I received several notes in response to my initial blog from folks who are personally going through or have a loved one going through a similar transition. In response, I wanted to share what I believe to be my greatest learning:
Oh, how I wish I had lived by this when it counted, but hind sight is 20/20. I wasted countless cycles trying to balance truth and perception. I lost sleep over how I would explain myself, or even in some cases defend myself. I doubted my judgement.
Now, this doesn’t mean you give the world the middle finger. It simply means to invest the time in advance to figure out who matters, and accept that any risky decision will come with resistance. Three important steps anyone making a major life change should know:
- Hire an executive/life coach: The stars aligned for me that one of my dearest friends has a finely tuned moral compass and steady approach to managing chaos. He was also in the process of completing an executive coaching program while I was planning my resignation. I would have no doubt fumbled at the finish line without his guidance, so if you are interested in working with him, PM me.
- Know your tribe. Seriously make a list of the people who matter. The ones who you know put your best interests above their personal opinions. The ones you don’t have to think twice about breaking your confidentiality. If their name isn’t on your list, you can’t let them influence your story.
- Accept that there will be people who disagree. Expect push back, questions, crazy looks. You will without a doubt get them. Everyone has an opinion, so ask the right questions of the right people and move forward.
I’m certainly not the first person to emphasize the importance of finding your tribe. Value those in it, and respect those who aren’t, but don’t get caught up in their feedback – when you make it to the other side, it won’t matter that much.
This principle applies to any major change; a career move, a breakup, a new hair color. If you wait for everyone to get on the bus, it will never leave the station.