To paraphrase an old saying: The only constant in life is change. Sometimes change comes into our lives as a result of a crisis, through our own choices, or by chance. Leaving a job, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, and embarking on a new venture is a brave step. A transition can be the catalyst for us to think about what we want our life to look like and create a road map for the future.
Developed over many years, our program takes a unique approach to the process of moving your career forward. Many of us have been told from an early age that we must commit to a career path. What we do for a living determines what our lives look like, for better or for worse.
What if we do the opposite: first decide what we want our lives to look like, then see if a job fits? I suggest that you take some time to discover what would make you feel the happiest and most fulfilled before making the leap into your next venture.
A self-discovery exercise that I recommend is writing down your perfect work-life scenario. Beginning to write your perfect work-life scenario can be both exciting and challenging. From my experience, many people either do not think about this step or have not had the chance to try it.
It turns out that the act of writing down your dreams and goals can create higher levels of clarity and commitment than simply thinking about them. Neuroscience has found that if you think about something you desire, and then write it down, you tap into the power of your logic-based left hemisphere and open your subconscious mind to “seeing” opportunities that can’t be observed when your goals are undocumented.
Here are some guidelines for beginning the work.
Be grounded in your expectations, but think big. For example, if the salary listed for a position of interest is $X, but you believe your contribution to the job is worth $X+$Y in compensation, feel free to ask for a higher salary.
Define what your ideal scenario looks like in terms of negotiable and non-negotiable items such as flexibility, night or weekend work, travel, management responsibilities, work environment, vacation time, and length of commute. The point is, identify what is truly realistic for you and don’t be afraid to compromise your values.
Ask empowering questions to get to the most productive definition of the perfect work-life scenario. Empowering questions are simple, intuitive, open-ended, spontaneous, and typically begin with “what” rather than “why.” Empowering questions lead to clarifications, help to create a new perspective, connect to the individual’s desire for success, and elicit feedback. Dr. David Cooperrider, who is best known as the co-creator of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a methodology for creating strengths-based change, states, “Human systems move in the direction of what they most persistently, authentically, and systematically ask questions about.” So, ask lots of questions of yourself.
Remember- you are building your ideal scenario, so dare to dream and have some fun while you are at it!
Here’s an example of the process in action.
I worked with a client, Bill, who was in transition. He had just left his job with a bad commute. While writing his perfect work-life scenario, Bill spent some time reflecting on what he wanted his life to look like regardless of his chosen career. I advised Bill that he would be tested to see how committed he was to his plan. The test came when he got a job offer with the right salary and benefits, but with a daily commute of three hours. Bill called to ask what he should do. I advised him to review his perfect work-life scenario before making a decision. As a result, Bill decided to pass on the offer and took a transition job at a start-up company where he could get the necessary training to land his dream job at a tech company. He now works from home, spends meaningful time with his family, and travels for work at a level that is reasonable for him.
When crafting the perfect work-life scenario it is important to note that everyone’s definition of “perfect” is unique. However, you can define what perfect looks like for you as you take the steps to progress toward the vision you have for your ideal work life.
If this resonates with you, or if you would like to explore this exercise in greater detail, contact us now at The Propel Group.