By Barb Ward from an Interview with Kailey Bowser
We all know people who are always up for a challenge and are change-hardy, but for most of us transitions and change can be hard. And, let’s be honest, we have had so much transition and change over the past few years that we can hardly keep up psychologically. There doesn’t appear to be any landing place either, technologically, politically, the after-effects of the pandemic, you name it, the world is different and it’s moving forward at an ever-increasing pace.
Often, even when you know that change is necessary or inevitable, fear or doubt can hold you back. But to be true to yourself, and become what you are meant to be, change can be necessary, and it can be invigorating. This is indeed what Kailey Bowser, one of Innovative Connection’s newest consultants has found as she made the decision to leave a great job with her long-time employer to continue pursuing and further her passion of helping people.
Here’s what Kailey had to say about her career transition journey:
Q: What have been the biggest steps in your transition?
A: I think that the biggest step in starting this transition was making the decision to change my career path. It was not something that I took lightly. I took my time, I leaned on the people that I trust most in my life for advice, my “board of directors”, I made lists of pros and cons, I did my research, and I followed my gut. As soon as I made the decision, that was the biggest breath of fresh air that I had had in a long time and a really clear sense of relief.
Q: What were you most scared of before the transition?
A: I was scared of losing my work people and the relationships that mean so much to me. I was scared to find out who I am without that work piece identity. I was nervous of going from the person that people lean on for answers to the person who has all the questions. I was nervous about telling my coworkers that I worked really closely with and cared about.
Q: What has been the biggest surprise for you?
A: One of my new coworkers and I chatted before I came onboard and she mentioned, “This is going to be a big change for you going from going to work every day and being around so many people to working from home mostly and spending a lot of time on Zoom meetings.” I thought about that but didn’t realize how big of an adjustment that would truly be. When I get to see my coworkers or clients in real life, I sure don’t take that for granted.
Q: What are some things that you have done to help manage the change?
A: The first thing I did was take a little time off to take a breath. I needed some time to recharge and do some things that fill my bucket before starting something new. I needed to do some cooking, reading, breathing, and setting up my new space. A previous coworker shared, “The Little Book of Hygge,” by Meik Wiking with me. It inspired me to create a workspace at home that felt positive, calm, and where I could really get some work done. I brought in some fresh plants, a salt lamp, some candles and some pictures of my favorite people and places.
Q: What are some of the feelings that you have had during this transition period?
A: I have had “Oh no, did I make the right decision” moments. I have had periods that I have felt sad. I have had many times that I have felt really excited. I have found that whatever I am feeling at a certain moment during this transition is perfectly okay. I can “sit in it,” and I can feel it. It helps me then think about it, understand it and then figure out my next move.
Q: What is one of your biggest takeaways from this transition?
A: The biggest takeaway for me is that I realized I am in charge of my own happiness. If I listen to my inner wisdom and it’s telling me that something doesn’t feel right, I have the power to figure out how to steer my own boat and plan my next steps. Could I have done that on my own? I am not sure as I had a lot of support, encouragement and love that helped me decide. But in the end, it was my decision.
If you, or someone you know is thinking about making a big change, here are some steps you can take to help you with change and transition:
- Be curious. Be clear on why you want to make a change, then be curious about it. Find information, ask questions, like, will the change fulfill you or empower you in a new way?
- Do your research. Talk to people in similar roles, read, learn what obstacles stand in your way and what you need to do to overcome them.
- Make a list of pros and cons. List those things that make this a good opportunity for you to grow, and those that could hold you back. Really think through both sides to come up with your thoughtful decision.
- Talk to those you trust. Confide in family members, colleagues, and friends you trust. Talk through all your pros and cons with them. Be open to their perspectives but understand that they are just opinions to think about, the ultimate decision is yours.
- Read a book about change. Sometimes an impartial view can give you a new perspective and help make your decision clearer.
- Take time to decide what’s right for you. Don’t feel rushed or pressured into anything. You owe it to yourself to take the time to make the right decision for you.
- Hire a coach. If you are still undecided about which direction you should go, a professional coach can help. Since they have no vested interest in either side of your decision, they can ask powerful questions that can help clarify your feelings about the change and can offer an impartial perspective about what they hear you saying.
“Fear is about control. Or rather the perceived lack of control. The minute we assume control and ownership for our circumstances, the less we remain in fear; the second we take responsibility for our situation, the less fear we will experience.” Laurie K. Cure, PhD