From the time children are small, we give them the pretend tools of various jobs to play professions. Toy power tools, doctor sets, and chef’s pans abound, along with costumes for pretending to be police officers, fire fighters, pilots, soldiers, and many other jobs. We nudge children toward jobs we think they might be good at doing that pay well, and discourage them from career paths that might not be lucrative. But we say very little to our children about the pervasive climate in certain professions that makes talented people who don’t quite fit the mold feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.
As you make your own Fresh Start Success, look beyond your title and salary to decide what’s missing in your current job from a personal satisfaction and balance standpoint. Does your employer appreciate your contributions and effort? Are your ideas heard with respect? Do you feel like you make a difference, not just to the bottom line, but in a meaningful way in the wider world? Does success at work mean compromising your health or family life, or having no time left to recharge? As you build your reinvention, take care not to perpetuate the same elements that made you unhappy in your prior work. Seize the chance to do this your way at every level, including creating meaning, satisfaction, and balance.