One of my favorite pop song lines is from John Denver, where he sings about returning to a place he’d never been. Listen to the first four lines and substitute any age for “27th year.”
That’s what coming home to a career feels like: finding a home and a “key for every door.”
Sometimes you get this feeling only when you make a geographical move. I’m thinking of Janet, who had lived on the East Coast for many years. Although she had a law degree, she was working as a paralegal to avoid the stress of a full-time lawyering job.
One day she decided to move to the west coast, mostly to get a change. But her move turned into a career homecoming.
First, she found a job with a wonderful law firm. She genuinely liked her coworkers and she found the work interesting and challenging.
Then she got into fitness, changed her diet and lost weight. Her health blossomed. She made friends with some people from her health club.
Eventually her colleagues persuaded her to take the bar exam and use her legal training. She passed with flying colors (after burning a lot of midnight oil) and she’s embarked on a new, satisfying life.
“Linda” moved to a new city because her partner got a new job. At first, Linda hated her new home. Previously she had lived in the Bay Area, which was really special for her.
At first, Linda had trouble finding a job. She accepted one job but left almost immediately because she realized it would actually hurt her resume. She eventually found an excellent position in a high-tech firm, where she used her mathematical background. She kept getting promoted because she fit the company culture so well.
“I couldn’t have gotten this job in the Bay Area,” Linda says. “This move changed my life.”
What made these moves successful?
First, just jumping for the sake of variety doesn’t always make sense. As a career consultant, I would never advise a client to make this kind of move.
At the same time, serendipity can be powerful Often you will land your “coming home” job when you aren’t looking.
Most importantly, these moves illustrate what I call “remote control careering” or “career reflexology.” Often when you work on some element of your life outside your career, you become calmer and more confident. You gain perspective. Your energy increases. As a result, your career progress goes faster and you enjoy the ride.
Or set up a call to talk about what you’d like to do.