Turning an ending into a new beginning may just need a first decision, followed by a first step.

There may come a time (and there usually is), when you realize that the pain of maintaining your professional status quo is greater than the potential pain of changing paths. Let’s call reaching the end of the proverbial road, the ‘necessary restlessness’.

It’s that discomfort that helps you ask the tough questions: Am I happy? Do I want a change? And if so, in what way?

Restlessness and the choices it creates: 3 client scenarios

I spoke with 3 different clients this month who were reflecting on their career trajectory, reaching very important conclusions:

Client A has been fighting a long battle that didn’t seem worth it anymore. The energy spent over the last year putting in place measures that were alien to the prevailing culture had taken its toll on him. Why continue to fight the lone fight? Why not spend his energy in an environment that was more receptive to his leadership style and personal values?

Client B was sharing how her new assignment was simply not a good fit. At this point she knew she wanted out.  Her real aspiration was to take charge of her future by moving to a new organization.

Client C was debating whether to continue working or stop altogether. Should she continue for a few more years? Yet, after 20 years of dedicated service, she was no longer sure she had the motivation to keep moving. What she really wanted was to find a graceful way towards retirement.

The first next steps A.K.A what happens after you hang up the gloves

Client A felt like a fish out of water. After doing an inventory of his values, we flushed out the characteristics of his optimum work environment. It became very clear to him that his current work place was no match for the innovation and challenge he was seeking.

After contacting his previous company, he was informed that there was an opening in his field, in a culture that was compatible with his values.  He decided to complete what he called his ‘tour of duty’, while preparing to leave. The bounce is back in his step.

Client B realized she was unlikely to find new opportunities until she got her MoJo back. She had been transferred to a part of the organization that didn’t match her skill set, further eroding her self-confidence. Could she shore up her reserves and augment her skills before she left for greener pastures?

Yes!  She decided to get active in her professional network and find ways to contribute and connect. She was energized again, ready to bring new meaning to her work life, without making a major move at this time.  She focused on building herself up and developing relationships with those who would appreciate her strengths. She would leave when she was ready.

Client C decided to give it one more year. One more year to realize projects she had been dreaming of doing for a long while. One more year to tie loose ends and bring closure to a full career. With a definite end date in mind, she could feel the weight lift off her shoulders. She rekindled her enthusiasm for a profession she loved.

When faced with what looks like a dead end, many choices open up

…And that’s the beauty of restlessness! It gets you to ask honest questions and seek plain answers.

  • Do you take the nearest exit?
  • Do you find a way to transform the ending into a new beginning?
  • Do you celebrate the ending and bring a chapter of your life to a close?

Feel free to add to this list of possibilities. There is no right way or wrong way.

Only you know what is best for you in this moment in your career and in your life. Know however, that there are many options available to stage your exit, even as you reach the end of a particular road.

After all, it’s only the end of a trajectory, not the end of YOU.

What are some choices you’ve made for yourself when the ‘necessary restlessness’ sets in? Your comment may benefit someone else.  I look forward to reading it.

4 thoughts on “Have you reached the end of the road, or is it the beginning of a new one?”

  1. Great blog! I weigh my options before I exit or stay. Sometimes staying is a matter of facing one’s own demons or negotiating with management the work tasks. Good managers are ready to support their employees – not so good managers will loose them for sure. As to personal relationships, that’s another story!

    1. Dominique Dennery

      Love that phrase “facing one’s own demons” or negotiating. Starting first with self. And yes, personal relationships are more complex. I would venture to say, the process is often the same, i.e. facing one’s demons and then negotiating boundaries or exit strategies. Thanks for your great observations!

  2. Finding ones mojo can always be challenging. I often wonder why it is we want change, challenge, innovation and creativity but without the emotions that push us there …

    I am trying to understand what it means to “manifest” something … how do you or your clients do this … is there a formula or what does this look like. How does one adjust the brain from current thinking to manifesting …

    Cheers, Alexis.

    1. Dominique Dennery

      You ask great questions Alexis. Your first comment is so true: we want change etc without the roller coaster. Human nature possibly.
      As for manifesting, I had to give it some thought before answering. In my experience, we manifest, whether we are conscious of it or not. When we start becoming conscious of what we manifest, there can be a process of blaming ourselves for the outcome we don’t want or trying to fix our thought process. The more we find fault with our thought process, the more we seem to create what we don’t want. So accepting what we have created and noticing and being grateful for all the positive manifestations seem to bring more positive manifestations. If that makes sense.
      The other principle that seems to be at play in my life and my clients is what one of my coaches calls “contrast”. Humans seem to need to experience contrast between what they have and what they really want to be able to manifest what they want. In other words, when we experience what we don’t want, we know very clearly what we want instead and are able to manifest that moving forward.
      Finally, when I find myself getting into a negative spiral of thought, I have learned to recognize it and stop it! I think of something else, distract myself in some way, and don’t dwell on the thought that is making my world shrink. With habit, I have become more adept at shifting to a different wavelength and start to experience my life geting better and better. Until the next contrast!

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