You don’t knowingly give control of your career to anyone, yet it feels like it for many.
Beyond the first few start-up years where everything is new, and your significant life commitments are still somewhere off in the distance, careers feel like adventures. You’re free to jump and pivot and even navigate a makeover. And then life shows up, and the weighty responsibilities arrive, exerting a gravitational pull that keeps you locked in place.
Life Asserts Control Over Our Careers At Some Point
As you gain experience and build professional equity in your vocation and industry, you wake up one day and realize your options are a bit more limited than they used to be. Sure, job changes are possible, but the paycheck is critical and radical change is no longer on the table.
Those earlier career dreams that propelled you into adulthood are shelved in favor of a more pragmatic, less romantic approach to your working life.
And for some, what used to feel like an adventure with all of the excitement, risks, and unknowns starts to feel like a daily, weekly, yearly slog through a familiar muddy swamp.
“I grew comfortable being miserable in my career,” offered one of my clients, striving to rediscover that sense of adventure and feeling of purpose from her youth.
Is There Time for Another Career Adventure?
Still, others who don’t mind their work and vocations run into another of life’s issues. They recognize the time passing on the calendar and notice the runway growing a bit shorter. And they long to rediscover that passion and purpose before it’s too late. They want another adventure or maybe two before the clock runs out on their careers. Some use the term pivot. I toss around “reinvent,” although there are many flavors to it.
I started this work of reinventing myself in my career over 15 years ago. I flailed a lot, failed a bit, and even tried on a corporate gig one more time to see if it might fit. It didn’t.
The work of reinventing myself in my career was (and remains) the most intense learning experience of my life. Instead of coasting into whatever retirement is, I’m motivated to do the best and most important work of my life. I live my purpose every day.
If you are feeling stuck in a rut or worse yet, if you are miserable in your work, you owe it to yourself to explore making a change. There’s a process for career pivot or career reinvention. It’s a little messy, but the work is excellent, and the potential payoff is priceless.
As one successful career reinventor offered, “It’s exciting to take back control of my career. I didn’t think I would ever regain that sense of adventure that motivated me to be at my best earlier in my career. I was wrong. And now I’m designing my future on my terms.”
The Bottom-Line for Now:
As I wrote about recently, you have more options than you think. No one reinvents alone, so find help…find a guide you trust, and follow a deliberate process of exploring and experimenting. It’s not easy to reinvent yourself in your career, and it’s not fast. However, if you don’t get started now, you’ll never get to your next adventure. It’s out there waiting for you if you decide to pursue it.
Check out the growing library of career reinvention articles.