Do you swing back and forth between frustration and inspiration on your quest for career clarity and fulfillment? You are certainly not alone! On your courageous journey you are called forth to embrace all your emotions. As you do, support and opportunities often appear from unexpected and even unknown places. A recent experience reminded me just how important it is to move through the whole range of emotions while going through change.
Cultivate Gratitude on Your Career Clarity Journey
Occasionally you may loose sight of all the blessings in your life and get mired down by your frustrating work situation. It happens to most of us. Finding joy in the simple pleasures of life and gratitude in all the blessings you are already surrounded by, actually helps you move forward.
Knowing that you want to create some positive changes, take a moment to scan your life as it is right now. Notice moments that bring you joy. Do you enjoy spending quality time with family, with your dog, in nature, at the gym? What are your moments of joy? As you become aware of the joyful moments in your life, I encourage you to celebrate and savour them. It will provide the energy you need for the courageous changes that you want to create.
One of my blessings is a beautiful beach, just minutes away from our home. When we first moved here, I discovered a swing that was hanging from a grand old tree at the east end of the beach. It became one of my cherished Mini-Retreats to wander down the beach and go for a swing ride under the canopy of the majestic alder tree, overlooking the ocean shore, listening to the birds and the waves lapping onto the shore. Pure bliss!
Receive Support on Your Career Clarity Journey
One day, the driftwood swing seat was gone, I searched around on the shore for another suitable piece of driftwood and repaired the swing. A few months later, when I arrived for my daily swing ride, the rope was gone. I was disappointed and wondered what I could do. I called a friend who likes building tree swings and asked if he could help me build a new swing in the alder tree. Next time he was in Victoria, he came by with a new rope and a nice piece of driftwood and together we put up the new swing.
One of my career clarity coaching client, let’s call him Andy, used to have a great relationship with his manager, Rob (not his real name). Rob appreciated Andy’s work and trusted him with many responsibilities. When Rob left the company, Alex (not his real name) got promoted into Rob’s role. Alex was now micro-managing Andy, due to his own insecurities with his new role. Andy quickly lost his swing at work. That’s when he reached out for my support and hired me as his career clarity coach. Through coaching we quickly established connection and trust as two of Andy’s core values. This insight helped Andy get focussed in his job search and find a new position aligned with his values. He now contributes once again with joy and satisfaction at work. He’s got his swing back.
Take a moment to notice ways in which you have lost your swing. What kind of support would help you, get your swing back?
Grieve Your Losses on Your Career Clarity Journey
Several months later, as I came to the beach for a swing ride, the area around the alder tree was fenced off. A sign from The City announced the felling of the tree the following day due to it being rotten and a safety hazard. I was devastated, my beloved tree and tree swing sanctuary were going to be gone. I salvaged the wooden seat. It was the least I could do. The next day as I walked the beach, the sound of the city workers chain saws sent chills over my spine. In the evening my husband and I went to the tree stump. We discovered that it was perfectly healthy, no rotten core whatsoever. The slope looked so bare without the alder tree.
We sat with the tree stump and I felt all kinds of emotions move through me. I felt angry about the authorities who had cut my beloved tree down. Waves of sadness washed over me for the loss of this beautiful sanctuary. Then I felt the deep gratitude for all my swing rides under the branches of this beautiful tree. Every moment of joy I had experienced under the alder’s canopy seemed even more precious now that I had lost this beautiful place.
Most of us have experienced losses on our career path and in life. Sometimes grief about what happened and how you were treated may overwhelm you. It is important to make space to grieve your losses. Time in nature, creative movement or dance, journaling or a soothing bath can all help. The support of a coach is so beneficial when moving through grief. You don’t have to do this alone!
Allow yourself to feel the sadness, anger and frustration. What hurts you the most often provides important information about what you deeply care about. What will you do to embrace your grief and access the insights it provides for you? Allow yourself to receive the support you need as you grieve your loss and integrate your learning. You will then feel a readiness and even excitement to move forward.
Open Up to New Possibilities on Your Career Clarity Journey
The morning after the felling of my beloved tree, I called my friend to share the sad news. He suggested that I look for another potential swing tree in the neighbourhood. Once I had grieved my loss and accepted the new reality, I could open up to the possibility of finding another tree for a swing. Then one morning I discovered a big elm tree on the west end of the beach. The elm had a thick branch perfectly positioned for a swing.
Overjoyed, I told my friend about my discovery. A few weeks later when he was travelling through Victoria, we mounted the new swing with the salvaged driftwood seat from the old swing. Shortly thereafter my husband and I went on a two-week trip to Michigan for a family reunion.
When we came back, I immediately went for a swing ride and discovered that it had been well-used by people in the community. The ground underneath the swing that used to be covered in brushes was now bare. As I was swinging, a line of kids formed and once I jumped off the swing, one by one, they all went for a swing ride. What a joy to see the swing being enjoyed by many!
Stay Connected When Facing Setbacks on Your Career Clarity Journey
A few weeks later, as I came for my daily swing ride to the beach, the rope had been cut and the swing was gone. I was filled with sadness about the destruction and called my friend to see what we could do. He suggested to attach a new rope and seat with a secure knot. He was happy to do just that when he was in town next month. I felt relieved and was looking forward to rebuilding the community swing.
On our professional and life journey we all experience setbacks from time to time. During those times it is especially important to stay connected with your support systems. Friends, family, mentors, your coach, your journal, and your meditation practice can all help you stay connected when faced with setbacks. What kind of support systems do you lean into when facing adversity? Tuning into your resources, you are more likely to find creative ways to move forward than on your own. Remember, reaching out for support is a strength, not a weakness.
Be Open to Miracles on Your Career Clarity Journey
Five days later as I was walking down the beach, I couldn’t believe my own eyes. A new swing was dangling from the elm tree. I ran up to it to take a closer look. Someone had taken initiative and rebuilt the swing, just the way my friend had suggested, only nicer. This person had crafted a beautiful wooden seat, drilled a hole in the middle, put the rope through the hole and secured it underneath the seat with a few knots. This made the swing even more comfortable and beautiful. I rejoiced! Filled with gratitude for the generosity, thoughtfulness, kindness and initiative of the people in our community, I went for a long swing ride.
Support on your career clarity journey may come from unexpected and even unknown places. Many of my career clarity coaching clients have experienced ‘miracles’ on their journey. When you find clarity on the career that energizes and inspires you, the right opportunities may come to you unexpectedly.