I’m currently supporting quite a few CEOs, founders, and senior leaders who have recently ceased being the head of their organization or they’re preparing themselves to step down.
Some have sold their companies. Some are preparing for retirement. Others are simply doing such a great job with their leadership teams that they are no longer needed. It’s a variety of different circumstances they’re in but they each have the same burning question on their minds. What is next for me? This is an important introspective task at hand. Of course, when you have the financial freedom and the opportunity to choose from a variety of options regarding what comes next in your career it’s an absolute blessing. But, it simultaneously arrives with challenges. It can feel so undefined that it can feel like the abyss and it’s easy to feel a little bit lost inside of it.
So, I want to share with you four dynamics that I have found you need to navigate if you’re in this situation.
The first is a loss of normalcy. Now, when you step down from an organization you are no longer interfacing with the same colleagues every day, you’re not even driving to the same office anymore. You’re not even frequenting that favorite coffee shop of yours that was nearby. None of these losses are significant in and of themselves but they all compound. They create multiple layers of what we would call micro-losses. One of the things you can proactively do to counteract this is to start developing some normalcy in your life. Create a daily routine, a weekly rhythm, because the nervous system does relax when we give life some consistency.
The second dynamic we have to navigate is our identity. This tends to shift during a massive transition and it can feel disconcerting. Who am I without that title? Without those responsibilities?
Number three. We have to solve for what is my sense of purpose now? What do I feel is left to be done within my career? Is there anything left in the work column? Do I want my purpose to be different this year than it has been in recent years?
Finally number four. Where does my fulfillment come from? When do I get to be industrious? When do I get to use the master skills that I spent so many years developing? How and when do I need that to occur? Now interestingly enough the answers regarding your self-identity or your purpose and fulfillment going forward are already inside of you. You just need the right expert to assist you in extracting them and fortunately for you, that’s what I’m here for.
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