Great Resignation or Great Reinvention?

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

It’s summertime and I’m coming in with beach energy and little umbrellas on my mind.

I’m also completely inspired by surfers! First, because they casually enter the “home” of sharks and jellyfish like it’s just another day at the office. And second because they paddle, paddle, paddle, and then, just as a wave swells, they artfully stand up on their longboard and — if timed right — swoop along the shoreline with grace.

If you’ve been following us here on TechWire, you know we compare burnout to a marathon with a finish line that is woefully out of sight. If we move this analogy to the ocean, the equivalent is a surfer who paddles indefinitely in search of a wave — but can’t catch it.

But savvy surfers know a secret. They can sense the shift in the water, and at just the right moment, they confidently stand up and harness the energy of the wave instead of relying on their own strength.

That ‘right’ moment – that moment is the first step to Reinvention.  Reinvention at its core, is recognizing the waves in your life and harnessing their power at the right moment to start you off on a new chapter or renew your energy.

But let’s be honest, these waves can throw us off, right? We sense the shift in the current, and we know a wave is coming, but we get scared. We start to doubt. Is this the right wave? Do I have the strength to get up on my board? Can I handle the ride? Before we know it, the moment has passed us by. So we keep paddling… and ruminate over a missed opportunity.

Don’t worry…we’ve all been there. We’ve all felt something at our core and ignored it. We’ve all discounted our potential at one time or another. That is the past. Today has a new set of possibilities. This moment – right now (as your reading this) is yours to create. A new wave is building.

THREE FACTORS

If you’re ready to see where it takes you, you’ll need three things first: self-awareness, courage and hope.

  1. Self-awareness: Pay attention to what’s happening around you. What conversations are you in, how do you feel about various aspects of your work, what ‘new thing or idea’ makes your stomach flip with excitement? Recognize opportunity for what it is!

  2. Courage: No one can stand up on your board…but you. To gain the courage you need, maybe look for a small wave to practice on, first. For example, if a career change is on the horizon, try freelancing on the side? Test out your chops?

  3. Hope: Seems like an odd or maybe obvious variable in this formula. I know. But many of us are out of practice. We’ve forgotten what it feels like to be hopeful and optimistic. Without hope possibilities can appear fuzzy. Without hope fear gains a foothold.

Yes, it’s true the Great Resignation has gotten a lot of air time recently, but that’s not how I see what’s happening. I see this as a moment of reinvention. The Great Reinvention is the real story we should be following. Change is happening all around us. The currents are moving…and the waves are building.

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