I was talking to a friend last week and she was telling me how she had really struggled with her business last year. Not so much lack of customers as lack of direction.
She knew she needed to make some changes, to update the services she was offering and she even had a few ideas… But somehow, nothing was falling into place. The business felt like a heavy burden and she was unsure what she needed to do to get ‘unstuck’.
So what did she do?
Well, nothing much really.
Rather than trying to force a decision or drive herself into action, she decided to just sit with it for a while. She had conversations with a range of friends and colleagues over a number of months and with them she turned various ideas over and explored them from different angles. But she intentionally held back from taking action on any of them.
Ready to grow
At the beginning of this year, she said it felt like the seeds that had been planted last year were finally ready to sprout. The options she had been considering all began to make sense and most importantly, she felt her motivation rising and was ready to step up a gear and turn some of these ideas into reality.
Now her business has a totally different feel to it, and she is pleased that she is making good progress with her new ideas.
I asked her what had changed and she said she felt that taking time out was the most important part of the process. It had allowed her to let things fall into place in her subconscious mind when they were good and ready to do so. She didn’t close her business down, but she just let it tick over at a lower level while the ideas she was toying with marinated quietly in her mind.
It was that quiet ‘time out’ that made all the difference.
And that made a lot of sense to me.
Time out for career changers
I think the same process can be very valuable for career changers too. If you have reached breaking point with your career and you know something needs to change, there can be a real urgency, a sense that you have finally got to get on and do something about it NOW!
That can be a great, motivating energy, but it can also put a lot of pressure on you too.
I quite often hear clients ask anxiously, ‘how will I know if this
is the right career move?’ That is a question that only the client can
answer. But the answer does not always come from pushing forwards with
more research and analysis. Yes, they are an important part of the
career change process, but stopping, getting out of your head and into a
more heart based, intuitive process is essential too.
This is where time out comes in.
If you are getting yourself in a state over your career change plans, why not put the intense research on hold for a while and just quietly sit with the ideas you have been playing with.
Don’t ignore the issue completely, but don’t agonise over your choices. Just let them float around in your head, look at them from different angles and be playful with them.
Above all, release yourself from the
need to decide or take action.
You’ll be amazed how when you take the pressure off, things begin to slowly fall into place.
So if you are stuck with your career change, maybe you, like my friend, need to take time out too.
Taking my own advice!
The conversation with my friend made a lot of sense to me personally too. Looking back I saw I have been writing The 5 Minute Career Coach since 2008 without a break.
Phew! That is quite a lot of writing!
realised it is not flowing as easily as it always has done in the past
and so with a number of other personal issues to deal with too at the
moment, I have decided that I also need to take a break.
I am just going to relax into a few quieter months and see what emerges as the most important next steps for me to take with my business and with the rest of my life. I know that it will be a quietly productive break and I look forward to sharing the fruits of my non-labours with you in due course!
When I am back online, you will be the first to know!
The 5 Minute Career Coach March 2015
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Is it time you took some time out? It can make all the difference when you are making changes in your life
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