Career and Life Transitions: A Powerful Tip to Help you adapt, ignite and win!
Posted on January 17, 2012 by Gary Bradt
I was coaching a senior executive recently and the topic of career transition came up. He is relatively young but is approaching the mandatory retirement age for his organization and was wondering what he should do next. And his wife was encouraging him to think about this as well. As she shared, the last thing she wanted was a retired exec lounging around the house with nothing to do!
So I shared with him this simple but powerful exercise: Draw two overlapping circles. Label the overlapping area “Us,” label one side “Me” and the other side “My Partner,” respectively. Your diagram should look something like this:
Next, under the “Me” heading, list all the things you could see yourself doing in the next phase of your life and career. Include work and recreational activities. Your list might include things like “Volunteer with local charity. Teach. Sit on local Board. Start a bed and breakfast. Golf. Travel. etc.” Put down whatever makes sense to you. Then, under “Partner” list all the things you imagine your partner would enjoy doing in the next phase of life. Finally, under the overlapping “Us” column, list the things you would like to see you and your partner be engaged in together.
Independently ask your partner to do the same exercise. Then, get together, compare your lists, and discuss the results. Highlight points of agreement. Where you differ, use the exercise as a catalyst for discussing how and why you differ. The goal is not to make sure your lists end up exactly the same. Rather, the goal is to use the exercise as a catalyst for revealing activities that might bring you joy and fulfillment, individually and as partners.
My client and his wife have planned a weekend getaway to do the exercise. I look forward to hearing how it goes. If you and your partner give the exercise a try, I would love to hear from you too.
Transitions can be hard, even scary. A little foresight and planning can make them occasions for igniting a new and rewarding way of life.
Change always creates hidden opportunities. The challenge is to unearth them. In his book, The Ring in the Rubble, Dr. Gary Bradt reveals the secrets to moving beyond the rubble of disruption, fear and uncertainty that change creates and finding the golden ring of opportunity the lies beneath – in short, to adapt and ignite. Read more »
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