Parenthood can turn your life upside down and inside out in ways that you never could have imagined. As the saying goes, you can’t know what you don’t know. So we all go into parenthood with grand hopes and dreams and come out the other side just trying to keep our heads above water at all times.
With much less rest and much more stress and responsibility, its completely understandable that parents can have a hard time adjusting to life with children at home (or a life without children at home if you’re an empty nester). The good news is that the transitions in parenthood provide an optimal time to make changes in your career and life
Having children helps to make your values crystal clear. True meaningful change comes from connecting what’s important to you (values) to your true vision for your future. This is the key to a successful and meaningful career transition.
Here are my tips for a making a meaningful career transition as a parent: (based on William Bridge’s model for transition)
1. Know what stage of the transition you are in and give yourself permission to be there.
Are you in your first year of parenthood and mourning your old fabulous and free life? Perhaps you are in the ending stage that requires some time for reflection and acceptance of everything that has happened that is out of your control. Get some good support from friends and family or a local parent group. Give yourself the time to heal and be with what is.
Are you starting to feel like you’re settling into a new normal and curious about what’s next? You are probably in the neutral zone – a time to experience life each day and notice your new patterns. Gently explore what makes you happy and what might need some adjusting. This is a time for settling in and learning about future possibilities and options.
Are you motivated to jump into the next challenge of creating your ideal life? Do you want to put your reflection time and learnings to work? You are likely in the new beginning stage – a time to craft your vision, hone your values and get into action towards creating a life and career you love.
2. Identify one small step you can take TODAY to embrace the transition stage you are in and and move forward. This could be as small as googling ‘parent group’ in your area or as big as creating a 5 year vision for your life. The important thing is that you acknowledge where you are and take action accordingly.
3. Energy follows like energy. We attract what we put out in the world. Life transitions can be challenging and it can be hard to always be our best selves. If you want to feel happier, try to smile more. If you are overwhelmed with responsibility, ask for help and give gratitude freely. Bring more good energy to your life by bringing your good energy to the world.
I’m presenting on this topic on February 26 from 5-6:30pm at Career Moves, a division of JVS at 61 Chapel Street in Newton. I’d love to see you there! Register here!
Deborah Tyson is Boston-based Career Transition Coach. Learn more at mobilizecoaching.com.