On occasion, I’ll get unexpected news that really cheers me up. One came recently in the way of an email from someone who had been working to make a midlife transition to a more meaningful job.
“Landed! ” - the email subject line declared.
“Hi, Mariko,” she wrote. “I wanted to let you know that my long search for a challenging alternative (to my previous line of work) has successfully ended. It's ideal for giving me the opportunity to contribute meaningfully and strategically to an organization that's going through some notable growing pains.” She loves the mission of the organization, and the causes it supports aligns with personal values while offering her professional challenges and growth opportunities for the future.
“I couldn't have asked for a better fit or better timing!” and she adds, “For what it's worth (for anecdotes for your protégés), I turned down two job offers, and declined to pursue a few positions, after the first in person interview. It is really hard to trust your gut when you're unemployed and flailing in and out of insecurity that the right thing will come along. I'm also lucky that three places I interviewed did not make me an offer. Two of those that I would have taken would not have been nearly this rewarding."
“I appreciate you sticking with me while I was uncertain where to turn, and your keen observations of what is meaningful to me. I hope that your ventures in helping other mid-life folk continue to reward you. You're doing good work!”
On the day that this note came, I was to meet with a client who is also seeking to make that midlife transition and career change, but he had told me he was struggling at this time. That’s normal and understandable. The pursuit of a significant midlife adjustment, like a career change, can feel overwhelming and daunting at times -- but also hopeful and liberating. And how sweet it is when you find yourself having landed in that better place.
Whether driven by a need to change jobs to something more sustainable and/or a deep desire to do something different, something more personally meaningful, many people -- like you and me -- are diligently engaged in creating an intentional life, actually seeking out change. One day, we'll find ourselves on the other side of the transition, having arrived at a new place. For now, we just have to keep doing the work that moves us forward.
Best wishes to you and all of us in transition. (To make transitions easier, seek out the support of your friends and supporters, and ask for help. If I can help, contact me.)
“Answers come from moving forward.” -MN
Thoughts for creating success in the second half of life.