Few situations in life prompt us to find the silver lining more than others. One of them is coming to a crossroads in your life and realizing your old years-long life plans have all but turned to dust. So what do you do next?
Not knowing where to go next in terms of career can give us an excellent opportunity to reflect on who we really are, and why we want to do whatever we decide to do next.
Normally when you’re on your way to collecting one milestone after the next, one achievement after the other on your career path life can seem quite busy, quite structured, and very target oriented. It’s possible that in this phase majority of our thoughts revolve around career-related issues and little attention is given to what kind of person we want to grow up to be.
As we spend months and years on jobs or education, time keeps passing and we keep getting older. But getting older doesn’t mean getting wiser. It certainly doesn’t mean that we’re heading in the right direction no matter how charged up we are.
Getting some time away from a constant chasing environment can help put some of these things into perspective more clearly than before:
What kind of person have I become? What kind of person would I like to become in the next 3, 5, 10, or 50, years from now? Has an increased sense of competition made me an unkind, tight-handed person? Or has a lack of real challenges, and more busy work, made me complacent and uninspired?
Will chasing what I’m chasing now, give me peace of mind later on? Is this worth sacrificing time with loved ones or can I leave this work to someone else? What or who makes me happy or sad in life? How do I deal with that? Am I on the right path or should I switch lanes? And many more introspective questions…
Perhaps life forcing you to halt will prevent a midlife crisis later on where you don’t feel forced to answer these meaningful questions you already answered earlier. At least you get time to be with yourself and really think things through.
I’m in a similar spot right now, and it can be scary at times when you realise that perhaps you’ve overestimated your abilities since you’re not getting many callbacks. But this stretch also allows for introspection, and I’ve been grateful for it, despite not knowing exactly which way I should head. Thanks for this post!
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Thanks for sharing your experience, Stuart. I know many of us can relate!