There is something to be said for being able to recreate yourself – that process of picking up the pieces and being able to rebuild something better than what existed before. Examples in history speak to this truth as well; cities, cultures and identities face challenges are can come back bigger, better and stronger. Yet when in the face of these challenges, they seem insurmountable and rock our inner foundation. It is difficult to see the “forest through the trees” and know that something better exists on the other side.
Career challenges can be the most riveting. Do I leave a career I am comfortable with to take a chance on the unknown?
Perhaps it has something to do with Marlow’s Hierarchy of needs and knowing our physiological needs (food, eater, shelter) are the basis of feeling safe. Making any career move could impact your financial stability and your physiological needs if not careful…Then throw on a family to support…And then the inner dialogue kicks in… “the good outweighs the bad”…”it is a good position and I have been with the company for x years”…”I have worked hard to get to where I am”. I have found this to be a decision making method that leaves happiness last on the list.
I am fortunate that I have always been a risk taker and have been able to convince myself in these situations that something better must exist.
It started with leaving small town Ontario and moving to Vietnam, to leaving Vietnam and making a move to Eastern Canada, to most recently making the move to Western Canada. I believe the more risks you take, the more confident you become in taking them and I can honestly say each move has provided me with tremendous growth and helped me carve out what resonates and what doesn’t.
But leaving my last position was the hardest. I had been with the company for 10 years and I had good experiences. It wasn’t until after making the decision to leave that it solidified that something better existed for me.
When I enlisted the help of a executive coach, he had an exercise that put everything into perspective for me. He asked me to think about 3 to 5 peak moments in my life – moments that I was my happiness & filled with joy. After coming up with these moments, he had me think about what all of these occurrences had in common and ultimately what this said about my values. I was to come up with a list of 10 and then put them in order or priority.
What was so interesting about this exercise is that it perfectly aligned with why I hadn’t been happy; trust, integrity, respect & competence, sense of adventure & creativity. These values were all on my list and yet I didn’t get a true sense of all of these values in my current role.
When all of your values align in your career, you will feel resonance and when they are not in line, you will feel dissonance, like nails on a chalk board. This is exactly why I wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
I am not sure what the journey ahead holds but I know that happiness is ultimately where my journey will lead me next. Funny enough, money, power, status were not driving factors or moments that I carry with me that help me sleep at night.
I am extremely happy, zealous, overjoyed and damn excited to say that I chose to take another risk and here I am in Western Canada. I could jump up and down and shout from the rooftops and the only thing I can really look back on is why has it taken me so long to take the leap?