It has been two years since I made the life-changing decision to voluntarily leave a lucrative, stable corporate job in the prime of my career. I was a marketing executive in the outpatient pharmaceutical industry. I was 49. But I longed for an opportunity to move away from symptom-suppression medicine, to work on the root cause of wellness in body, mind, and spirit. You may wish to make a similar decision, or one may be made for you. I’d like to share some of the signs and the blessings you may experience that let you know it may be time to move on to your second act.
>READ: HOW TO REINVENT YOURSELF: 7 STEPS TO FACILITATE CHANGE
Five Signs That it Was The Right Time to Move on
In my second act journey, I count my blessings for five key signs and influences:
1. A colleague who planted the seed that I have gifts in the realm of helping others discover theirs.
She generously listened as I shared my experiences about traveling, learning, and connecting with people in powerful ways. She saw my future life’s work as a personal coach before I dared to accept it.
2. A reorg that provided the option of a generous severance.
The business strategy was realigned, and my position was eliminated. Another comparable one was created — which I was offered and expected to accept. It would have been a seamless transition, but it also unexpectedly opened the door to another possibility for me.
3. A manager whose behavior was not aligned with my values.
Moreover, I found I was working in an industry with an approach to wellness that did not align. Having recently reevaluated my core values through a master of leadership program, I saw in black and white that there was a disconnect. Of course, I also felt it in my head and heart.
4. A husband who led us to live below our means.
After years of work and effort, we’re debt-free and have savings. Additionally, we are well-positioned for retirement. Even though I’m the primary breadwinner in the family, we’ve been able to live without the large salary as I grow my personal coaching practice. The safety of our past financial planning and solid decisions have set us up to have options – and I realize it’s a luxury that not everyone has. I feel so fortunate that I have some financial independence that will allow me to pursue a different path and make the change.
A few days before the reorg was shared with me, I prayed for a path to different work and a different way of moving through the world. I wanted to work on the root cause of wellness in body, mind, and soul. To help people see the impact that toxic food, environments, and even emotions have on them. I wanted to guide people to a better future, and I was ready to make the change to start being the change in other people’s lives. I knew in my heart I was ready for my second act, but actually pulling the trigger and making it happen was harder than I expected. It felt right, but it was still scary.
>READ: DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF? A QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF APPROACHING YOUR SECOND ACT
It Was my Time to Move on, And I Don’t Regret It.
The answer to the prayer was swift and clear, and I’m so grateful I honored myself with the choice I made. Leaving my corporate job was a simple decision to make, but it was not an easy one. It was simple in that the path seemed clear and destined, like a calling. But it was difficult, even gut-wrenching. I was giving up a lot of money (in the short run), an executive title I’d worked hard for, and a whole lot of really wonderful coworkers.
I was comfortable — and do love comfort. But I am grateful for the jolt that woke me up and propelled me onward into a more fulfilling, life-affirming, soul-satisfying way of living. It’s only when we’re out of our comfort zone that we’re growing.
If You’re Considering a Second Act, Look For The Clues
What are you longing for? There are clues in that longing for what your true self wants to move toward. In addition, you’ll learn what your true self wants to move away from. Notice those things that come to mind. In addition to noticing, write them down. This could be a good time to start journaling. It can open you up to unseen and untapped wisdom. Include what you’re grateful for, as that will help you notice the blessings in your life. And it opens you up to receive even more of the good things that want to happen for you and through you. You’ve got this!
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