Getting What You Want = Trade Offs
If you want to layer in more balance and take your five day week to four, you may need to accept that the next promotion won’t be yours. Likewise, if your priority is to be at every soccer practice or drama production, returning to the work force will be a tough transition.
Simply put—you will need to give something up to get something more.
So as you stare at that ‘single-minded’ one thing you want—make sure it has legs to stretch across the personal and professional you, that it does reflect the sacrifices and trade offs that will be associated with it.
Once you’ve landed on your ‘headline’—you’ll want to write down a strategy on how to achieve it. Speak to professional and personal contacts who can help you find and achieve what you are looking for. What kind of environments will help you achieve this—including the one that you may be working in right now?
Some solid advice from the HR Director of a consumer packaged goods company on people being able to manage their own professional destiny is this: if people want flexible work arrangements or to consider different options then they need to raise their hand. Don’t waste your time leading everyone else professionally to believe what you want is the standard (because you think that is more professional). How will they know unless you ask for it? In workharmony words…you need to take ownership of your flexible work options.
But let’s face it, these decisions can be tough. Admitting that you don’t want to ‘do that anymore’ can feel like you are failing when in fact you have never been closer to your holistic ambitions.
And I suppose that is why Lawyers are becoming real estate agents, Bay Street executives are opening customized cookie stores, flower shops and advertising executives are interior designers.
It is what they wanted to do. And the decision allows them to manage their holistic ambitions (which is personal and professional if you are still wondering what I am getting at with that term).
Reinvention is important and easy to do if you are focused and realistic.
The truth is change is all around us—so if you’ve spent some time on what you want and written down a list of ways to go and get it—start opening up the dialogue with people that can help you achieve it. Start taking the steps to make it happen vs just thinking about it.
In the words of Winston Churchill—there is nothing to fear but fear itself.