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Current of Life by Viriginia Kravitz

Learn As You Go

But You Don't Know Anything About It

We were seated next to each other at a dinner party for mutual friends who were about to move cross-country. Val, an executive for a large non-profit organization, asked me a question I'm often asked: How did you make the change? She was familiar with coaching since she and several of her colleagues had worked with an executive coach over the course of their careers. Val wanted to know more about the kind of coaching I do and how I transitioned to the field from my prior work. She stated that for a while now, she has been entertaining the idea of becoming a coach and then she added what stops her: But I don't know anything about it.

Val was referring to all the questions that arise with any idea: how do you make the change, what would it really be like, how much money can you make, and the list goes on -- appropriately so, because the questions are important to ask.

Research, Risk, & Windows of Opportunity

unlocked wrought iron gateThe point of my sharing Val's story isn't to say that you should drop everything and go start your own business or to imply that all mid-career professionals secretly want out. The issue I'm raising is: What do you do with those ideas that pique your interest, the ones that keep coming up for you?

I believe the answer is twofold. First, pay attention to your ideas. There's valuable information there, even if the idea simply leads you to another idea. The second part is to figure out a way to deal with risk. Every idea involving change carries risk. And actually, you manage risk all the time. Think about it. There is risk in staying with the status quo and risk in making a change. There is risk in accepting a promotion or additional responsibility, and there is risk in passing on an opportunity. You might view it as a risk to go back to school, work at a smaller company, or move into a bigger venue. There are risks you take in relationships and in stepping into new social circles.

Investing your time and effort into a deeply held interest likely involves risk. Recently a former pharmaceutical executive talked to me about timing. After his company merged with another, Peter accepted a generous severance package that allowed him to pursue an entrepreneurial business venture while also developing a long-held creative interest. Family obligations delayed his initial plans, and he is starting to feel some financial pressure. His way of managing the risk is to give himself another year and see where he is before deciding to take a j-o-b. He feels compelled to give a genuine effort to the business opportunity that's in front of him. To Peter, it's now or never.

So, yes, research before you risk, and then recognize the windows of opportunity.

You'll Learn As You Go

Whether you're just testing the waters or ready to commit and turn your idea into a plan, you can find a way to manage the risk and the fear that comes with venturing into the unknown.

Next time you have the thought, "But I don't know anything about..." say these words: I'll learn as I go. Just as they have so many times before, the exact right resources and supports will show up to help you. You'll figure it out and see the way forward.

This Week's Call To Action:

  • Whether having to do with your current role at work or a potential future direction, what is an idea you want to explore? Is it a proposal to develop? An assignment to volunteer for? An outside interest to research? A group to join?

  • Decide whether you're curious enough to invest some effort. If so, what is the first step to investigating it further?

"I am always doing what I can't do yet,
in order to learn how to do it."
--Vincent Van Gogh

See you in the current,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

Names above changed for privacy.

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photo of Ginny Kravitz Current of Life, by Virginia Kravitz, is a free, biweekly ezine for accomplished professionals who want to have more fulfilling careers and lives. Each issue provides practical guidance and inspiration to embrace a new and joyful momentum as you navigate the important decisions of your life. As a subscriber, you have exclusive access to special events such as teleclasses, call-in days, program previews, and Current Conversations, a monthly community call.

Learn more about my unique approach which incorporates the Five Stages of Living in the Current.

© 2014, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved.
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