Now What?!!

I cannot begin to tell you how many of my clients – from age 35 to age 65 – are questioning what is next for their lives. Thus, this is the second blog (in as many weeks) in which we are focusing on the “now what?!” question. Many are unhappy in their current roles yet power through every day unsure of how/if to leave; others are in transition having already taken the plunge by leaving their cushy corporate jobs to reduce their stress (and unfortunately their income stream); some have been riffed due to age (and please don’t tell me that doesn’t happen – because I see it happening every single day); and still others realize they want to leave soon, yet have no clue what they can do and even what they want to do. Sound familiar?

Well, the answers often do not come easily. Fear, uncertainty and doubt about what, where, who, why, and how are pervasive in every one of these scenarios. And, the answers will never be the same for each person nor will how we arrive at what is right for us. This blog offers 3 sets of tips and many relevant resources to consider, as you contemplate next steps.

  • Learn more about you.

What do you want? What financial vision do you have for your life? Look into your past: what did you love to do when you were younger? What do you enjoy about the industry you are in today? Can you visualize the life you want? What do you dream about doing ‘someday’? What are your key strengths? What types of problems do you like to solve? If these questions stump you, don’t worry, you are not alone. I have yet to meet one person that has not grappled with at least one of these questions (if not all).

To help, there are countless books to help you, and many are denoted in my Alignment Library. Also, there are a myriad of assessments which can offer insights into you: Meyers Briggs, StrengthsFinder, and DISC to name only a few.

Most importantly, I would encourage you to answer the questions posed above without the proverbial “Yeah, but” following each answer you give! Resist the temptation to negate the possible based on your negative or bruised self-talk. Finally, solicit support from your friends, colleagues, and even an executive, leadership, or career coach. All can be helpful in holding up the mirror for you.

  • Explore what is out there.

Given the internet, the proliferation of information is abundant. If you love your industry, and just don’t love for whom you work, explore industry associations, trade journals, and conferences. Also, there are thousands of career books and websites to check out. A few worth mentioning: NETSHARE, ExecuNet, MyPlan, Riley Guide, and eHow.

Do not underestimate the value of social media – groups on Facebook and LinkedIn can been very helpful. Post questions or comments – you never know what you may learn. Check job board aggregators like: Indeed, Guru, and Simply Hired. Again, you can learn what is needed and what is trending. Check company sites, of course, and read the business rags such as Fast Company, Inc. Com, and Money – along with their websites. Finally, surf YouTube for information on fields about which you are interested. There is a wealth of information out there.

  •  Learn more through others experiences.

You are not the first to embark upon a change, nor will you be the last. If you are 50 or over, consider looking at AARP – before you turn up your nose, check it out first. It is chock full of stories of reinvention and successful entrepreneurial ventures. Also, look into Huff/Post50, Encore, More, and of course the TED talks are amazingly informative, thought provoking, and inspirational. Yes, some of these sites are geared for the over-50 group; yet, frankly, the information is relevant for any and all age groups who are following where our world is, and where our world is heading.

  • Learn more about what the future may hold.

For those wanting to create a chapter of relevance for the next 20-30 years, there are ways to stay current in your industry and to be smart about where the industry may be heading. Recently, I learned about The World Future Society, which is dedicated to exploring the future. Their magazine, The Futurist, is a low-tech way to learn about future predictions, as well.  Other ‘futurist’ sites to look into also include: Faith Popcorn, Springwise,, Trend Hunter and Mashable. ALL these sites can be greatly informative for aspiring entrepreneurs, or professionals curious about what is trending in the consumer marketplace, technology, fashion, art, and many other segments. Planning for just today is shortsighted, if you want to build your next career to last another 25-30 years.

What do you think? Do you have resources or ideas which may benefit others? What suggestions do you have for our readers?