Just run to the end of the block. That’s my favorite takeaway from this article on how to change careers without losing your mind.
After working with so many career changers over the years one thing holds true for almost everyone making this life change: they freak out because the task feels too big. There’s too much to do! I have to rewrite my resume and find new references and assess my skills and values and do informational interviews and find companies that pay well and practice interview questions? AHHHHHHHHHHH (Stick head in sand instead)!
And all of them are right. It IS totally overwhelming. Just like every life transition that has multiple steps, you can’t do all the steps at once. You don’t run a marathon one day because you decide it’s time to get in shape. You run to the end of the block. Maybe you just walk to the end of the block. One. Foot. At. A. Time. But you keep moving!
That can feel overwhelming as well, because meanwhile you’re still hungry to get OUT of the place you’ve been stuck. You want to jump ahead and start applying to things, even though you don’t know if they’re a fit, simply to get out of the “ick” you’re in. And then sometimes you end up getting one of those jobs that isn’t right, and suddenly the devil you know becomes the devil you don’t. I’ve seen people get a new job and realize VERY early on it’s not a fit- that they jumped ship to the wrong ship- and they end up quitting that too.
Job seekers have a tough go of it all around- you have to somehow maintain patience in a long process of figuring out what you want and then who has it, followed by actually trying to go get it. Meanwhile most job seekers are balancing the job they already have with seeking what’s next, as well as all of life’s other commitments! I have so much compassion for those of you in this situation!
So let’s focus on just getting you to the end of the block, not running the whole marathon right now. What’s ONE thing that would help you feel like you’re making moves, but isn’t so heavy that it creates more pressure than is already weighing on you?
For some people, that’s setting up a consult with me. For others, it’s doing a skills or personality assessment. Others want to update their resume because it’s been forever. Whatever single step you can take this week to lighten your load- do it. Tell a friend you’re going to do it and ask that person to hold you to it. Perhaps they have a goal and could use a little accountability too!
What would take some weight off your shoulders? Give yourself permission to move forward at a manageable pace, and I promise wherever you end up, you’ll feel like you've won the race.
So you finally figured out what you’d like to do with your career now, but are still afraid to jump ship. What if the new company doesn’t share your values? What if you lose flexibility, or your co-workers aren’t as motivated as you are?
Finding the right fit is just as important as figuring out what you want to do. On the hiring side, companies want to make sure they get the right person for the job, but too often that has created space for bias toward hiring people who are already like everyone else at the company.
In Vervoe’s article Stop Trying to Find the Elusive Culture Fit, author Omer Molad brings up a positive trend on the hiring side of the job hunt. Companies are finally starting to get away from finding the right “culture fit,” and instead focusing on matching values and skills. “For a company to be innovative and continuously create new ideas, products and services, they need a diverse group of people to contribute to the culture. By hiring the same old types of people, your company will simply create the same old things over and over again,” states Molad. Companies are starting to change this by looking for someone who fits the values of the company, versus the personality of the team.
One way to make sure that you land in the right place for you is to examine a potential company’s values, before and during an interview. What is their mission statement? Do they actively demonstrate it? Do they have a vision for where they’re going? What values do their current projects demonstrate- Innovation? Efficiency? Justice?
Of course, it won’t matter what your potential new company’s values are if you don’t know your own. What do you feel is so important that you would defend it no matter what? If you had to have this one statement on your headstone, how would you finish the sentence? “(Your name) stood for ______.” What’s important to you?
How would you ideally like to live out your values in a work environment? If your values center more around things that don’t take place at work, like family, does the company you are applying to value family? What is their family leave policy? Do they have a pumping room? Can you come and go as needed to pick up a child, as long as you get your work done?
These are all questions that you should research before accepting a new role. Use your best judgment about some questions and leave them to informational interviews with current employees, rather than in an interview setting. To gauge value alignment within a formal interview, you can try, “As a mission-driven person, I really value _____. How does this company demonstrate its commitment to _____?”
If you just aren’t sure what your core values are, there are many ways to find out pretty quickly. I really like the free Values Card Sort. You simply print the cards, cut them, and then organize in three categories: Not Important to Me, Important to Me and Very Important to Me. Once the Very Important To Me cards are chosen, get rid of the rest of the cards and focus on organizing what remains from absolutely essential to you to simply very important.
As Molad writes, “If your employees aren’t aligned with your company’s core values with the skills needed to do their jobs, whether they “fit” into the company culture won’t matter anyway.” This goes both ways- clients repeatedly tell me how relieved and fulfilled they are once they get into an organization that operates under the same set of core values. Can you imagine what it might be like to get to live out your core values all the time, even at work? It really does change everything.
There are books written just about this topic, so I will do my best to keep this brief.
You're worth the thing you're trying to be, do or have.
Believing that is what will allow it to show up.
If there is something standing in your way to believing that you deserve that job, that woman, that house... something will come between you.
If you manifest it but don't truly believe you deserve it, you will lose it. Energy is attracted to similar energy. When energy gets out of alignment, the energy that showed up when you called it in will find its way out:
“He ghosted me”
“I got in a car accident the same week I got my brand new car”
“I won the lottery and had nothing left a year later”
There are endless examples of ways that people either never receive what they really want, or receive and then lose it quickly. We aren't trying to sabotage ourselves, usually, but that's what happens. When you start to manifest intentionally there will be a few points along the way that you will be able to easily sabotage what you're trying to create in your life. The only way to reliably attract the things you want to be, do, or have is to raise your vibration to meet that thing and keep it there.
How to raise your vibration to receive and KEEP what you manifested:
Get ready to receive by practicing receiving gracefully and with enthusiasm:
That's it! We've come to the end of my 5 Steps to Manifesting!
Part 1: Setting your Intention and Knowing your Why
Part 2: Understanding the Payoff to Staying Stuck
Part 3: Letting Go- The Secret Behind the Secret
Part 4: Acting as If
Part 5: The Art of Receiving
I hope you enjoyed this process and have started bringing a desire into being! And if you've ever consciously manifested something, please share!
What's the best that could happen?
We're in Part 4 of my manifesting your best life in 2019 series....Attracting what's next intentionally instead of defaulting to hoping and wishing (or worse, lamenting). If you haven't read Part 1, start there.
Act As If!
I knew I had a problem with attracting money into my life when I played the Prosperity Game and totally failed at it. Each day you have to imagine you are receiving a larger and larger sum of money, and then spend it in your mind. Back then you had to type what you wanted to buy into the website. After a few days of the game I had already run out of things I wanted to buy in my imagination. I literally didn't know what to do with that much money. I started to feel ridiculous. And selfish. Who was I to have $100,000? Right after getting $90,000? What the hell did rich people do with all that money?
This part of manifesting is really easy for some people and nearly impossible for others. That's because it can feel like playing the happiest game of pretend to some people, but it can feel like lying or selfishness to others. However you see it, acting as if something is already here, or at least coming your way, is the linchpin to manifesting.
We regularly make a case for why we can't do/be/have what we want. It takes effort to learn to make a case for why you can. Start simply with asking yourself what you want. Feel how satisfying it would be to have that supportive relationship, that high income, that house. Feel it and know that every time you are feeling it, you are resonating the energy of that thing you wish to be, do or have. It's like a homing device- when you put out that frequency it's very hard to attract negativity, to feel bad, to feel lack, or to feel frustrated. The more you can feel what it will be like to be/do/have what you want, the easier it will be to attract, create, or become it.
There is a difference between acting as if your desires are already here and simply acting (lying to yourself). When you imagine, you put out the message to the universe that it's happening. This is why Olympians and famous athletes do mental runs before they compete. It tricks their bodies into believing that they just performed their best time yet. They start to believe it's possible and begin creating that new reality. Thoughts create things. You've probably noticed how when you imagine the worst case scenario of something it increases your heart rate or makes your breathing more shallow. Your body is reacting to what it believes is really happening. So give it something positive to react to!
FEEL like you already have it. IMAGINE your life with it. PRETEND like your life depends on it. If you don't feel a little silly while doing this at first you aren't pretending hard enough- you'll get used to it. Be five years old again and flex that imagination!
Ways to intentionally attract what you want into your life:
Give your desire the kind of attention you'd give a new crush. It's front and center in your mind, has only positive associations, makes you want to talk about it to everyone, and you can't wait to see what happens next!
In Part 5 I'll talk about the art of receiving what you want once it does start to show up.
Welcome to Part 3 of a 5-part series of articles on how to manifest your desires! Five parts sounds like a lot, right? You might be thinking “I thought the law of attraction was supposed to be this easy breezy thing where where you ask and the universe just gives it to you!” Yeah, that's what I thought too after reading some irritating books like The Secret. Not so much.
Manifesting or changing your life in meaningful ways is a process that requires nurturing and effort... and more than one step. So let's get to Step 3! For those of you who missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2.
Letting Go and Honoring Loss
So you've identified the thing you really, really want, and why you want it. You can feel how great it's going to be to have it. You've figured out why you haven't gotten it yet (your benefits to staying stuck) and you're ready to move past all of that. So what happens next?
Well, some loss of what you used to know, for one. Letting go of excuses, for two. Putting your heart and soul into it and breathing through the fear and self-doubt that will likely come up. Wah-wah.
Any time you make a change, there will be a loss of some kind- even if it's just your comfort zone. Part 3 of manifesting is where a lot of people backslide, because even if they're really excited about what they want, they realize some part of themselves or their old life is going to end in order to get it.
Familiarity is so addictive that we'll often sacrifice positive changes in order to stay the same. For example, if I want to build muscle tone I can't keep a lifestyle of not exercising. I have to leave the house and get it done. I will now have to cope with the loss of the extra time I had to myself at home (or the time I had to work, or whatever I was doing that wasn't exercise). That's a loss! That sucks! And thus, the backsliding begins. This is also known as week 3 of almost everyone's New Year's resolution. The point where continuing to do the new thing starts to feel like it's not worth it. And you know what? It isn't worth it, unless you have identified a 'why' that is so awesome, so sexy, so fulfilling, that to NOT do it feels bonkers.
Here's how to make sure you don't backslide:
1) Have a 'why' that's so exciting to you that almost any loss that results is going to be worth it.
2) Recognize and honor the loss of the life/person/job/etc you once knew as part of your growth.
Example goal: I want to make more money in 2019
Why? Because I want to buy a house that feels like a home, just for me, where I'm comfortable and safe and can have pets and cook great meals and have dinner parties. I want to decorate it exactly in my taste, and be able to have quiet reading time, and walk my dog in my beautiful neighborhood.
Oooooh. That DOES sound nice! But how else will your life change as a result of making more money? What will you have to give up, add, or destroy in the service or your goal?
6 years ago I needed to make more money for this exact reason- to buy a house. I left a job that I was very comfortable at, that wasn't particularly stressful, but I didn't make a lot of money. I took on a role that paid more, but where I was in charge of seemingly endless people. It was a HUGE change for me, and a loss that I had to mourn. I wondered all the time if I made the right decision. It was the very satisfying goal of having a home that kept me going when I felt like everything was insane.
The brilliant thing about getting something you've been working towards is that once you get there, you level up your goal setting. Next after getting the house I wanted to keep it, but work for myself-- a much bigger goal to pull off than finding a new job. But also a very compelling one that pulled me forward when I couldn't push myself anymore.
What is compelling you to move forward despite the loss that may result from the change? How will you honor and recognize the loss as part of your personal growth? I now look back at my old jobs fondly as meaningful stepping stones on the path to helping others through my business.
Not everything you manifest will come with such a degree of difficulty. Some things will be a quick adjustment, but there will still be an adjustment- even if it's to a more lavish lifestyle and the new people who will enter your life as a result. Allow yourself to change your view of you as you change your life, holding within you all the unique iterations of self that got you where you are today.
In Part 4 we'll discuss attracting what's next deliberately instead of defaulting to hoping and wishing.
Welcome to part 2 of a 5-part series of articles on how to manifest your desires!
Let's make 2019 an incredible, memorable, wildly satisfying year. We're going to get intentional together about what we really want to bring into our lives in the new year. Now let's get to Step 2! If you missed Part 1, start there.
Step 2: Why you haven't gotten what you want yet: Understanding the payoff to staying stuck
There are many reasons why you may not have manifested what you want already in life. Beliefs about what is possible for you or in life in general, your focus has been elsewhere, a health challenge, etc. But today I'm going to focus on one reason to get conscious of now so that you can start manifesting with more ease... The benefits to staying stuck!
I know, how could there be any benefits to not getting what I want? You're wondering. Oh, but there are so very many. To name a few:
Ask yourself, if I don't get what I want, how do I benefit?
Who do I get to save/not hurt?
How is my identity affected? For example, if you have believed your whole life that to be an artist you must also be poor (the starving artist), and all of your artist friends are poor, perhaps you worry that increasing your success and income could alienate them. Maybe it's better to just stay where you're at, appreciate the community you have, etc.
See how easy it is to turn your back on what you want?
I'm guilty of this too. I don't want to take responsibility for everything that I want. It's so much easier to just whine about things when they aren't going well! But there comes a point when it's time to say, you know what? I've wanted ___ for 5, 10, 20 years. I'm sick of not having it. I'm ready to let go of everything that stands in my way. This process of honestly looking at how you benefit from your own stuck-ness is a huge key to moving forward.
In my next article I'll discuss the other reality to going after your dreams- the loss of what used to be when you make any change- even if it's just your comfort zone. This is why the dream has to be bigger and more exciting than anything you're giving up in the process of getting it.
Happy New Beginnings!
Happy New Year!
This week being the start of a new year, we are in the perfect moment to pause and reflect on what we want for our lives. It's just the reset button that lots of us needed. Given how many people are ready to level up and create their best life but don't really know how, I'm doing a 5-part series of articles on how to manifest your desires. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to bring in fresh energy in 2019. Let's create a life we could barely imagine last year. It all starts with intention.
Part One: Intention
You can want something with all your heart and never get it. This may be because you are putting out the energy (and therefore vibration) of lack- of yearning. You are vibrationally saying to the universe “I believe I can't have what I want, I simply want.” Cue single violin playing at a pity party. The universe responds to this energy by continuing to give you lack, which causes more yearning. In some ways we live in a giant mirror or feedback loop, so we have to be careful about what we're expressing.
A different way to express your desires is through setting an intention and then feeling positively about it. Your desire feels like “I'm excited for what's coming my way (abundance)!” instead of “I wish I could have what I want (lack).” Getting specific about why you want what you want will help you tap into that feeling of already having it. For example, “I'm looking forward to having extra money so that I can get a dog. Dogs make me so happy.” In this case the money is in service to getting a dog, not for money's own sake. Many people experienced in the Law of Attraction express this kind of “wanting” as gratitude for what they know in their hearts is coming to them, even though it isn't there yet. They are acting as if it's already here, or as if it's on it's way. The universe “meets” this vibration with a matching vibration- the thing you were wanting to attract shows up.
So if I find myself having a scarcity mentality about money (or love, or anything really), what can I do? I don't want to keep attracting “proof” that scarcity exists, even if I believe in scarcity. I don't want to keep feeling lonely, or poor, or a general sense of lack. I want to feel abundance, but part of me also feels like abundance isn't for everyone. Won't I just be lying to myself if I start saying affirmations about how love flows to me easily and effortlessly? Won't I be disingenuous if I start telling myself I'm so excited to be rich when I truly don't believe it can happen? Well in a sense, yeah. There are better ways to go about changing your beliefs than lying to yourself.
Abraham Hicks in Ask and It is Given says to "Focus on why you want it, not on what you don't want." When you focus on why you want that unlimited love, that awesome job, that extra money, you aren't lying to yourself. You are reveling in the feeling of having what you want. This is totally different than the desire to avoid what you don't want. If you say you want to start a business because you hate being tied to your corporate job and its politics, you aren't expressing any reason to start a business. You are expressing reasons to hate your job. It's different. When you say, “I'm so excited to work my own schedule with clients I enjoy in a comfortable environment” you are actively moving towards what you want, versus simply away from something you don't want.
What do you want to move towards this year? You must have a compelling personal desire that clearly benefits you in some way. If you aren't sure what you want, but know what you don't want, write down the opposite of what you don't want. Look at it and ask yourself is that what you want? Try to be specific and positive- “I want to start a business so I'm less stressed” is stating something you want followed by something you don't want any more of. Creative energy doesn't respond to negatives. Instead try, “I am starting my business so I can share my talents with the world more directly.”
In my next articles I'll discuss each step of the manifesting process in more depth, with special emphasis on the payoff we get from not getting what we want (I know, sounds counter-intuitive, but there are concrete reasons not to get what you want).
In times of intense stress, like after losing a job or a loved one, survival mode is triggered and we do our best to just keep our head above water. But I've spoken with quite a few people who feel like life just happens to them and they are perpetually in survival mode. This could be because they were raised in unstable conditions and never felt what it could be like to be safe to dream big, or because a series of unfortunate events happened that made life feel too out of their control or pointless to bother to shoot for more. Regardless of how you get into survival mode, it's uncomfortable yet familiar at best, and keeping you from living a life you actually enjoy at worst.
Sometimes nothing is outwardly going on in our lives that could trigger survival mode, but because there used to be something going on, we keep up that lifestyle of responding to life instead of creating a life we'll truly love. I'm guilty of this at times- I've heard myself think that planning exciting things is pointless because anything could happen in the meantime to derail my plans. Other variations you may have heard yourself think or say:
Just keep your head down and make it through life.
You should feel lucky to even have a job.
Why rock the boat?
Things could be worse.
You can do what you want when you retire.
All of these thoughts and feelings do a great job of keeping us small, the infant version of who we came here to be. If you're going through a survival-level situation, these thoughts make total sense and sometimes you do just have to make it through something for a little while. But if you feel like it's been years, or even your whole life of survival mode, and you're technically not experiencing an emergency.... it may be time to train yourself to dream a little. To embrace your birthright as a creator. Just. A. Little. Just like learning any skill, learning to create your life will start small and get bigger and more daring with experience.
If you don't know what to dream, think of what isn't working about your life right now. What would be the opposite of that? Start there. Let's pretend you have some control over things. If you allowed something to change in your life, what would be a really nice thing to change? If energy shifted in one area of your life and just seemed to start flowing better, in what area would you like that to happen?
Most things we want to be, do, or have are within the realm of possibility. But we shoot ourselves down before we can even start to break our dreams into manageable steps, or are so accustomed to not having good things happen to us that we simply stop dreaming. Sometimes I see stuck energy like a bottleneck of creative resources that are simply getting stuck in old beliefs or fears that aren't even our own. A baby step to take might be to imagine a switch, a bottle opener, or a dam breaking that allows energy or ideas to flow safely out into the world.
It's worth noting that creating a life you love doesn't have to mean creating vision boards or mission statements or SMART goals (although I love all those things and they have their place). Sometimes it means being able to just be and enjoy life without fear or constant to-do lists of obligations. It could mean allowing yourself to be, do or have something that you know would increase your joy, like allowing yourself to live alone after a long period with roommates. Something bigger than a bubble bath and Netflix, as nice as that is. I like the word “allow,” because it doesn't force something into your life; it goes with the flow of what you already know on some level would work better for you.
There's a game called “Have you heard about (your name)?” that can be really fun to play, even just by yourself. Basically you gossip your own dreams about yourself as though they are already happening, to get used to the idea that a new version of your life is possible. I'll go first. “Have you heard about Gracie? She bought a houseboat off the coast of Valencia and spends every January there. Her business is so successful that her waiting list is a year long. And she's in perfect health!” Your own version of this could be less dramatic, but the idea is simply to tell yourself (or have a friend tell you) a new story about you. A story that helps you see or allow a life you might really enjoy. Sometimes just hearing a new story about yourself can help unclog old beliefs that stop you from what's possible.
Life can be overwhelming and sometimes we simply shut down. That's fair. But if you're tired of feeling like you operate at less than what's possible, it is okay to allow a new story about your life to form. Let's try something else and dream a little dream.
I do an exercise with many of my clients where we identify a motivating force behind their lives- a mission statement just for them. For many people, they read the finished product and feel like, yes, that's me and that's what I'm doing here on earth- that's my purpose. For others, the mission isn't all-encompassing- it describes one aspect of what they're doing on Earth, but not the whole mission. It would be a little odd, for example, to include your role as a parent on your Linkedin profile.
But many people have a mission to parent well. It's not less important than doing their job well, or being a good spouse or friend. On any given day we are living out multiple purposes.
One of the ways to determine what a calling or mission might be for you is to think about what comes naturally to you that you also enjoy. Do you find yourself mentoring others whether you're at home, work, church or a sports team? Do you effortlessly break down difficult concepts that others are struggling to communicate? Are you always the one planning vacations, meetings, outfits, oil changes and anything else because you love to plan and organize?
Looking for patterns in how you operate life is one way to see what gifts you came here to share. Many times that purpose won't seem to correlate to your job. For example, a colleague of mine had a client who felt his purpose involved sharing love and wisdom with others. His career was in IT, so he had a hard time seeing how he could possibly be living his purpose. He eventually realized that he led his team with compassion and wisdom, which fulfilled part of his life purpose. He just hadn't recognized his style of leadership as sharing love and compassion because of the IT environment.
For many people, how you live and work is much more important than what you're technically doing. The “what” could be law, education, fitness, construction, e-commerce... you name it. If your work allows you to act in accordance with who you feel you really are, and allows you to share your many gifts, you could be happy no matter what your title is.
So what are some things that come naturally to you? Do you feel that any of those things might be what you're here to share? All of us have different skills and gifts that complement each other. When those around us are fully living out those skills it's a huge gift to those who don't have them. I am so grateful to those who love work that involves analysis and math around tax time! As banal or unimportant as your talents may seem, by doing them you are making a difference. Maybe it's not how you thought it would look-- but you may already be living on purpose.
Has anyone ever said to you, “You should be grateful!” This gratitude policing is usually said after you make some minor complaint about something that is clearly not working in your life. But because so many of us are socialized to take what we can get, to settle and be grateful, we admonish and are admonished by others for suggesting we might deserve more.
I have a client whose perspective on changing jobs perfectly illustrates this:
“I was often told “you should just get your foot in the door at a good company.” Based on this I was thrilled to get my foot in the door at (a large retailer). I wound up on a career path that felt stable and pushed me to learn new things. I often felt “grateful” that I could have such a good job with a great company. This has plagued me throughout my entire career. Whenever I have thought about going somewhere else, I wonder if I will regret giving up such a well-paying and somewhat stable job, even though I haven't been truly happy in my career.
I had also entered the workforce not long before the recession and felt thankful to be employed as I watched friends lose jobs.
I wish I would have done what I am doing now to discover careers that would help me provide for my family and fill me up. I wish I would have had the confidence and courage to try new things that may have scared me but would have led to longer term happiness.”
She recently made a major career move and is very happy with it. It just took some exploration together to determine what direction made sense for her so that she could stop settling while still acting in her best financial interest, but now she's doing something she loves and sees ever-expanding possibilities instead of a life of “well I guess I should be grateful.”
Another one of my clients just quit her job after only 6 months. Yes she had felt gratitude for getting the job- especially because it came after a 3 year career break to care for family. But then it became obvious that she had no real power and worse, everything she was told in the interview was lip service. After trying and trying to get things accomplished, she was tired of banging her head against the wall. Sure she could've stayed for the sake of her resume. But she was going crazy. At some point mental health must be considered ahead of a job. She knew her gratitude for having found the job was no comparison for what she was giving up in terms of her sanity. So she quit. And now she's already interviewing for other positions that are a better fit. While some people may see this as short sighted or impetuous, I see it as brave. It would be different if she didn't have many skills or wasn't a catch, professionally speaking. But she is. She (and many others) can afford to make a “crazy” decision like this from time to time in a long career.
We aren't prisoners of our jobs. But we often act like prisoners of societal or familial expectations. Who really suffers when we “stick it out”? Society? Our family? Not really. It's each person toiling away at something that makes them unhappy and unfulfilled. The world is waiting for you to own up to your gifts and shine your unique light on us. So let's remember to be grateful for that, instead- the freedom to change and the power to pursue true gratitude based on being who we really want to be.
Life Purpose and Career Coach
Career Clarity Now