I had a great conversation with a friend this morning about the difference between the dependent and independent mindsets. When it comes to your career choices, do you mostly rely on others to make choices for you, or do you mostly rely on yourself?
I can clearly remember when I made the switch. For the first twenty years of my career, I had generally had the philosophy that “as long as HP continues to give me great opportunities to contribute, I’ll stick around.” It’s not bad, except that it meant that I just waited for the company to create my jobs and opportunities for promotion.
Late in 1996, I realized that something was seriously broken. I woke up at 3am on a Sunday morning, sweating and with heart pounding because of all the things I was worried about on my job.
3:00am. On a Sunday morning.
This is when I realized that most of the managers above me were divorced and had a work-life balance that was, to me, unacceptable. They were doing great things, fine, but not something I wanted to head for. So I realized that my likely future into the executive ranks had come to an end.
This meant that my future could no longer be left to the company. I had to become an independent, determining my own future. Fortunately, I had six months to determine what that might be, before that job came to an end in July 1997. That’s when I started this course into what we now call coaching.
I’ve coached a number of clients who are dealing with making this switch. It’s disorienting, because you have to challenge many of the assumptions you’ve made in your life. You have to do a lot of introspection, to answer questions you may never have asked before.
But what emerges from the cocoon is a beautiful new being, powerful and with purpose. Independent, and ready to fly.
|Carl Dierschow is a Certified Small Fish Business Coach and author of the career management guide, Mondays Stink! 23 Secrets to Rediscover Delight and Fulfillment in Your Work. He is a career coach for those going through interesting transitions, and works with small business owners who need to create breakthroughs in achieving their business goals. Find out more at www.Dierschow.com and www.SmallFish.us.
If you are interested in individual career coaching, group coaching, or other resources which might help you with difficult choices, please contact Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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© 2011 Possibilities Partnership LLC
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