Making Space for Change

Some things are so simple that we overlook them. In the fifteen years that I have been working with clients who are working towards a Career Transition or Reinvention, one very simple issue comes up over and over again – the need to make space for change.

We tend to assume that if we want to change something, and we learn the tools to make progress, it will just happen. Nope.

Clients put lots of energy into learning techniques of self-marketing, repositioning themselves and gaining expertise in various areas and even forcing themselves to learn how to be comfortable network. It takes a lot of emotional and practical energy to build and polish all the skills necessary to make significant career change – even if the desired goal is another job in a similar role, it’s not easy, especially in the current job market.

Why do clients come to me every week and express frustration because they feel like they are spinning their wheels and not making enough progress to believe they can actually make this happen?

Simple. They don’t make make space for change.

If your days are already filled to 120% capacity of what one human being is capable of doing, what makes you think you can add more? You can’t.

If you work 10 hours per day, eat dinner and take care of the kids (or grandchildren), go to the board meeting, fix the doghouse, work on the budget spreadsheet before you go to bed and get up at 6:00am to start all over again, what makes you think that you can recreate your professional identity, and explore other career opportunities? You can’t.

That is, you CAN, but you must make space for change.

Probably the most important thing you need to do in order for your life to be different is to make space for change. That means you have to make some tough choices about what you are going to STOP doing, so that you can do something different. (make sense?)

What will you say “no” to? What are you willing to postpone? What do you have to communicate to your loved ones to help you make space for change? What will you give up in your life so that new good stuff can come in?

There are many good reasons for realizing that it’s time for change in your life. Dawn Rosenberg McKay lists several good reasons to consider a job change in her blog “Six Reasons To Make a Career Change“. In my opinion, the best test is if your gut keeps nagging you that it’s time.

I propose that the most important gift you will ever give yourself is to make space for change. Not only for career transition, but for just about anything you want your life to become.

Are you willing to make space for change?