What happens when you already have a great job and a good life? A lot of people don’t talk about this? Do you just coast from there? Do you use the philosophy of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? Robbie Kaplan was working in a perfectly good job in Washington DC. She enjoyed it, the company was great, the people were nice, it was a good fit for her in a lot of ways. She was fairly happy all around. So what do you do when you’re in that situation? Most people in the world would love to have that. In fact if you’re reading this right now, chances are high that might sound amazing! As human beings we’re really great at focusing on what’s causing us pain, but really bad at looking beyond that. That means that many people miss the obvious.
Even after you align your work with what can be a fit, your needs and wants are going to evolve. This means that even when you get the dream job, that won’t be where you stay for the rest of your life, because likely something will change in your life and that will cause you to refine what you want.
Robbie recognized that she still had an opportunity to make life even better! She called it “living at my greatest level of happiness” Here’s the story: Robbie and her partner, Sandy, had done a bit of travel. They loved it. So much, in fact that they wanted to do even more.
After experimenting and going on a caravan style journey with family to Alaska where everyone had their own RV, they were pleasantly surprised by something new they loved doing together. Over the upcoming years they realized more and more that they loved this life on the road and the experiences they could have together. They continued to take weekend trips and every chance they could get they would hop in the RV and go. This experience led to Robbie reconsidering what “Great” looks like for her life and work! After 15 years working in the same organization, she knew that she would need some mental bandwidth and space in order to figure out what that could look like. That’s where Robbie found us and the Happen To Your Career Podcast.
DESIGNING A CLARITY INDUCING SABBATICAL
We’ve learned over the years by changing your pace, environment, space, routine and creating a situation that provides you mental space away from all of the daily churn is one of the factors that can help with clarity in your career and life. For many people we’ve worked with, this can be intentionally getting away for a day or two. For Robbie she knew that she wanted a much longer period of time to decompress and identify her next big chapter. For her and Sandy this eventually turned into a multiple month road trip around the United States. This was intentional because she wanted to be able to have the experiences and put herself into new situations and determine what she was enjoying and what she wanted out of life vs. what she thought she wanted. This is incredibly powerful to have a continuous source of feedback of new experiences to help you pinpoint what works for you! So after much planning and several months notice to her employer and Sandy working remotely, they set off on a multiple month trip. That’s where I got to meet her. As Robbie passed through Washington state, we were able to meet up and bring her into the studio as she was 3.5 months into her roadtrip. You can see the highlights of her entire trip here on Instagram @whats.that.rattle
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE LOOKING FOR A MORE FULFILLING LIFE
When we had Robbie in our Podcast Studio in Moses Lake WA, we asked her what advice she would give to someone who wants to live their happiest life.
I would definitely say figure out what your priorities are for yourself so you can follow them. A piece of advice my dad always gave was like, go for the thing you absolutely want. That’s the best case scenario and figure out how to make that happen. Don’t start with the bottom or, you know, case D, start with case A and work toward that. It takes a lot of courage, but I think maybe making that mental head space where you can be more creative where you can gain a little bit of your own energy back and decide what’s right for you.
We’ve found the easiest way to ensure you’re never settling is to go for what you really want. If you don’t you’re settling by default. If you want to get started down that path to figuring out what’s right for you, you can get started with our 8 day mini-course here OR take a listen to the entire episode with Robbie.
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