Welcome to episode #165 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. Are you feeling like you want to do more and achieve more? To feel greater happiness than what you’re currently experiencing? If so, today’s podcast on Ready for a Change will help you understand how to stop going through the motions and start living your life.
I recently had some conversations with folks who are considering career changes from traditional post-MBA work to what they considered unconventional choices. I wanted to share some of the misconceptions around life and career changes to help you understand how to handle the inevitable change you’re going through much more gracefully.
Mistake #1: Not thinking that your job situation will change
No matter what job you choose, whether it’s post-MBA or just the job you’re in – or not in – today, you will change jobs. You’ll change positions, companies, fields, industries and maybe even start your own company or take a hiatus from work. All these changes are inevitable and the biggest mistake we make is not believing that this is normal.
I want to normalize career changes because change can trigger a feeling of fear and loss. We worry about keeping jobs, finding jobs and being able to support ourselves or our family. We’re so worried that we often sacrifice our health or personal time in the process. Yet, the one thing I want you to realize is that you will be able to navigate this world we live in with so much less worry and fear if you knew that change was not just happening, but that you’re setting yourself up for success.
Change can be positive. It can mean the ability to do your work in a different way than you normally would have. When I lead people through career changes, we focus as much on loving where they are today as we do on what’s next. The reason for this is because it only serves you to do well where you are right now. Our lives are lived in our day to day. When you’re stringing together multiple days that don’t feel so great at work and notice that it’s not getting better – you want to question what’s next. It doesn’t mean that you need to rage-quit or even do something immediately to leave – but it does mean that you’re starting to figure out what’s next.
Mistake #2: Thinking it takes a LONG time to figure out what’s next
It doesn’t take long to figure out what’s next. This is the next mistake people make. They think it’s a long drawn-out process of self-discovery that they need to work through and because they think this is the case, they don’t start. It’s the exact opposite. It’s often pretty clear, relatively quickly when I talk to clients about their lives and work, what they really want. They might not want to commit to the idea. They might have fears. They might want to delay making a change – but the knowing comes from a few questions and we have it.
The reason I don’t work with clients for just one session is because once they know what they want, they still have to go and do it. They have to figure out what works for them and what doesn’t. What to do to actually make that move and how to do it in ways that work for them. This is where the real work happens – not just the decision of what’s next but committing to the shift whether it’s identities, priorities, people, places and income.
That leads to mistake number three.
Mistake #3: Making drastic changes
Thinking you have to make a drastic change. We often go so long and so hard for our organizations that when we finally get ready for the change, it’s been a long time in the making. It’s like the frog boiling slowly in the water. Sometimes, we don’t realize that the water has been boiling for a while – and when we do we want to hurry up and jump out. Yet, we know that panicked jumping and trying to escape from a place of desperation leads to lots of effort without results. We want a calm mind that comes from steady progress towards a new direction.
This means one step at a time. These steps add up. It seems miraculous that people figure it out, make the switches and this happens consistently. It feels like an overnight success when in reality you look back and see that it’s just a series of actions that kept adding up. Not because every single thing you did worked, but because you kept trying and getting more tuned into what works for you in terms of what you want next. You keep learning with each change what you need, not just want. All of these things are important.
Mistake #4: Focusing on where you work, not how you work
The next mistake is that the change always means that you need to change organizations or opt-out completely. Sometimes, what you most need is more structure to focus on competing demands on your time. It’s about how you work, not where you work. This often happens when you have a new relationship to tend to, or the arrival of kids or the emergence of elder care – when personal life becomes a bigger priority than it used to be.
These changes will create a desire for you to change your work situation to accommodate that change. Yet, changing your work isn’t always as easy as changing how you work. To be more purposeful with your time, to honor your commitments to both yourself and others around you, to see how you’re choosing the way you spend your time in small ways that can add up to big results.
I often find that this is where health becomes more of a factor. There are really effective and simple things that you can do that will drastically change your stress levels and moods. Yet, most people don’t do them. They’re free and doable. But when you don’t yet have habits or routines to support your health, you’ll find that it’s one of the first things to go when other demands enter your life. Yet, the one thing that is the most important thing – is us being here and alive. You don’t need to be in perfect health – this doesn’t even exist. You just need to do a few things that really keep your energy with you and allow you to feel like everyday’s your best day. This is truly possible. I remember long slogs of time where every day was a battle of will vs desire to make the choices that were loving towards my body.
Our mind is so powerful and we direct so much of our attention to what we need to achieve. It’s my own practice of committing to health as my number one that showed me that it’s possible to change the way you work and still deliver on results. When my health kept falling apart during burn out, I realized that it wasn’t just about me not being in an intense job that would create better health. It was the way I thought about everything around me, including how I handled stress. The stress of demands, difficult people or even the guilt of feeling like it was never enough. If I was not working, I was not producing and creating income or results. If I was working, I wasn’t resting enough. This is the health equation that we forget about. The choice we make that we don’t even realize is a choice.
When you’re ready for a change and you’re not sure what to do, it’s often because we’re worried about the effects on our health or income. We think there’s a trade-off so we make the choices. In or out. Yet, for the sake of your income and health – we must fight for an in-between. For rational thinking of what’s sustainable, appropriate and still at the edge of growth while being human. There may be times when opting out is the answer that makes the most sense for you and what you value. There may be times when you don’t feel like your choices are many so you keep on doing what you’re doing, even if you are ready for a change.
Either way, I want you to know that the change will come. You’ll either be the one to create the change or it will happen to you. I’m not saying that either one is better than the other – but I am going to tell you that how prepared you are for what I’ve shared with you already will help you feel empowered and accepting of what’s next for you.
It’s not if you’re ready for a change. It’s when. Let’s make it work for you – to have the health, wealth and relationships you desire – this is what’s possible when change occurs.
In order to help you dig deep and evaluate what hard you want to work through to make life easy, I’ve created a free workshop for you. We’re heading into the summer and it is one of the best times to shift perspectives and break free of old beliefs and identities. The workshop replay is live now and my goal is to help you have a magical summer, even if you’re super-busy. A summer where you get to be re-inspired. You can sign up here at this link: Link here. Tell everyone and share it – I’m sharing all the practical and spiritual strategies that have helped me maintain a full life of purpose while also being an entrepreneur, corporate trainer, wife and mom.
If you’re ready for a change, I’d love to support you.
We also have an exciting announcement about our next retreat on August 7-11, 2023. We’ll be helping you think through that next leg of your journey and career. Imagine walking out knowing what’s next, the roadmap and getting started. I’m bringing you the Career Revelation Academy in live form and you’ll also have access to it digitally as well – how to make a career change in 30 days. Yes, that’s right – 30 days. Let’s go… reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact to book your spot.
If you like this blend of both practicality and mindset, you will love coaching. You can schedule a consultation at www.mayempson.com/contact to learn more about working together and joining this community of like-minded, open and curious seekers. It is the powerful group and private coaching hybrid experience for achievers who want to expand their vision of what’s possible. Twelve months of support, individualized guidance, community and retreats. We will help you build your confidence, trust your intuition and make decisions that you love.
That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.