Throughout 2015 I've mentored four professionals from different generations who also happen to hail from different parts of the U.S., and who all have one thing in common: loss of employment earlier in the year.
Either by choice or by necessity they've taken time off from aggressively pursuing a new job, using this time to reflect and consciously decide on their next career move.
It's become a gap year of sorts for them, and for one person in particular, it's also turned into a walkabout adventure traveling across the U.S.
I've taken them through a full reinvention lifecycle--soup to nuts--helping them navigate the emotional ups and downs that self-reinventions often trigger. And although two of my mentees are preparing to get back in the career game, one has decided to sell his home and live off the sale so that he can write the book that's been on his mind for the last decade, and my wanderlust mentee is looking to expand her travels to Australia.
I asked each of them to reflect on this 2015 gap year and how their self-reinventions have transformed their lives. Here's what they shared (edited with permission):
- My setback forced me to STOP the madness that I had become part of, but had not recognized how this comfort zone had locked me in.
- I discovered that buying the new tech toy was no longer a priority when my focus became managing the necessities of my life (and a cafe coffee became more of a treat).
- I FINALLY took up journaling using your recommended book (Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way) and discovered so many hidden gems just waiting for me.
- Although I would have preferred to avoid performing a self-assessment...I'm glad that you tied this to your willingness to accept me as a mentee.
- I realized just how much I had to offer and that it wasn't necessarily tied to what others told me I was good at--bosses would tell me that I was good at something when they needed me to keep doing for them what I hated doing.
- I learned the most when we went through the process of developing a reinvention plan. The insights that revealed themselves to me as I peeled the onion!
- Building out my change story and crafting a narrative--this was truly eye-opening--and the most trying for me. A roller coaster of emotions!
- I realized that trying to do it all was keeping me from focusing on areas of my life where I really wanted to spend time on.
- I gave myself permission to let go of what no longer serves me for where I am today. I also know that I can "back burner" areas of my life that I'm not planning to bring along with me for this self-reinvention, but that I may choose to brush off and reuse down the road.
- You've taught me that self-reinvention is part of my lifecycle and not something that I only do as part of a setback in life.
Be sure to check out my online course 30 Day Career Reinvention if you're looking to self-reinvent in 2016. Or you can go through the entire course and save yourself some money by signing up for our Seeding Change membership before midnight today (Pacific) and then fast-tracking the course in 30 days (so you only pay $79 vs. the standalone cost of $199). Plus, you get to engage with our community and get your questions answered.
Here's to a truly amazing 2016!