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Read before you leap

Career Freedom Coaching Begins Before You Leap

"After reading a number of self-help and spiritual books, I decided to take the big leap: I quit my well-paying corporate job! It's scary! I have no idea what I will do next."
"I just sold my house! Now what?"
"I just decided to move to Tiny City, Montana. There's really not a lot here."

You may have heard the saying, "Leap and the Net Will Appear." Generally, that guidance encourages us to make a creative leap: start writing your novel, begin a painting class, start a fitness program. As you become immersed in your project, your intuition awakens and you find new ways to express your creativity.

If you know someone who is miserable in a job, house or city, please share this article and highlight the following guidelines:

1. A wise rule of thumb is, "Leap to, not from," unless you're standing on the ledge of a burning building. If you feel miserable in your present situation, use your available resources to explore options.

2. Make a plan, even if you want a time out to do nothing for awhile.

3. Build a safety net. Once you have taken the leap, you will be in a one-down position if you need a job or a new place to live. Operate from strength. Moving without a job? Plan ahead.

4. Learn your legal and financial realities.
Will you be eligible for unemployment compensation?
Don't assume "yes" or "no;" there seems to be wide variation from one state to another, and possibly from one office to another within a state.

If you regret your decision to sell your house, and you haven't closed, can you change your mind?
If you need money, which assets should you liquidate first?

Ifyou're divorced or separated, will your decision have any impact on your financial or custody agreements?

5. Conduct an intense information-gathering campaign. Intuition is fueled by information. Get the facts. Talk to people who have done what you want to do.

Don't know what you want? Ask for the Career Freedom worksheet and consider an investment in coaching.

6. Avoid the temptation to ask for advice. Instead, spend time with people who will give you either information or a process for planning and decision-making. If a coach or counselor seems to have strong opinions, get a second or third opinion. Get someone to play devil's advocate. -- but ignore the wet blankets who are determined to smother your dream.

7. Stay calm and move slowly. Remember that messages of urgency ("You MUST do this now!") will usually get you into trouble, whether they come from your own thoughts or from outside "experts."

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site or call 505-534-4294.

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Career and life transition