jumping for joy

Wheels Up, Ladies. Time to fly.

It may seem counter-intuitive to be given the advice to leave your job without knowing what you’ll do next.

But that doesn’t make it a bad idea. I’ve quit cold five times, and every quit propelled me in a new and wonderful direction. Here’s a post about my very first quit.

Embracing the unknown gives us the chance to catch our breath. It stops us from jumping to that next, wrong job too quickly, and forces us to stop and think about things that matter. Do you really want to be a lawyer, or does law school just sound like a safe place to park for three years?

Creating space is one of the most beneficial steps you can take on the path to career/life fulfilment.

It also allows work come to you.

Boredom can be your friend.

One of the upsides of COVID is it has given more of us the kick we needed to change. A post I read in one of my favorite blogs, Wit & Delight, extols the The Secret Power Behind Not Knowing What You’re Doing.

In her article, Brittany Chaffee describes unknowing as an uncomfortable place that is exactly where we should be if we want to fully open ourselves up to possibility. She includes this wonderful quote from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist who studies happiness and creativity.

“Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

I find it interesting that so many of the articles detailing the COVID-driven female exodus cast this migration as negative:

“COVID-19 has driven millions of women out of the workforce. Here’s how to help them come back”
Fortune magazine

“Too many women are leaving the workforce during the pandemic — time for men to lean in and help”
Seattle Times op-ed

That’s one way to look at it. But you also can think of it as an opportunity.

Need Inspiration?

There are plenty of people who changed their lives in the pandemic. The Washington Post shares stories in this uplifting piece:

Many of our lives became static during the past year. These people chose new direction”

The Unsettled is an entire blog dedicated to the art of embracing uncertainty. Its mantra is “Never settle.”

Yes, it’s scary. But ask yourself: What’s the worst that can happen? Write a list of the worst things that could happen – make that two lists: The worst things that could happen if you make a change, and if you don’t.

We don’t have to look at big decisions as permanent. They can be runway. Give yourself some room to prepare to take off, accelerating at your own pace.

Think about the price you’ll pay staying in a job that isn’t fulfilling. Visualize what your life would look like as a happy person and then take a hard look in the mirror.

What’s there? Do you see something different?

If yes, it may be time to take off.

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