Occasionally I see people requesting me to assist them to manoeuvre through a process of ‘going back’ to a career role at a previous level. Either in their existing company, or with a new organisation, following a redundancy, or voluntarily.
Their concern is how it will be perceived, how to broach the subject with networks of people. Because they are worried that it looks like they are taking a step ‘backwards’. Or failing to fulfill at a ‘higher’ level.
After gathering their stories, and listening to their perspectives, I will often ask them to consider clarifying their own mindsets. About what it means to ‘go back’, or to go ‘higher’. To strengthen, and refine, their thinking, around their own next steps, helping them to validate that:
- Sometimes going back is going forward, in a wholistic sense. The higher course, for their own validation and happiness. They may have preferred a previous role immensely and are missing the joy they had in their former duties and responsibilities. Or are now juggling other responsibilities, such as family or community, that they also value deeply, and finding it difficult to stretch themselves across all of them adequately, and valuably. Considering their mandala of wholeness perspectives more validly, allows them to determine their highest next destiny, outside of external perceptions and considerations.
- An opportunity exists for them to course correct. To return to more true ground for themselves. And to discover that a career does not need to be linear to be successful. That success is ultimately in the eye of the career holder. And that external validation means very little when internal conflict can be overwhelmingly difficult. Owning, that no one else is responsible for their ultimate happiness and fulfillment, which is theirs to make, as their commitment.
- Being authentic is a positive step in positioning their career future and story. This disarms their concerns, and allows them to enter conversations, about what others may think. Selling the benefits of being a happy and productive member of the team in a former level role, with the added value benefits gained from experience in a more senior position, will often demonstrate a greater value proposition and contribution to an existing or new organisation. Choosing to work for a company that values such authenticity, self-direction and responsibility, with flexibility, is an important key.
It can be easy to fall into a career track, without consciously considering whether you are happy in it. Until you discover that you are not.
You may have gained the promotion that was a logical next step, received the accolades and congratulations from families, colleagues and friends, achieved several runs on the board, and felt appreciated…but, over time, something inside of you did not feel right.
And while to the external world, you appear to be a success, internally, you may feel differently.
Over time, if not corrected, that inner disequilibrium, could likely affect your outer success, regardless.
If your existing role doesn’t inspire you, and you have become more stressed, and aggravated. And increasingly worried if it is worthwhile persisting, consider reconfiguring. And taking steps forward toward something new, or similar to what you did, more happily, previously.
It is never too late, to course correct. And to have a more positive, ongoing, rippling affect, in your organisation, and your wholeness environment, as a consequence of your higher fulfillment.