I recently had a client* text me and ask for an emergency coaching session about something which he said kept him up at night. Sensing the desperation in his text, I arranged for us to have a call later that afternoon.
When we got on the call, I inquired what was up. He described that his wife had resigned from her job because the extensive hours and stress were making her physically sick. Now, after much deliberation, he had concluded that he was stuck in a rut, hated his job and he too wanted to resign from doing something more meaningful with this life. I queried what he wanted coaching on, assuming that he wished to be coached on if he should resign from his job; however, this wasn’t the case. He had pretty much already made up his mind on what he was going to do – he was going to resign. What he wanted coaching on was fear.
He inquired, “How do you make the fear go away so that you can do what you know you should do (i.e. quit said job)?”
My response, “The fear does not go away, you just have to get comfortable with it, and sometimes you just need to take a punt”.
I explained that in my experience, there is never the perfect time to make changes in life, and certainly not in a career. The stars won’t align themselves perfectly for us to pursue our dreams – sometimes we need to rearrange the stars, take a chance and do what our gut tells us to do. And often this courageous act of taking a chance is what will get ourselves out of a rut.
If you find yourself stuck in your career and are not sure how to move forward, here are a few key questions you can ask yourself:
Sometimes getting out of a rut means just taking a chance.**
I checked in on my client a few days later, and he had done it – he had resigned and taken a chance.
* Thank you for the permission received from client X for allowing me to repeat this story.
** I recognise that not everyone has the option to make career changes. Life circumstances and current responsibilities may prevent some people from making changes (at least at present anyway), if that’s the case for you, then remember not to limit the vision you have for yourself based on your current circumstances. Rather than taking a chance, or a big bang approach with your career – ask yourself what small steps you can take each day to empower yourself to make changes in the future.
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