Should You Reinvent Your Life’s Work?
Sooner or later, performers of all ages, including the most successful, often run out of room to grow. Problems range from discovering your training program isn’t a good ‘fit,’ to the need to develop other talents, change work environments, or retire. Still, when faced with the unpleasant reality of change, it’s often easier to cling to a familiar scenario (even if it leads nowhere) than to deal with the unknown. Yet the key to your long-term survival may lie in reinventing yourself periodically. Check out the obstacles and solutions to navigating this significant life transition.
Your training or work situation may feel wrong but you pride yourself on sticking it out, for better or worse. This is a major obstacle for many enterprising people who succeeded in life because of their tenacity. It helps to list the reasons why you need or want to change and what stops you from moving forward. You can also begin to think about your goal and gather information from resources and people who’ve succeeded in the same area. Moving past denial is a crucial step in reinventing yourself, as well as being aware of the stages of change.
Once you’ve gone past the denial stage, you’re on your way to changing that dead-end situation. The problem is your feelings are most likely mixed. The allure of being able to fix what’s broken is now playing a tug-of-war with the loss of a long-term (if dissatisfying) relationship and fear about an uncertain future. A low tolerance for ambiguity makes it unsettling. One option is to look for ways that you can discuss a potential new pathway within your present company by speaking to the person in charge. Another is to weigh the pros and cons of the status quo that tips you into exploring a new school or job!
Finding Plan B
Pragmatism and careful planning are essential aspects for reinventing your life’s work. Please don’t quit and dive into a new endeavor before testing the waters through part-time employment. You’ll see how viable your choice is financially and if you actually like the new work. In the meantime, it’s good to get support via the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, niche online communities and that old-fashioned commodity—friends! All offer advice and actually reduce the risk of starting something new.
Remember every successful transition depends, to a great extent, on preparing yourself emotionally and practically. So, after dealing with the obstacles, focus your energy on mapping out the future. Reinventing yourself means generating a new sense of purpose for now and the future.