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What's Next? Does that Question Make You Feel Something?

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

Over the course of Women’s History Month, we’ve celebrated women’s accomplishments and the women we admire. We’ve talked about resilience, crucible moments and the badassery that defines women in leadership. That said, today I want to dive into a question that often poses a unique challenge for women… and men alike.

What said challenge do you speak of, Jes? Well, it’s when you successfully move through your goals like you’re on autopilot…accomplishing things others continue to strive for. It’s when you’ve worked your way through the ranks in your company or built a sustainable business from the ground up and find yourself on a narrow road with fewer exciting sights to see. It’s when you realize you’ve done all that can be done on your particular path and say the words that so many have said… "Now What?”

A common misnomer is that those who reach a career pinnacle and find themselves on the road less traveled are more fulfilled, but in fact they often ache to do more, be more, live more. The truth is, when someone with this type of drive and need for engagement hits the roadblock of “What’s Next?,” they hit it HARD.

It’s at this point that high achievers need help figuring out how to find a new challenge to tackle. A new journey to adventure upon. They need to find their Next.

Several of my 28 Days of Reinvention Travelers have fit this profile and leveraged the program to figure out what their Next was. One woman ended up applying for (and getting) a dream job that she’d never thought she’d qualify for; another finished and published a book, fulfilling a lifelong dream to become a published author.

So what do you need to do if it’s time to find your Next?

1. Be honest and get on with it. It won’t do you any good to keep driving down this lonely and lifeless road. If you’ve seen all you can see, it’s time to get out the map, reroute and take on a new adventure.

2. Think and imagine. Take the time and space to imagine yourself on this new road. A year from now…what are you doing? Who are you with? What do you look like? How do you feel? And last but definitely not least, what will it take to get there?

3. Shake it up. High achievers are very focused on the goals they pursue, meaning it can be difficult to see other options. Invite new voices and ideas into your world. Talk with other people who are also making changes. Their experiences will help you see how many options are available.

If this resonated with you, I’d love to hear what you’ve done or are currently doing to find Your Next. And if you’re not there yet, enjoy the sights of the journey you’re on. Remember new adventures can be found around every corner… but to find them, you might need to change course.


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