“Personal University”

Since around the time I sold my company, I’ve been meeting monthly with a career counselor.  Amongst many things we have discussed, one was how this time between careers should be looked at as an opportunity for me to have my own “personal university” – a chance for personal growth.

When I first started seeing my coach, my confidence was down.  I had no idea what it is that I could contribute to the business world of today.  After 15 years of doing the same thing day in and day out, I felt my skill set was outdated.  But now, after just a few short sessions, I’m realizing something.  I’m pretty great!  I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’ve recognized there is more to me than what I’ve done for work in the last 15 years.  That while my career might have felt stagnant, I had still been growing during this time.

So what am I going to do for my second career?  I’m still unsure, but I feel confident I’m on the right path to finding what’s right for me, this new me.  Something fulfilling. Something energizing that will excite me and motivate me from the moment I get up in the morning.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying out new things.  Whether it’s learning how to use my DSLR camera (thank you for the classes, Josh!) or learning to program (something I’ve always wanted to do), I’m doing my best to not sit idly around while time passes me by.  Next up is finding a creative writing class.  As you can imagine from my 7 years of blogging, I enjoy writing but want to learn to fine tune it.

There is more that I want to explore and not all of it is career related, like the writing. Though I suppose anything I learn could be applied to a career.  In fact, I know the things that I do for personal growth can also be used towards whatever I decide to do next in my career and that is a part of the excitement.

Excitement about transition?  Yes, I’m more excited now than nervous.  For a while I was hesitant to start doing something new.  In fact, I looked at that online programming course for weeks before actually clicking the button to buy it and then days passed before I was ready to actually start.  But once I took that step and clicked start, I was on my way and realized how exhilarating it is to learn something new.  I honestly wish I had done it sooner and then maybe it wouldn’t feel so scary.  If I’ve learned anything through this experience it’s that continuing education in any form is important to personal growth.

I’m still anxious though about taking that step between learning something new and going out there to get a job doing just that.  That idea is still daunting to me.  But I think as my confidence grows, that feeling will subside.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying taking the time to learn new things and see where it leads me.

But as the time goes on, I’m fine tuning my likes and dislikes.  For instance, I know that I don’t want to work a 9 to 5 job.  After 13 years of self employment and working at all odd hours, I’ve recognized that I prefer that kind of schedule.  I don’t want to work for someone else either.  I don’t mind having a temporary boss for contract jobs, but I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I don’t see that changing.  I miss working with people though.  So I know that somehow I need to include people into my world in a new way. And I need flexibility in location because who knows where we will end up next and what my schedule will be like (time zone and related to the kids).  With each passing day, I’m better defining what I want and don’t want in a second career.

I’m lucky to be able to take this time in between careers while I find something that is just right for me.  Thank you Josh for making that happen!!  xoxo

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

5 thoughts on ““Personal University”

  1. This is great – I think it is such an opportunity to learn not only new skills but also what we do and don’t like. I too have discovered that I am much happier working my own hours and from home, although like you need to build time into my week to meet with people or I would go mad. I would probably prefer a job where I physically met with my colleagues once a week but Skyping helps. Maybe I should see a career coach too, although I fear I am too long gone now to have a proper career ever again 🙂

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    • Clara, I’m turning 41 next week… it’s never too late! It’s been really really insightful for me and I think that living the lives that we do with the constant change, we have to find ways to make careers work for us as the trailing spouses too. Of course yesterday I just found out that my youngest’s school day is being reduced by 45 mins next year (and it’s already 45 mins shorter than what we had in Spain plus no school bus which then adds my commuting time too) so I’m throwing up the white flag and just going to focus on further education for the moment til I can find the time to actually work!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wholeheartedly endorse this new phase! I am so glad I took the leap into the unknown a year ago. And even though it was into a completely unrelated field, my skills were/are still valuable, and I’ve learned a few new tricks, too. I wish you the best!

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    • I’m glad I’m not the only one taking a chance at this point in life! I’ve seen your posts and clearly you’ve made a great choice in your new career. Fingers crossed the same happens here!

      Liked by 1 person

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