The Secret Behind My Career Reinvention

It was a personal epiphany caused me to rethink things, sell my law firm, and ultimately leave the active practice of health care law for my life and work now. Making those changes at the time was challenging on many levels, but there was one thing that was the most difficult. If you’re thinking of making a career and/or life change (they do go together), then consider my journey and discover the big secret that maybe you shouldn’t keep so secret. Because I’ve been through it, and can definitely tell you it can go much more smoothly and you can get where you want to go next more quickly than you might imagine. More resources for you below as well.

For now, let me start by telling you what I found to be the most difficult thing: it was when people would say “What, are you nuts? You put all this time into building your career, are you sure you want to leave it all behind?”

I’m sure they were trying to help, but frankly comments like that weren’t all that helpful or supportive. I’m sure it was said with the best of intention. But I would think:

“What about what really interests me and what I want for the rest of my life? Can’t they see there’s more ahead?” The truth is, I couldn’t see it all that clearly myself. But I knew that my past experience and expertise was a foundation for building other things.

My Personal Pivot Point

I knew that because of what happened with my little immigrant family at the time. This personal “pivot point” happened for me in my mid-forties, when – much too soon – both my parents left the planet. All at once I felt like an orphan, and became the new generational lead of the family… something I felt nowhere near prepared for.

But I’m strong, and had resources enough to figure things out. I knew deep down I could take care of whatever came my way. I’d be fine – I knew that deep down. BUT I secretly wanted support. And more for my life.

I needed help with everything that started to change at that point. Despite my accomplishments, there was a lot I didn’t know about creating something new for my life.  Part of my ‘a ha’ was that between working to live and living to work, that I was doing the latter – just like my parents had done. As refugees, the worked hard every day after their feet hit the ground at Ellis Island. And when the time came for them to enjoy more of their lives, and be involved and engaged in work and other activities important to them, there wasn’t any more time.

That was my epiphany: there’s got to be more, and there’s no time like the present to make it happen.

What I Really Wanted (And Needed)

And I wanted nothing more than to have someone say “Dolly, let me show you the way to figure out how to put that all together.”  Because I didn’t know how – or where – to find that support. So I had to figure out on my own.

Truthfully, the help I needed may have been out there, but it wasn’t all in one place like finding a magic listing in the yellow pages, or today, online. And part of me thought “I have to be able to figure this out on my own.”

Which I did, but it took far longer, and was more difficult than I would have preferred. Part of the ‘school of hard knocks’ is that there ARE hard knocks – that I would have rather avoided.

What I really wanted was the support to pull it all together – life, work, marriage and family, taking the lead on things important to me, and even how to make a bigger contribution, having a social life (what?), time for my health, building on everything I’d done up to that point. I wanted “it all,” which I came to realize didn’t mean and endless stream of more, more, more STUFF.  I wanted “my all” – a life filled with everything important to me.

I had to figure out how to put that altogether, and needed to find new resources and the help I needed to make it all happen. All while the people in my professional community tried to caution me against leaving the fold. It was very much what I describe now as the experience of crabs in a bucket. As one crab tries to climb out, the other pull it back into the bucket.

This was a situation that I came to discover other people struggle with in mid-to-late career, too. It’s a process that one of them recently described to me as “stunningly lonely” – making a move in a new direction that it seems no one else is going in, and no one else seems to understand…

It becomes obvious at some point that you have to seek out and ask for help – or continue to struggle with too little feedback. Which is slow, at a time when you are ready for things to happen more quickly, and don’t want to waste time.

The Truth Here Is This:

You, are here for important things AND there comes a time to enjoy more of your life as well as your work. Even if financial retirement is available – it is only a financial construct after all – it’s time to enjoy what you do in the world, where and how you engage. But engage and be involved you must – to continue to produce income if needed, but especially to use that great expertise and experience you have built, in areas that truly interest and mean something to you. This is about stepping into your next level of growth – both professional and personal…

And to create what’s next – for which there is no road map. In this unknown territory, you have to make your own.

Can you continue doing what you’ve always done and still get there – on your own? Sure. But I suspect if you’ve read this far you realize it’s a lot easier not to have to reinvent the wheel to do it.

Something To Get You Started

Take a quick assessment to explore what’s next by clicking on this link:  In less than 5 minutes, you can consider where you are now and where you may want to make changes.

And if you’d like support for figuring this out faster than you would on your own, it would be my honor to help. I developed the MASTERFUL LIFE Redesign program precisely for doing just that, and I’d be happen to show you how it can work for you, too.