What’s Next? 9 Signs You’re on the Path to Something New

what's next

Are you feeling antsy, unfulfilled, overwhelmed — or bored? Take a look at the calendar. You might be nearing an ending chapter in your work or personal life.

If so, now is the time to look ahead at what’s next. The power is to look at what is happening and take advantage of the time before, rather that be frustrated at the stall you might be feeling.

When change is looming, you can surge your focus and energy to cross the finish line and catapult into a new phase from a position of strength and invigoration.

It’s all about timing. In his new book, WHEN, best-selling author Daniel Pink unearths the hidden science of perfect timing — after analyzing 700 studies in fields ranging from economics to psychology.

He makes a case that endings are more important than beginnings:

  • When do people become marathon runners? Highest percentage is age 29. Next is age 39. Then age 49.  A “9-ender” birthday is strategic.
  • Mice in a maze accelerate to a faster pace when they get closer to food at the end.
  • In taste tests of new varieties of Hershey Kisses, the last one tried scored the highest ratings.
  • In a ten-season analysis of NFL football scores, more points were put on the board in the last minute before halftime — double that of any minute in any other period of the game.
  • Yelp reviews often focus on the end of the meal.

You get the picture.

Here are nine reasons you might be approaching an ending. Time to kick a little harder to get to what’s next:

  1. Milestone birthday ahead. For Prime Women considering a career change, lay the groundwork a year or two ahead. There are psychological barriers in the view of hiring decisionmakers — unfair, but this is reality.  Get yourself positioned before you hit the milestone. Maximize the “9-ender” year. Looking ahead into a ten-year stretch of time, you may want to re-define your priorities — or plunge right into a juicy new venture.
  2. Planning the wedding of your youngest child. Soon you will really be an empty-nester! Another time of life redefinition.  Will you want to downsize to a smaller, personal-sized home? Up-size to something estate-sized to accommodate multi-generation family gatherings? Or move to a location closer to where your children and their families are located? If you are in a booming real estate market, you might decide to cash in, re-invest and relocate! You can start with a clean slate.
  3. Death — or pending death — of a spouse, parent or friend. Ironically, death is the biggest life event for survivors. Make the most of the time that remains. Get things in order in advance, so you and other family members are not making decisions under duress. Look ahead to what you will add to your life to fill the void. Pre-plan a joyous celebration of life. If there is conflict with siblings or stepchildren, keep repeating this mantra: Endings are important.
  4. Physical injury, limitation or ailment. A lifelong runner foresaw difficulties ahead due to arthritis and osteoporosis. Instead of pushing her limits to the max, she modified in favor of injury-avoidance. She mixed up her fitness regimen. Added Pilates. Switched to fast walking. When you are the decider, it is empowering, not compromising or defeating.
  5. Mandatory or early retirement. Don’t wait until it happens. And watch for early warning signs that might put you in the leisure or re-invention mode in advance of your target date. Expect the unexpected. Lay out a plan. Then leap into what’s next with gusto! (Bonus tip: Prime Women tend to be Plan Ahead types. Our husbands or significant others, not so much. Thus you may be nagivating your own path, while helping your beloved curate his new life!)
  6. Change-in-Control. A vibrant, highly-regarded 71-year-old executive at a market-leading national company turned in her notice after a new CEO came in and wreaked havoc with his dictatorial management style. She looked ahead to the future, decided she didn’t want to spend another minute adapting to his disfunctionality — and walked out the door to focus the remaining quality time in her life on what would please her.
  7. Let’s make a deal. You have received an offer to sell your company. Are you thrilled to be free of the responsibilities? Looking forward to a change? Or having separation anxiety? Is the offer lucrative — or lukewarm? Do you seek a sabbatical? Or do you already have a vision of what’s next? Prediction: You will probably be a serial entrepreneur, whether the focus is for-profit or philanthropic.
  8. Second home. You’re in the market and have committed to a location that you love. Should you rent before you buy? Will you divide your time equally between home base and vacation home? Can you work remotely?  Will you ultimate migrate 100% to the new home? Forge an entirely new career there? What does that look like?
  9. Amazon is entering your business sector. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you will make you better.  Or….you can reposition, re-package, re-invent.  Get ready!



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