Conversations at the Crossroads.

On Hold

I was talking recently with a client who intends to make a career transition. She is committed to identifying a more fulfilling path, an alternate direction that will feel more purposeful (and less of a daily drain) than her current situation. We discussed some of the ways she can begin to explore new possibilities.

In the same conversation, this client mentioned that there were some personal pursuits–extracurricular activities that she had once enjoyed outside of work–that she hoped to resume once she had made some decisions about her career.

As she shared this, it sounded to me as if she were approaching her two goals sequentially rather than concurrently. This made me curious, so I asked her about it.

“Why do these personal pursuits need to wait until you’ve determined your career path?”

She reflected for a moment and said, “Well, I guess they don’t. I’ve been so focused on my work situation, which has been frustrating, that I have felt like I should address career change first. Yet, these activities have been on hold for a long time, and I miss doing them.”

As she continued to talk, something shifted. She noted that there wasn’t really a good reason for putting off her personal pursuits. In fact, she realized that placing them “on hold” added frustration on top of other frustrations. Denying herself those activities was in fact a lost opportunity to counterbalance work frustration with other activities that she enjoyed.

She’s not alone in doing this. It often happens, particularly in moments of frustration or overwhelm, that we attempt to create order by organizing our goals into sequence. Our mindset is “one thing at a time” or “first thing’s first” even though there may be benefits to working towards a set of goals simultaneously.

My client acknowledged that her extracurricular activities tend to reduce stress and reinvigorate her, and she knew that those benefits would positively impact her experience in envisioning and activating a career transition. It simply didn’t make sense to keep them “on hold,” and she set an intention to add something back over the week ahead.

This month, think about what’s currently “on hold” in your life, and why it is so. If you’ve set up sequential goals, take a moment to consider what would change if the dependency were removed. Perhaps there’s a dynamic between your goals that you hadn’t noticed. Perhaps there’s something to be gained in dual pursuit.

I would love to hear what you discover!

With support and encouragement for your journey,

Founder, The Crossroads Coach

Published June 13, 2016