Here’s an example. Prior to having my son, my highest priority was excelling professionally. I worked all the time. I devoted 125 percent of my energy to my professional responsibilities. Once my son arrived—season change—his needs became my top priority. My laser focus on my professional career became less intense and fell to a lower position on my priority list.
Fast forward 17 years. My son is now more independent and does not need much from me other than money. I am transitioning into a new season and once more choosing to change my priorities. My outlook on life has changed as well. My focus is now on quality of life, balance, and enjoyment of family and friends.
I have coached many clients around transitions between personal or professional seasons. Some struggle with accepting the priority shifts that accompany these periods of change. Many want to keep an old norm as opposed to creating a new one. Successful transition must begin with recognizing the start of a new season. The next step is to identify and gain clarity on priorities. When you realize a new season is imminent, you can equip yourself to manage new priorities in a manner that will serve you and align with your values and goals.
Below are three ways to recognize you are in, or moving toward, a new season.
Major life events. Any major change to your normal daily routine—such as graduating from school, marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, a new job, or caring for an elderly parent—is a clear signal. These life events will automatically cause a change in priorities and create a new norm.
A feeling of imbalance, lack of motivation, or low energy. Any of these may be an indication that you are stepping into a new season and a change of some kind is taking place. For example, if you lack motivation and commitment in your current role, it could be a sign that your new priority is to be proactive with your manager in expanding your role. The new season is about you taking control by initiating conversations and exploring how to increase your commitment and satisfaction on the job.
A shift in perspective. A conscious decision is made to take a different approach—for example, deciding to focus on helping others achieve professional growth rather than on your own professional climb up the corporate ladder. The new season is about you accepting your level of success in order to support others.
Change is an inevitable part of life. Recognize when you are stepping toward, or maybe already in, a new season. Take some time to reflect on the new priorities and behaviors that will best serve you now—and create your new norm.
About the Author
Terry Watkins is a coaching solutions partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.