I was coaching a client some years ago which left a lasting impression. She had owned a successful restaurant franchise with her husband and had gotten divorced after 30 odd years. She got the short end of the stick and had to go back to working in a kitchen just to make ends meet. Pushing 60, she found the work physically taxing and longed for a career in administration but felt stuck.
There comes a time for us all when we are faced with a new beginning. Sometimes it feels like starting over, and the frustration can be overwhelming. But, in life, it takes new beginnings to bring forward personal (and professional) growth. Whether you chose a new path, or change was forced upon you, let’s talk about how to gain control and move forward with confidence.
As a previous business owner, my client had a number of transferable skills I was able to identify and – with some tweaks to her resume – we were able to market her skill set to present her as a viable candidate for other, more desirable roles. By highlighting administrative and management tasks we were able to look for opportunities more focused on supervising staff, inventory control and policy procedures.
You have transferrable skills. So, take out a piece of paper and start thinking of your work experience through the lens of transferrable skills. What transferrable skills do you have? Are there skills you want to work on or improve?
Knowing and talking about your transferable skills comfortably allow you to pivot and change careers through a smoother transition. Don’t be afraid to use them. Apply them to areas of growth. Know your audience, and market yourself accordingly.
TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH
New beginnings put you in the driver’s seat. They put you in charge of your time, on where you focus your energy, on how you harness and use your skill set. You can build the life you want.
This step sounds so easy but can be so scary that it is paralyzing. Remember that you only have to start somewhere. Sometimes, it looks like some quality time with a calendar and your favourite cozy beverage. Write down your boundaries and work backwards. For example, I want every work day to end at 5 p.m., and then commit.
Go for what you want, but have backup plans.
Know that it’s ok to fail. When we fail, we grow. You can now put plan B, C, and D (whatever you need) in place.
Remember our friend who was stuck working a kitchen job? We restructured her resume knowing that her dream job may not pan out. It was ok to fail because we had backup plans. She had transferrable skills. She now knew how to apply them to other areas and how to market them to potential employers. And, if worse came to worst, she could fall back on her kitchen job. So, we took a leap of faith.
Use your (well marketed) transferrable skills to take on new challenges.
I find there are two types of people – those who thrive in a state of calm, and those who feed off chaos. I’m the latter. The fuller my plate gets, the more determined I am to clear it off.
Taking on more can help you refocus productively. Small, achievable goals will protect you from being overwhelmed by the big picture, while also giving you a sense of accomplishment. Busy is as busy does. Each new challenge you take on will only fuel you to tackle more – and that’s a great energy to carry forward and apply to all areas of your life.
You can control how you use this period of change. You can use it to fuel growth. Whether you chose a new beginning or you’re forced to start over – don’t wallow. Act. As humans we have this innate ability to move forward. I had no choice but to move forward, so I did. It’s that…or you curl up in a ball and spiral.
If you’re ready to take a leap of faith, get in touch! I can help guide you.