Recently, I’ve me with three people in my network who are at a cross roads in their career. The themes are very similar for which I think there is great value in sharing them with you. While for most, it feels like the end of a chapter, I’d like to propose that this is perhaps the best time of your life. Don’t let these moments get away from you by throwing yourself into the game again to find your next gig. You may miss the bigger opportunity.

When I left my corporate job, I took the time to reflect on what I was good at and where I could provide value. Had I not done that, I would have been another Director of Quality in a large corporation. Instead, I have had the opportunity to interview hundreds of people on The Drop In CEO™ Podcast , written a book, The CEO’s Compass, created a business and brand, The Drop In CEO, a Newsletter and now a YouTube Channel to share my insights with C-Suite Leaders of Today and Tomorrow. I’m far from conceited and bragging about my accomplishments. I’m trying to share with you that given time and space, the future for you can be vastly different than what was in your past! And by the way, I’m having so much fun!

Crossroads and Clarity for Dan…

… and yes, I’ve changed the names to protect their privacy!

Dan is a highly accomplished C-Suite leader, but the future of the company and leadership styles is no longer aligned with his values. He goes to work because of the people he cares about and of course providing financial security for his family. Dan has so much energy and value to provide, but as you listen to their voice, there is so much dissatisfaction. They reached out to me and they’ve asked me to keep my eyes open for an opportunity & introductions. Sound familiar?

The problem with the situation is they’re seeking the same type of role. As I listen to them, I know they are ready for a CEO role and while he believes it as well, he is not ready to take that leap unless presented to him. I get it, it’s a matter of time, place and opportunity. However, they do have clarity that they want to work for a small or medium size company so they can have a great impact. Through self reflection, he knows what he wants and what he doesn’t want. While I know he’s eager for his next role he does have clarity (mostly) in what the future might look like.

Robert broke away from a culture not aligned with his values, but now what…

Robert is an old colleague of mine for which I’m grateful for our professional relationship and benefits I’ve realized from it. Now he’s at a crossroads for which he has great clarity in what he wants. He too wants to work for a small or medium size business where he can make an impact using his many years of C-suite leadership expertise. However, he’s taking his time.

He left without his next opportunity lined up. For someone who I thought was not a risk taker, he had the courage to walk away with full support from his family. He’s also taking the time to rekindle his network and consider all opportunities in pursuit of where he wants to work next both industries and geographical location. I admire him for taking a risk, but it was calculated. Some never take the leap into the abyss. However, what makes him different is the confidence that with time and networking, the right opportunity will come his way. How many people simply stay and remain miserable? For Robert, when we spoke, he sounded liberated and at peace. How often do you achieve Peace of Mind amid a career transition? Robert is one of a few that is willing to navigate uncertainty with calm.

Sarah has been making the best of a bad situation, but is ready to move on…

I’m grateful to guide Sarah during a very challenging time at work. It’s really, really bad, but amid the chaos, she’s realized the opportunity to learn, grow and expand her leadership impact. She has the awareness that while some leaders are leaders in title only, she has gained confidence to be the leader that others are not. During the chaos, she’s developed skills needed for the next step; a career accelerator that not many have had the opportunity.

However, there comes a day that she will need to move on. While it is noble to be the leader to change the culture and be what others need her to be. Sometimes you have to say it is enough. It is time to recognize her value and assess where to use it for greater impact. So often, people hope to stay under the radar during while in an organization in chaos. It’s safe to be there, but they’re losing valuable minutes and hours of their life in service to an organization that cannot realize their value. Is this you? Do you know someone who is stuck? Could you take a moment to realize your value and make the decision to be courageous and move to a place that gives you joy. Sarah is about to take that leap and so can you, if you have faith in yourself.

For Dan, Robert and Sarah, they are all at a crossroads for which I’m grateful they reached out to me. The insights from their stories that I want you to realize are:

  • See the value in who you are meant to be, not what you’ve done in the past.
  • Have the courage to walk away and take the time to gain clarity in what the future looks like.
  • If you have to endure a challenging career, leverage the best to your benefit to set you up for the next role.

I’m not advising you to jump off a cliff without a plan. I’m sharing insights that you can gracefully exit a bad situation and use the time for self discovery, self improvement and realize what gifts you have to give to others. You have one life to live to make a lasting impact. If you need a guide that can help you, just like I’ve supported Dan, Robert and Sarah, reach out to me. I’d love to be your compass to get you back on track!