One bottle of wine. A lovely framed picture. Some wonderful toasts from people I care deeply about. These were the mementos of a going away party from the faculty I've served for the past seven years.
I had told them several weeks prior that I would be leaving school in order to become the Executive Director of a national, Catholic organization. We laughed, cried and hugged one another good bye. Some food and wine didn't hurt. Very special moments that I will cherish.
Coming this July, I'll be leaving the comforts of K-12 education and entering the new world of higher education. What led me to this point is very simple: I needed a change. I couldn't put my finger on it but there was something inside me that was part restless and part antsy.
What about you? How do you know when you're ready to make a move?
For me, it was rooted in my prayer life. As someone who craves the quiet of early mornings (although I hate waking up!), years of mornings cultivated an awareness in me that I was not only ready to make a change but that God was calling me to do so.
This was of course, a scary realization. As a head of a secondary school, I've been so blessed and I am so thankful for what my school has given to me and my family. Nothing but gratitude...
Still, I was willing to trust God and step out of my comfort zone.
Interestingly, I've had no less than five adults come to me in the past few months looking for guidance in their own careers. They are exactly where I was. The inner voice was stirring and they weren't ready to get fully out of the boat but did want to dip their foot in to the water. I realized that I was not alone, that many others were also considering career moves.
This is normal, healthy and good. The old paradigm of staying in one company for your entire career is dead. Now, there is a new ninja skill to be nurtured by professionals- paying attention to your spirit.
The key to all of this is listening- to what gives you joy, to the rhythms of your day, to the activities that you're really good at. Listen to your strengths and look for careers that play to those assets. Listen to those "wisdom people" close to you who can speak guidance into your life. Ask yourself the tough questions that matter.
I suppose when you look at it this way, listening is a tactical career skill. Who knew that some quiet time in the morning, day after day, would reveal such an insight to me and probably to countless others?