When I received my MBA, I was convinced I was going to work in corporate until I died. As I experienced more transformational work and expanded my learning focus to more right-brained endeavors, I found I no longer had that interest. I have discovered a similar pattern with clients, colleagues, and friends.
For instance, take people who are transitioning from a full-time career into “retirement”. Some individuals I know had already morphed into a new self and identified all the additional activities they want to include in their lives. Others had been so dedicated to working hard, they hardly had time to discover what else was of interest. Various other people were in a phase of experimentation.
Whether it is taking classes, traveling the world, or starting a new career, the question is, “Are you continuing to evolve or are you starting to devolve?” This question doesn’t just apply to individuals shifting into retirement – it applies to anyone who wants something more or different for their lives.
Some interesting examples of shifts that I’ve heard include:
- Teacher to therapist
- Manager to franchise owner
- Full-time executive to part-time executive plus volunteer
- School teacher to fitness instructor
At the same time, some individuals no longer want to “work”, but do want to continue to evolve. In talking through the transition to retirement with one client, she created an interesting approach; one that will keep her evolving for years to come. She calls it the alphabet approach and describes it below.
Mindy helped me realize that there are “no limits” to how you view your career and life. As I was contemplating retiring, her insights inspired me to aspire. I have an interest in staying healthy so why could I not aspire to be an athlete? I could aspire to be anything as aspiring allowed the flexibility to succeed on my terms. This insight flowed into an alphabet approach with a focus first on the “A’s” and then I could move to the “B’s” as in being a baker, butterfly watcher, or belly dancer. Will I make it to the “C’s”? Maybe. There are “no limits” to how you view your life and I can implement over days, weeks, months or years.
Whether you want to shift into a new career, change to working fewer hours, explore the world, or simply try new things, how can you continue to evolve in your life? How do you best support yourself in making a life shift, as it can often include a shift in personal identity (who you know yourself to be). If you are wondering how to create a clear vision for evolving into your next phase, contact me at www.systemsofchange.com to learn more about my Cultivate package.
© 2017 by Systems of Change