Diane Howell Topkis is the author of the Career Clarity ebook series. Diane works with midlife women to gain the clarity and confidence to reinvent or re-energize their career into meaningful work for their next chapter. Please visit http://www.YourNextChapterNOW.com to receive your free workbook, Find Your Career Passion.
My sister left town today. She packed up her apartment in Manhattan after 12 years and headed south to North Carolina. I’ll miss her. And I admire her for having the confidence to make this big, bold midlife move. It was quick – from decision to move – barely 2 weeks. A need for change had been rambling around her head for several weeks but she kept it to herself. So it surprised everyone.
She had her reasons for leaving:
- Job didn’t fit – on either side – and done with the industry too.
- Living space didn’t fit – much as she loves it, Manhattan is just too expensive.
- Small adjustments no longer fit – needed a big change – time to go. Now!
But she could not articulate where or what she was going to just what she was leaving. So it felt rash to everyone she told. I may have been the only one in the family to “get it”. I’ve seen this need for a big change from my clients. My concern was to slow down her knee-jerk reactions and at least pull a plan together. I took my coaching skills to her place and we packed a night and half the next day with a concentrated set of exercises.
She hadn’t needed my help when changing jobs before. She has a huge network in her industry and has moved to each new position with help from her connections. Now she was leaving all that behind. This was a huge leap. Exciting and quite terrifying.
First we tackled getting ready for a new career. We worked on old dreams, transferable skills, talents, what she loved to do, a lot of “what ifs”, some quick personal branding, “why the change” statement. Reviewed her resume and updated her sparse LinkedIn Profile. She’ll explore careers later.
Next, exactly where to move. She felt drawn to the Carolinas but really didn’t know why. We started with a list of possible locations. Searched quality of living, explored what seemed attractive to her, checked online job sites just to be sure there was a viable economy but not yet for a specific job. It was quickly narrowed down to Wilmington, a town spread between the Cape Fear River (must be stories behind that name) and the Atlantic Ocean. Not a bad place to start a new chapter.
Now she had a direction and she could articulate what was drawing her to it. She could plan in a straight line, no more spinning. Within 2 days she had an apartment that was about 20% of her NYC rent. She had a truck rented and helpers to load it at both ends. Her son will drive her down.
Things were under control. Explanations to family and friends became so much easier. People are starting to understand her excitement. They are considering a future visit. She is on her way to an exciting next chapter.
Wow! Foolish? Maybe. But only on the surface. Once she understood what was underneath that voice shouting “Go,” it made a lot of sense. Midlife is a time of big change. Often it’s something external that forces the shift, especially a big one. If you’re ready, you jump on it and ride. You don’t let it get you down. You don’t let it make you a victim. You step up and take that big leap. You take control and go!
Action: Are you listening to your inner voice? Do you need a big shift? Are you brave enough to take the leap?
If not and you want help building the confidence for it, contact me.
Diane, The Midlife Woman’s Career Coach