I kid you not! When I left my position as Director of Advertising in print media and transitioned to owning a retail store, I often found myself saying to people “I’m so looking forward to having more time to volunteer and for myself.” (roll eyes).

However, as I would later learn via the school of hard knocks, I had brought along all my emotional baggage that I didn’t realize I was carrying and proceeded to forge ahead at full steam driven by the beliefs I wasn’t aware that I had.

So, take a word of caution from someone who’s “been there, done that”, before jumping, consider these 11 Unconventional Ideas for Taking Your Next Step in Life:

#1: Wherever you go, there you are.
Your beliefs, thought patterns, habits and behaviors will go with you into your next career creation, next relationship and even the next town. You can’t escape you. So, unless the situation you are in is detrimental to your health, hang on…don’t jump ship yet, there may be valuable lessons to be learned.

#2: Take notice
Of what pushes your buttons, what triggers you, what overwhelms you, what drags you down. Your current situation can be ripe with opportunities to rewire reactive habits. This is a great time to ask for help – hire a therapist, career coach or a fabulous mentor ;-).

#3: You’re busy, but…
A business coach told a friend of mine, “you should only be doing, what only you can do.” Hmm. How are you at asking for what you want, delegating, letting go, not being in control all the time, loosening your grip? Will switching careers magically make you better at this?

#4: Don’t let the turkeys get you down.
If you want to do something really freeing and liberating, learn how not let people get under your skin and don’t take things personally. How? See #2.

#5: Stay out of the what and how.
Humans tend to think we must have it all figured out. It just doesn’t work that way. So, here’s a tip that has helped me tremendously (in addition to tossing my heavily used map out the window) – begin with how you want to feel, not with what you want to do.

#6: What do you loath, like, love?
Begin a career/life mindfulness practice. Keep a pad on your desk (or use your phone’s note pad) and jot down what you don’t like, what you do like and what you love – the parts of your job that light your fire. What about volunteer outreach you’re involved in – what do you loath, like, love?

#7: What’s your rhythm?
When I sold my nutrition store and stepped out of 35 years of working 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, I had no idea what my personal rhythm was. Today I know that what works best for me is to be ‘on’ moving and grooving and then to step back and rest and rejuvenate. For others, day to day structure is important. What works best for you?

#8: Begin an adventure – without leaving home.
Every morning, before heading out for the day ahead, take a moment to set your intention to discover treasure. The treasure of what makes you tick, what lights your fire, what your zone of genius is and what pearls are needing to be polished.

#9: Do you know how to stop?
I’m not talking about vacation, but every single day. Are you able to carve out time for yourself? Because let me tell you, I couldn’t. Every moment was full of doing something and when I stopped, I felt agitated and guilty for not doing that ‘something.’ If this is you now, a new job, new situation won’t change this…because wherever you go, there you are. See #1.

#10 Launch a thought.
Crazy, but it works. It was 2002, my 13th year working in print media. I was ready for something else and I was clear on two things. #1. It had to be something that helped people. #2. It couldn’t be retail. I launched my thought. Two years later, I became the owner of a nutrition store that helped so many people. I know, I know – it was retail, which leads me to…

#11: You don’t always get what you ask for, but you always get what you need.
I had more lessons to learn. I had yet to learn what I’ve shared here, so the universe compromised – we’ll give you a little, plus the perfect situation for you to learn what you need to learn and then and only then, will you arrive at what you want.

To my long-time blog readers – if this sounded familiar, there’s a reason. This blog is a re-run with a few edits; written before I knew that my “next big step” would be creating the Alchemy of Feminine Leadership™ programs that guide women to doing just what I talk about here – discovering your hidden beliefs and thought patterns, learning how to ‘let go’ of what doesn’t serve you and grow what does!

My course, PERMISSION TO SHINE: Calling In Clarity & Confidence 
will be offered online soon. Click here to learn more and up to be one of the first notified! 

Here’s a resource for you!
An acquaintance of mine, Spiritual Life Coach, Donna Otmani, created a free worksheet packet (based on her own experiences of trying to figure out that next career step) called: “Uncovering What’s Next” The packet includes great questions for sorting out what types of work and work environment are fulfilling to you.
Click here for free access.

Of these 11 ideas – what’s your favorite and why? Post in the comments below.

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