“Every scene should be able to answer three questions: Who wants what from whom? What happens if they don't get it? Why now?”
David Mamet Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, & Practice of the Movie Business
In my Coaching practice I work with an increasing number of people who embark on a significant mid-career change of direction. Some are going through a mid-life or other crisis and looking for solutions, answers or personal transformation from changing the way they work. Some are my contemporaries are experiencing the opposite of crisis they looking for meaning in new work, freedom in working for themselves or self-actualizing at the summit of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
There are many triggers: some have a sudden insight or inspiration to act, some have had a dream for years and plan to realize it, and others have change forced upon them by their employment context. We explore them through Coaching or a Career Counselling method. Often, they label the resulting work they do as: What I want to do with the rest of my life.
Having reflected on six years of such cases, here are the top ten themes that emerge. They are conclusions that the clients come to for themselves, pieces of advice that they would give to themselves if they were starting over, helpful advice they have picked up along the way, and rich questions that have propelled them to exploration or focus.
In order, they are:
- Your network is your most valuable asset!
- Your plan is your most valuable tool!
- Your self-awareness is your most valuable skill!
- What’s happening now?
- Who wants to work with you?
- Why do they want you?
- Sell what your market wants to buy!
- The business model you!
- Work out loud!
- Fake it till you make it!
These challenges helped my clients to make sense of emerging from employment and helped them plan for it if they had the luxury of time in richer ways than simply answering: What is my next career move? They uncovered them in the coaching room or brought them to coaching from their fieldwork. Over the coming weeks I will write more about each one. What do the challenges reveal for you?
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra inter alia