Yet, I can’t say that I particularly enjoy this process. Yes, this is a great opportunity to re-evaluate my wardrobe and to get rid of things I no longer like. I know the 80/20 rule – that most of us wear just 20 percent of our wardrobe 80 percent of the time. In my case, it’s more like 10 percent of the wardrobe 99 percent of the time. But still, for one reason or another, I hesitate to minimize.
It’s tedious. It’s time consuming. And most of all, there is that perennial question that hangs over my carefully curated closet…what if?
What if I change my mind? What if I come to regret it? What if I grow to like this piece again? What if? What if? What if?
It strikes me that in some ways this process of decision-making is similar to the way that many career changers approach their transition.
You know that the career you’ve chosen to pursue is no longer working. Deep down you know it’s time to make a change. Yet this realization remains just an inkling while you rationalize to yourself why you shouldn’t.
Last week, I attended a panel on career transitions, where a room full of want-to-be career changers listened to sage advice and insight of those who already found their career holy grail.
The number one take-away?
Waiting, and then finally taking the plunge towards a new career, months, or sometimes years later, seemed to have been the common thread in all the stories shared that evening.
Someone waited because they felt they invested too much time and money into their education. Someone waited because they wanted to finish the degree they already knew was not the right fit -- but they had only one year to go in school. Someone waited because they didn’t want to move – moving ended up leading them to a network of new connections and ultimately, discovering how to blend their interests into a profitable business. Finally, someone waited because they didn’t know what else to do. They had been following the safe path of getting a good degree, finding a good job, and making good money.
All the panelists ultimately woke up and realized they’ve been waiting long enough. The time had come to make a change.
In hindsight, they all were acutely aware of the passage of time – the time they spent waiting vs. the time they spent actively in transition – one period marked by uncertainly, hesitation, depression, and rationalization; the other period marked by empowering decisions that brought them closer to their dreams.
The take-away was not to wait. Even if the only thing you knew with certainty was that you didn’t like what you currently did.
At the end of the event, the moderator turned to the audience. Any last questions?
There was one.
What signs do I look for as I try to identify what I should do next?
Look for things that bring you joy was the response of one of the panelists. What are the things you gravitate to over and over again?
What are the favorites in your closet? Everything else can go or take its honorary place in the back.