Okay, so by this picture I guess you are thinking “She has lost her mind! Adventure, I don’t’ have a job!” Eight years ago when this first happened to me, I would have definitely agreed with you. But looking back, I realized that it has not only been an adventure; it has also been an opportunity to grow and find my purpose. So how do you overcome the initial shock, anger, disappointment or whatever you may be feeling at this moment? You take a deep breath, give yourself permission to reflect on your life and then give yourself permission to dream.
Allow me to walk you through my journey from there to here. After 27 years at my previous job in the pharmaceutical industry, I was downsized and decided to take a retirement package. I had absolutely no clue as to what I would do next nor did I actually plan on retiring. I just knew that there was something else that was out there for me and I had to take a “leap of faith”. By making this decision, I allowed myself for those few days soon after being downsized to reflect. During those moments of reflection, I admitted to myself that I really had not been happy at work for a few years. My plan was to “hang in there” for another 7 years until I officially retired. I soon began to realize that the “hang in there” plan” was not a plan. It only meant limiting my life by not allowing me to dream about other achievements and adventures that were out there waiting for me to discover. I asked myself, “If not now, then when”?
Opening myself up to the possibility of creating my second act in life meant making a list of the talents/skills that I truly enjoyed using and doing what excited me. I began to research areas of interests that aligned itself with my talents/skills. Having a background in sales provided many opportunities to initially work with small businesses as an independent business consultant. I also knew that what I loved doing was inspiring others to be their best (something I loved doing as a manager) and using the creative side of my brain. But, the journey to discovering your second act is a process. I have outlined 3 of the most important steps that got me to where I am today:
- Step 1: In your reflection process, be honest with yourself about where you were and are in your life.
Dreaming and allowing yourself to take a leap of faith may be hard to do when all you can think about is your finances. But you must honor who you and what you want in life by going through this step.
- Step 2: Find yourself a good accountant to review where you are financially.
Take this time to talk about what you want or may want to do moving forward. You have to have this conservation in order to know if and how you can accomplish your dream. Also, you need to know how to manage your current living needs. My husband is an accountant so I was very fortunate to have this service for free. But I have also heard many stories of clients who came to him after they had gone through all their savings. I am going to be the first to admit that living without that steady pay check is nerve racking and scary as heck! But I held on to the belief that this was my now or never time and all would work out to my benefit. That is why it is equally important to identify your transferable skills and talents. This is what I did initially to help generate an income.
- Step 3: Who are the people that are part of your support system?
In your previous job, you may have had the opportunity to have a team to help you accomplish company goals and the day to day operations. It is equally important to have a support system to help you achieve your “life” goals. But who you seek out to be part of your support system is critical. The members of your support team are people you trust and know that they have your best interest at heart. That being said, they do not have to be family members. These are people who will do the following: help you stay the course, provide constructive criticism and keep you accountable. I cannot stress the importance of the role that your support team plays. I have three friends that are part of my support team. Two are people that I have known for over 30 years. The third person is someone who I have only known for about 10 years but her role is just as important as my two life-long friends. I lovingly refer to them as my “sister-friends”.
So, where has my journey/adventure taken me? It has taken me on a road that has allowed me to grow personally, professionally and spiritually beyond what I could have ever imagined from those early days of staring into space and feeling incredibly lost. My journey has allowed me to find my purpose which was starting the Life 2.0 Community and The Life 2.0 Show on Princeton Cable TV. I have also tapped into my creative side by doing interior design projects with Elegant Interiors by Sabrina. I believe that everyone has a purpose in life. Our passions, talents/skills and natural gifts allow us to find and use our purpose to make our lives and the lives of others more fulfilling.
If you are not sure about the next steps in your journey and want more information about identifying your transferable talents/skills and purpose, sign up for the Life 2.0 Community free resource “Is This All There Is to Life? at: https://life20community.com.