I loved my job, and even more than the job itself, I loved my teams. I was connected. I was known for getting stuff done. And I was bored. I tried to counter this feeling by switching to a new role—which was a very interesting role that taught me a ton, but still didn’t engage and energize me as much as I’d hoped it would.
Inertia is a powerful force—and the flexibility I had, the high comfort level, and the uncertainty about the reason for my restlessness deterred me from actively and intentionally job searching. I received some calls from recruiters, but none of the options seemed to be the right fit. That is, until the perfect fit came along.
I was reflecting on this entire job transition as I walked around the tree-lined streets of Chicago on a beautiful fall day a few weekends ago. I remembered why I loved fall so much—it’s a time of gorgeous transition. The colors, the smells and the squash all signal a time of letting go of summer days and preparing for the winter. It’s the last time to enjoy the outdoors before some months of being inside. It’s ironic that there can be such beauty in letting go and preparing for what some feel is a “hard” season. What a perfect metaphor for my recent job transition. It was hard to let go of my old team, and I knew that it would be challenging and a lot of work to get started at a new company, but the transition is beautiful and rewarding.
As you transition through the fall season this year, take a few moments to reflect on the areas in your life and ask yourself if any of them need a “renewal.”
Here are some reflection questions that you can use as a guide to help you reflect on whether or not you need a renewal:
- Are you too comfortable?
- Have you stopped learning and growing?
- Are you going through the motions without much engagement or thought?
- Are you excited to wake up in the morning?
- Do you feel accomplished at the end of the week?
If you didn’t answer yes to the majority of those questions, then perhaps it’s time to shake things up a bit…. This doesn’t always mean you need to change jobs. Perhaps the source of staleness is from another area of your life. It’s up to you to discover the source.
Here are some questions to help you reflect on which area of your life needs the renewal:
- What 2 – 3 accomplishments are you most proud of in the past week/month?
- Think of a recent day when you felt super energized. What were you doing?
- Think of a day when you felt super drained. What were you doing?
Those questions can help you identify what charges you and what de-energizes you, and can give you insight into what you can want to keep on doing and what areas of your life might need some renewal.
Some examples of changes are:
- Getting a new job (make sure your LinkedIn profile is always updated—even if you’re not actively looking for a job!)
- Going back to school
- Starting a new hobby with your kids
- Modifying (increasing or decreasing) your volunteer work
- Changing (increasing or decreasing) the amount of time you spend with friends/family
Yes, change requires effort and is uncomfortable, just like winter can be. But don’t forget that the reward for getting through winter is the beauty of spring!
Embrace the beauty of fall and transition, have the courage to make a change, and see how you’re rewarded.