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Leaving a cat alone for a weekend is like leaving your family for a week in your family, and I can understand if you’re feeling a little nervous. Even if your cat doesn’t actually leave your house, her brn can feel a bit of a disconnect, and the same is true for us as humans. Our brns don’t know where we are, we know our homes and we know our families, and we have all of our mental maps and references in place.
If you’ve never left your family alone for more than a day, you can’t know how it feels to find yourself standing at the door with a suitcase in your hand, but you can learn from those who do this all the time. Here’s what I learned when I first left my family.
The First Days
When I first left my family for work, the first thing that I noticed was how loud the cat was. We’ve been together for the last four years, and she’s gotten used to me. She knows that I love her and that I’ll come home to her, but when I don’t come home on the weekend, it’s like she wakes up and suddenly can’t find me. When I do come home, she lets me know I’m home by sitting and watching me, and if she gets upset when I leave, she’ll wt until I come back.
When I first left for my weekend, she was quiet and a little scared, but my parents and brothers were pretty happy to see me. It felt weird to be at home, to be there, but I was so happy to see my family and to have them be there.
The next day, I did what every newly single person does. I went out for breakfast with a friend and got drunk on Bloody Marys. My heart was going like crazy, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the new opportunities that were awting me, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had plans, but none of them were what I expected. I was going to live in New York City, where I’d have to figure out how to live in an apartment by myself while earning a living, which was going to be a challenge. The whole first week of being away, I went from being anxious and scared to nervous and excited, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the person I was going to become.
When you’re at home with your family, you feel comfortable. Your loved ones are around you, and you know exactly what to expect, but as soon as you step outside of it, you’re totally disoriented. You have no idea what to do with yourself. You’re going to the store, and you have no idea how to walk through a store, let alone get to the end of it. You’re going to buy a house, and you don’t know how to buy a house.
You know exactly what to expect at work, but as soon as you step outside of that, you’re completely out of your comfort zone. You’re not sure what to say to people. You have no idea what you want your career to be, and you’re not even sure who you want it to be. You have no idea what the culture at your job is like, and you can’t even imagine what conversations are going to take place.
Your family is your constant, but that changes when you’re away. You have to find that place that you can call your own, that you can feel comfortable at, and there’s no constant in that. The only constant in life is change, and change is what you have to embrace and that can be hard for people.
How does a client work with us?
When we start to help you with your life, whether that be a career change, whether that be a job search, whether that be the process of buying a house, how do we get to that point? What is the process? Because this is an incredibly important piece for a lot of people. I’ve had some clients who come in and they’re like, “Okay, what do I do?” Or, “How do I do it?” So I’ll talk about how to make a list of the things that you want to happen, and figure out what it is you want to do. And then I’ll say, “Okay, now what?” How do you do it? I’ll help you figure that out.
Is there a good time to start a new career?
There’s never a bad time to start a new career. You should always be growing and being creative and having fun with it, but the bad thing about changing careers or moving on is that it’s a difficult process and it takes time and you’re not always going to feel inspired. So you want to figure out what you’re looking for before you make a change, and think through what you want in a new role. I’ve got a really good rule for that: if you haven’t felt it for six months, then it’s not going to feel right. And if it’s not something that you’re feeling for six months, then move on.
What does career growth look like?
You want to be in positions that are growth-oriented. You want to be in organizations that are going to pay you a living wage. You want to be in environments that are growing and challenging you and keeping you accountable. We’ve all heard about the career that’s going to pay your bills but make you unhappy and end up going nowhere. That’s not a career that’s going to be a career where you will be able to sustn yourself. So be sure that it’s an organization that’s going to allow you to grow in a way that you can thrive.
My last question for you is: how do we make this change?
What I love is that we have people that are out there that are doing it, that are taking on a mission to create this space where they can find their voice and start a conversation and change their lives in a better way. And that’s what I love about the podcast world. You have incredible people doing incredible things. We’re really blessed to have such a wonderful community.
I’m very inspired by the podcast community. I’m also inspired by those who are doing that work, to make it a safe space and say “yes” to your voice, and not have someone come in and say, “no, we don’t want to talk about that.”
I’m also inspired by women like Sheryl Sandberg who are setting good examples and good standards for people to aspire to. That’