This is the second blog in the series: After Career Change: the Happy Hour.
Hitting the target of being happier in your new career than in your old one is not a given, unfortunately. To achieve that target, you have to be able to keep your balance, even when the going gets tough.
How do you keep your balance when you are changing careers and ensure a happy end?
Keeping your balance
Keeping your balance has a lot to do with how you judge and experience what happens to you. In that regard there are two different ways of dealing with the world:
- Inside out
- Outside in
It’s much easier to keep your balance and experience happiness from the inside out than from the outside in. Let’s explain.
From the inside out: you determine the experience
When you look at the world from the inside out, you and what you want determines how you judge the situation you face.
When you start from inside out, looking outside you will find a situation where you are free to find and interpret what factors you can use to achieve your goal. Your position in relation to what you want determines the experience.
Concerning career change, this position corresponds with looking for a change in careers because it is what you genuinely want. You are not forced by the circumstances of your old career. You choose something new – because you want it.
From the outside in: the circumstances determine the experience
However, if you start from the outside in, the circumstances outside you are the determining factor. You face circumstances where much is not under your control. Those circumstances outside your control determine much of your experience. Your focus will be on reacting to what happens and avoiding negative emotions, rather than on acting on what you want.
When what happens outside drives us to resistance and reaction, we experience the outside world as determining what we do.
This is the case, for instance, when the most important reason for you to want a change of career is because you don’t like what is happening to you in your old one. It might be the disappointing nature of the work, your difficult boss, or your uncooperative colleagues – these are all outside factors. When these outside factors are your prime movers, you are headed for a rocky ride in your quest for a successful career change.
Living from the outside in makes you lose your balance
When outside circumstances determine what you do or don’t do, or how you feel (negative emotions), you will lose your balance and feeling of being in control fairly frequently. There are just too many things you cannot control, but that you feel you have to control. That kind of claim on things we can’t control disturbs us, and our balance with it.
Living from the inside out makes you keep your balance
Balance is not a stable thing. Balance is best understood as a permanent process of dynamic positioning. Keeping your balance means you can move with what happens. You don’t react – you act based on what is necessary to reach your goal.
Inside out living aims to achieve this kind of balance by giving you your own answer to the losses, reverses and doubts of life and work. It does not seek to control outside events that cannot be controlled or commanded.
The only thing you can realistically demand to command is what is of you. This can only be inside and is e.g. represented in your purpose, your values, or what you really would like to add to the world or those you love. Inside out living is guided by a very simple thing:
The glow that means you’re happy
As we mentioned in the first post on this subject, Al Pacino advices: Go with the glow. Right, but what is it that gives you this ‘glow’?
Whatever composes your ‘happy hour’. It is the rationale of your professional life and the purpose of your personal life. What makes you tick, what makes you get up in the morning, and what do you long for? It is what you would like to share, or have others share with you. That gives you the glow that means you’re happy.
As you will have noticed… these are all factors that begin on the INSIDE, before they manifest themselves on the OUTSIDE.
Changing careers going with the glow
When you start the process of changing careers going with the glow, your expectations will be realistic.
Realistic? Yes, realistic, because you will not simply react to adverse outer circumstances. You will act based on what you really want to achieve in your career.
As James Thurber said:
“There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
Find the glow that makes you happy, and the glare of outer circumstances will not blind your sight to the opportunity for a career change that brings you a ‘happy hour’.
P.S. Don’t forget to read the first post in this series: After Career Change: the Happy Hour.
The Good Career & Life, coaching for professionals: We’re happy to assist you in your search for what constitutes the ‘glow’ for you in your career and life. We offer you a short introductory call (or mail exchange if you prefer) to explore the possibilities.