Career Advice from your Future Self
If you're at mid-life (which I define as anywhere from 30 to 50) and starting to ask deep, existential-level type questions about your job, occupation, and current employment outlook, I invite you to consider the fact that the average lifespan for a healthy adult will allow most of us to have something like 3 or 4 full careers over the course of a lifetime. A mid-life career assessment is a natural and totally normal process. It's always a good time to inventory your current situation and figure out your overall life plan for the next decade or so.
I believe that your level of happiness is a good indicator for your success. Most people have certain activities that bring them deep joy and satisfaction. I believe an excellent "fit" is when the activities that you enjoy match the world's deep needs. More about this can be found in the work of Richard Nelson Bolles in "What Color is Your Parachute?" http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/
If you receive some sort of "call" to change things up, then it's up to you how you want to answer that call. The definition of "vocation" is that "calling out" (from the Latin, vocare) to do a certain task. So if you're heeding the call, then your own Higher Self, or a higher power, or the universe is somehow indicating that they want you to do something new…. it's your own timetable on how you choose to answer that call and make your changes.
An excellent meditative exercise I've learned from my own coach, Rob Seidenspinner, is a way to contact your "future self" and ask them for advice and suggestions. The steps include:
imagining yourself climbing a rope up into the sky, into space
catching hold of another rope and following it down
imagining that this second rope leads you to your future self's home, ten or fifteen years in the future
observe everything about the location, exteriors, plantings, and landscape of this future self
- go to your future self's front door, knock, and your future self answers -- you may then go inside and talk with them
Potential questions you can ask your future self:
- What was the turning point?
- What message do they have for you?
- What name are they known by?
And any other questions you may have.
To return, you climb the rope back up to space, and find your own rope from the present time, and float with it back down to where you are today. This powerful exercise allows you, at any time, to gain additional guidance, direction, or instructions from your future self.
Know that as you gain more and more clarity about your purpose, additional doors open to you, and more opportunities unfold for you to participate in your life and do the best job you can with what you have at the time.
Your future self can give you greater understanding about where you are currently at in your career or life, and your future self can give you guidance about decisions that you need to make, such as changing your job, moving to a new location, deciding to have children or adopt, starting a new business or endeavor, or relationship advice and status.
I've done this exercise many times myself and find that the good timeframe to aim for is in the 8-year to 10-year time period. That is, do the exercise and seek out your future self about 8 to 10 years in advance. By then, in your imagination and meditation, it is a long enough time away that many different things could happen to your life.
Keep track and see how well your "vision" matches with your actual surroundings when you get to that point 8-10 years in the future!
Photo by jensvins