When certain things happen, we tend to think “champagne,” not crisis:
Selling a business or home and now you’ve got a bundle of cash
Getting an unexpected raise or promotion at work
Getting a job offer out of the blue
Getting accepted to a competitive degree program
Finally getting a job after a long job search
Winning your case in Small Claims Court on your own
Success can be lonely.
You want to pop the cork, but who’s around to share?
Your best friend has been out of work with less luck in finding a job.
Your family doesn’t understand why you pursued this goal in the first place, let alone what you’ve got to cheer about.
You’re tempted to dance around the office, waving your envelope, but you know that is the absolute worst thing you can do.
You’re probably not surprised when someone says, “I’ve hired a coach to help me achieve a victory in this area of my life.” You might find it more surprising to discover that people decide to hire a coach after they achieve a victory. Actually, it makes a lot of sense.
You have new decisions to make.
You just sold your house – finally! – and you’re free to move. You just retired and you can live anywhere in the world. You just got a job and now you’ve got to figure out the workplace politics of your new company.
The “What next?” question can be paralyzing. Once again, you can feel lonely. “You just got what you wanted – what’s the problem?” will be the most common reaction.
You need to prepare for the next 30 days
If you’ve been working toward a goal for a long time, your life has been consumed with this goal. When you woke up, you knew exactly what to do. Suddenly you’ve got what you wanted. Now you’ve got an empty space, in more ways than one.
While you’re searching for a goal, you’ve got lots of people who get very involved in your life in the short term.
Selling a home? The real estate agent is your new BFF. (and hopefully he’s a good one – it matters!)
Searching for a job? You’ve been networking, talking to mentors, and maybe even consulting with a coach.
Dealing with a legal matter? You’re always waiting nervously for a call from your lawyer.
Your friends who called to ask, “How are things going?” often seem less interested after you’ve arrived.
When you move to a new city, your round of farewell parties gets replaced by a massive silence. People rarely stay in touch after you move.
When you’ve graduated, you no longer have to study on the weekends. You’ve got a big block of space.
So how will you fill the space?
You may experience a let-down right after you get your good news. You’ve worked so hard and … is that all there is? Your result may be positive but still include things that bother you. You may find yourself wishing you’d done even better.
Recognize that you’ll have a new space in your life. Filling that space is up to you. Make a plan for the day-of, the two weeks following, and even six months afterward. If you’ve been dealing with a challenge for a year or more, you’ll need some recovery time.
You’ve got two weeks before you start your job? Find a project that will be satisfying and fulfilling.
Go ahead and take a vacation – if you can plan a getaway where you won’t be lying on a beach worrying about your next step.
Don’t expect friends and family to fill the gap. Your earth-shattering victor represents a small, barely noticeable blip in their lives.
One of my very first clients wanted to decide if he should sell his business. After he decided to sell, he realized he needed to plan something for the day after the closing. He was a gregarious, outgoing businessman with lots of friends, so he decided to plan a big party that everyone would talk about for months. Planning the party kept him engaged for the immediate letdown after the sale.
Go outside your own world.
Plan something that will get you involved with new people and new activities. Don’t be surprised if you think of hiring a career coach or life coach. After you’ve reached success, you’re in a good place to plan your next steps. Your positive feelings will help you make wiser decisions that you might have otherwise.
If you’ve just been handed some great news, check out the Career Strategy Session.