I am nearly 9 months into my career leap. Here’s what I am noticing:
1. Vision is sometimes clearer from a distance.
My leap was prompted by the desire to:
- do meaningful work full-time, in environments which recognize and embrace the need I seek to fill; moving to improve the quality of one’s life.
- strip away the pieces of my teaching that others can do well and to focus on what makes my teaching specialized.
- engage with communities that could benefit more from my work because they are open and willing, and ready to immediately apply the work to their lives in real time- not down the road. It is the difference of working with people engaging in their lives versus those that expect life to start after college or expect that somehow learning is for future use and not the immediate present.
Up close, sometimes the minutiae of making the work possible can over-shadow the work inside the studio. Sometimes I wonder why I need to invent my own path and not merely complete the certifications that are close to the work I am developing but do not quite hold the whole picture.
I think this is partially the plight of the pioneer, as a mentor described it, in that getting the work off the ground and into the awareness of our community takes so much effort and can elicit so much groundlessness….
There are times I need to remove myself from the immediate proximity of the “job” in order to reconnect with the “work” and remind myself how other methods don’t quite fill the void I see. Taking the time to zoom out, reconnects me with why I chose to leap in the first place, then informs how/where to zoom-in again now.
2. Grounding is necessary.
My grounding has revolved around:
- drinking from the well of others. For me, this has been monthly interactions with a cohort group at McEntire Pilates, deep conversations with my colleagues in regard to the philosophy of what we are doing and why- identifying the company we’d like to keep, and accessing professionals in other disciplines negotiating similar challenges.
- saying “no” to the opportunities that do not add spark nor new experiences. My latest filter has been, “does this opportunity reflect where I have been or where I want to go.”
- writing. I haven’t figured out how to make it happen consistently but I am acutely aware of how not writing makes me feel isolated and insular. Writing helps me organize my roles and identities- which sometimes feel inwardly conflicting and competing as I create new work locally but with a vision that could scale universally.
3. Starting over is humbling. And freeing.
It can be hard to shift from having a reputation/routine/role within one context to entering another with what feels like complete anonymity. The perk is that you are also allowed to reinvent yourself.
You have a chance to, as Seth Godin says, “Be personal. Be relevant. Be specific.” You don’t have the obstacle of preconceived notions about you or what you do, you can assert yourself with a relative freshness. You also have the opportunity to allow your new experiences to continue to reshape this new image. It is all fluid until it is not.
Mainly, I have experienced this:
When you are committed to a vision and open to possibility, people appear to help you along your way. Doors open where you never thought to look. And life is richer than you could have imagined.
How’s your leap going?