Have you noticed any reoccurring themes or life patterns in your life?
These themes can range from the habits you form, the hobbies you enjoy, the work you choose, the tasks you hate, the type of people you surround yourself with, and so on.
Just stop and think for a moment.
Does anything stand out?
The life patterns and themes that appear in your life are little nuggets of gold that you shouldn’t hastily push aside when you’re looking to make any big life changes, like a career transition.
We’ve talked about how these themes and patterns are like breadcrumbs that help lead you to a dream career that is more aligned with your core values. And, how looking back and reflecting on your career or asking the people closest to you what your strengths are is key in collecting as many data points to help you connect the dots to what your next career will look like.
As much as we emphasize how digging deeper into your own patterns in your career and life is the first piece of research you need to do before you start down the career change road, we know that sometimes it is hard to accept those patterns for what they truly are.
Just ask our guest, Matthew Toy, who avoided accepting what everyone else around him knew about how big of an impact his own passion for practicing yoga had on his life.
THE FEAR WAS DEFINITELY THERE. YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP GOING. YOU HAVE TO ACT IN THE FACE OF FEAR. IT TAKES COURAGE. TO TAKE THAT FIRST STEP OF ACTUALLY REALIZING FROM THOUGHT TO REALITY.MATT TOY
Fast forward to now, and you’ll find Matt teaching and practicing Man Yoga (yoga for men) at the Berkeley Yoga Center, re-educating people on what the practice of yoga really is through his Instagram, as well as at events. He is also the co-founder of a bakery.
With a full life, yoga practice, and career, Matt is now able to look back, reflect, and share his path on how accepting his own life patterns led him to where he is now.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to stop avoiding your own patterns to help land you a career that fits you.
IDENTIFY YOUR DISTINCT PATTERNS
Looking at the career path that you’ve been on will help you figure out if you want to continue down that same road or it will help you decide on the things you want to keep in you next career.
So, pull out a notebook, an iPad, or a recording device, and let’s get to identifying your patterns.
YOUR CORE VALUES
What do you value in your life? What have you found that you really value in your career?
Anytime that you’ve changed jobs, what have you needed in your career? What don’t you need?
What kind of organizations do you typically work with? What kind of organizations have you stayed away from in the past?
Are there any issues you’ve had come up time and time again that you know that you absolutely can’t stand?
These are just a few basic questions you should ask yourself.
Finding those patterns in your values and determining what you value enough to have in your life and in your work is important in helping structure the framework to your career transition.
This should be easy.
What do you love doing?
Do you have any hobbies? Do you have a routine that you can’t live without?
For Matt Toy, it was yoga. No matter what his life and career was like, he always had yoga to come back to and keep him centered.
Do you have any activities that keep you so absorbed that you don’t even realize how much time has passed by?
Write those down. You’ll want to keep those patterns in your life.
What are some of the tasks that I have consistently succeeded in?
In my career, do I have a pattern of doing something really well? What have your coworkers constantly asked you to do because you either love doing it or you’re the best at?
What kind of problems do you find yourself solving constantly?
If you don’t know what your strengths are, ask a close friend or family member, or even a colleague.
GET COMFORTABLE AND ACCEPTING YOUR PATTERNS
STOP AVOIDING WHO YOU ARE
We have a tendency to look at our lives as we think it should be according to society’s standards.
But, who says that’s the right way to be living anyway?
Once we begin to accept who we are, the things we value, enjoy, and want to be doing in our careers, so many more doors of opportunity will open.
And, the best part will be the day that “working” will no longer feel like “work.”
After accepting all of the above in who you are and what your life patterns have showed you to be, it is in your best interest to begin doing.
When you put things into motion, you’ll find that things will either begin falling into place, or that you may need to re-evaluate and try again.
THINGS DON’T JUST MANIFEST. YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION FOR THINGS TO MANIFEST.MATT TOY
CROSS IT OFF YOUR LIST
As mentioned above, there isn’t anything wrong with trying a new career path and finding out that, that path wasn’t right for you. At least you’re able to cross it off your list and move onto something else.
The whole process requires you to use those patterns you find to identify paths to venture down.
Not every path you identify will fit, but the process is about incorporating those micro-experiments into your career search.
You don’t have to commit to anything until you’re sure of it.
Once you’re actually faced with a challenge then you’re forced to make a decision or stay where you are.
If you make a decision, it means you’re moving. If you’re staying where you are that means, ‘Okay…I’m just going to tolerate this even though it’s painful.’
You learn a lesson.
You have to either decide, ‘Okay I’m taking action and changing what’s going on. I’m changing my circumstances,’ or ‘I’m just going to sit here and stick with it because that is what I have decided to do.’
Remember, now that you’ve decided to do something about your current situation, you’ve already made progress. And, just because you’ve made a decision to move forward with one thing, doesn’t mean that you’re committed to it forever.
There is always a way to pivot.
Once you take action and do something different from what you’ve been doing, you’re already moving in the right direction.
Don’t rush your career change process. By doing that, you defeat the purpose of the time you’ve put into doing all of the soul-searching and goal-setting to find your next career move.
If you hit a road block and don’t know what to do next, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Big life change isn’t always a leisurely stroll in the park.
If you find that you need an extra push of support, we’ve got the resources for you. Check out the Career Change Bootcamp program as it was created to guide you to build a strong foundation in finding the right path to your next career.
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