Are you in the midst of a change that feels like this?
A big mess?
Where do I start?
Where does it end?
Meet Carol. Carol held high level IT positions for years. Her specialty was working with start-up companies. She loved the thrill of building something from scratch – bringing the dream to life. Then one day, Las Vegas called! A big tech company was looking for a chief technology officer and Carol’s name came up.
Carol is a Minnesota girl, born and raised. Her career was in the Midwest and she had a long list of start-up organizations that she had helped get off the ground. But, this thought of spending time in Vegas seemed very sexy, so she took the job.
Carol was about a year into her transition when she came into my life as one of my doctoral research participants. I was working with successful leaders who had experienced ginormous transitions.
Carol started by telling me that her new job wasn’t very much fun and she couldn’t figure out why. She loved Vegas. She worked with people that she enjoyed. She was getting compensated very nicely. But something was draining her energy and making her want to go back to the start-up work that had bored her to tears.
When I asked her to take some pictures of what the transition had felt like, she shared a picture that looked a lot like the one above. That's when it finally clicked for Carol. This is what she learned:
- She had NEVER had to untangle someone else’s mess before. She was always the one to decide what the whole picture would look like. She got to choose the cords and determine what plugged into what. For the first time in her career, she had to undo someone else’s work before she could really start her own. And, trying to find out where to start was exhausting.
- Each connection in this technology mess was someone’s baby. People were highly invested in what they had created and they were not eager to have their creation dismantled and replaced. This required Carol to do a lot “hand holding” and this was exhausting, too.
As a result, Carol was starting to feel nostalgic about her old humdrum startup work. She could hardly believe it but she missed the predictability and consistency of it.
Oftentimes, we get so fired up about where we are going that we don’t pause to think about what we might miss. That is, until we are in the midst of the new and it doesn’t seem to be all lollipops and rainbows.
Lesson learned: When we move through transition, we can miss things we didn’t know we'd had. We can even miss things we thought we didn’t like.
So, whatever transition you are dealing with, don’t be surprised when you find yourself missing something you used to gripe about. What you are really missing is the status quo.
The growth zone can be a pretty uncomfortable place. My coaching career is centered around helping people of all professions and backgrounds navigate these sticky zones and see them as the opportunities they are, not the setbacks we often make them out to be.
My e-book, "3 Keys to Finding Hidden Treasures in a Difficult Transition," uses practical exercises and real-life stories like Carol's to teach you to notice the gifts hiding out in your own transitional experience.
If you don't have the book yet, you can download it for FREE until August 8th as part of the Transform Your Life Giveaway. Click here to download now!