fail to explore all their options. When this happens, they tend to end up dissatisfied and unfulfilled shortly after the change has been made.
Rushing to what’s next without taking time to figure out if what’s next is best for you is common, especially amongst type A, action-oriented individuals. They don’t want to “waste too much time” figuring things out. They come up with one idea and boom – that’s their next thing. However, often it isn’t. It’s often just like the rebound relationship after a bad break-up. It usually isn’t the real thing or even a long-term thing. It’s just the rebound thing. (We’ve all been there!)
This can happen with your professional choices too. You’re so anxious to get to the next thing and forget about where you’ve been that you jump into the next thing too soon. Then you realize it looks a lot like the old thing you were trying to get away from. Exploring your professional options means being introspective and reflective about what’s most meaningful and fulfilling to you. It means taking time to seek information externally about your possibilities and then reflect internally on whether it truly is best for you. It means going down a path until it turns cold and if it turns cold, going down the next path and the next and the next until you find the one that stays warm and eventually turns hot. It does not mean rushing into whatever looks best in the moment but truly listening to your internal compass, your gut, and your heart as you explore all possibilities. It is the most important phase of any career, business, or life change because it’s the phase that, if not rushed through, will lead you to the most fulfillment. It will keep you from rebounding into something that’s not much better than what you’re trying to change.