May 25

Coffee With Mike- Things Change

Career Transition


I am now 61 years old, and I remember being 20 and I thought, 'when I get to be 30, I'm going to have this much accomplished in my life, and then I'll be able to move on to some other things.' So I have my family established, I'll have my career established, and I'll be able to do some things for my family and within my career. Then things changed at 32. 

I changed my career. I went from being a full-time pastor to going into the financial field, and my wife and I decided we'd stay in town. We didn't move like we thought we would. Some visions that we had in our 20s didn't come true in our 30s. We had to make a transition in the way that we thought about things. We had to make a transition in how the things that we thought were important to us, where we thought we needed to be in order for those important things to happen, all that had to change for us. 

So, we had to transform ourselves in our 30s. We thought when we get to 40, then we'll have these things done. Of course a similar thing happened where we change gears once again. We actually narrowed our field of expertise in our 40s about what we're going to do in the financial field. So we began to do that in that changed about, 'well, here's what we have to invest in. Here's what the investments would cost. Here's what it's going to cost our family to invest in it.' 

We needed to have an idea of what we're going to do once we get past that, so we thought by the time we get to 50, we'll be done with that. But when we got to 50, yet another transition occurred, and it was a big one where we actually changed who we were actually going to talk to. We were no longer going to talk to lawyers, talk to doctors, and business owners. We were going to talk to federal employees. 

That was a whole different mindset we had to learn. That was another whole set of information we had to understand. Then if we had to put that that information in the context of each individual that we talked to, and that was tough because federal employees are simply different people than doctors. Federal employees are simply different people. They think in different ways than business owners. So I had to make yet another transformation, and my wife says, "Here we go again." We keep thinking about this, and so we thought when we get to 60. 

Now, here I stand at 61, and guess what? I'm making yet another transition. Having a demand placed on me, placed on my wife, of another transformation. I think what's finally dawning on me that I'm never going to "arrive." I'm never going to reach that place where everything just stays the same. Because even if I stayed the same, everything around me changes. Everyone around me changes. 

So, there's no standing still. There's no, "Well I've made it, and this is where I'm staying." There's only, "Let's make transition, and let's go through transformation. Let's grow as individuals. Let's grow as a married couple. Let's grow as parents, and now we're grandparents. Let's grow as business owners. Let's grow as service providers. Let's grow." I think what I'm trying to get across to you is that life is full of transitions, and when we get to a certain point doesn't mean "we made it," and now everything stops, and the world stops changing, because it doesn't. 

"...transition is going to happen, and transition demands transformation. That's when things get exciting all over again."

A lot of people, I think, have a misconception of what it means to change a career. That some things are going to never happen again, and other things are going to happen that have never happened before. I think some people have a misconception of what retirement is, that it's actually the pinnacle of what they want to accomplish in their life. While it's a good thing it's probably not the thing. The thing is is whatever is happening right now.

I think the wonderful thing about having all these transitions occur, and having this demand for constant transformation, is that we're getting older, but we're not old. At least not yet. We're living, and we're experiencing new things, fresh things. Same people, old people in the same way, but everything's refreshed. It's an amazing journey and I just wanted to give you, offer that perspective. If you feel like you're in a rut, look for the transition point. But transition is going to happen, and transition demands transformation. That's when things get exciting all over again.

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