Photo credit: Flickr: Catrin Austin
Life Jumping. Interesting phrase, right? It’s a term I use for the major transformational changes I’ve made in my life. Not once, not twice, but five times, and there is another coming up! Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been doing something my entire life that many people could never comprehend doing. That is turning your life upside down to transform to something new. I’ll start by sharing a quick peek into my life.
In my third year of college in Massachusetts, I found myself unhappy with my chosen major and dreadfully missing my boyfriend who had graduated and moved to Florida. I suffered for a number of months, wallowing in what I knew was not the right path. What did I do? I took my first life jump. I quit college and moved to Florida to be with my boyfriend. It would be years before I finished college, but I eventually did. That’s another jump that comes later.
This first jump was followed by a number of them, including moving from Florida to Seattle in 1983 to take a promotion that involved a transfer. I married, finished my degree, worked at Microsoft, and divorced in the space of 14 years. When I divorced, I looked at my life. There I was 3000 miles from family, with a sister and family on the opposite coast. I decided I wanted to be a part of my niece’s life, so I quit my job and moved myself to the DC area. I thrived there. I worked for another tech company, worked internationally, earned my masters degree, changed careers from accounting in tech to learning and development, and worked for a major non-profit. But, after 15 years, I knew my time there had come to an end. Seattle has always called to me, so once again, I quit my job, sold my house, and moved myself back to Seattle, where I knew I belonged. I’ve moved once more and will be returning to Seattle once the pandemic has passed. It truly is where I belong.
When I tell people this story, the most frequent comment is “You’re so brave. I could never do that.” My response is never “Yes, I am.” It’s more “I just have to do what’s right for me.” You see, I’m not afraid to upend my life for something better. I really do believe in the saying “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Yes, I’ve paid a price. My roots are not deep, friendships are somewhat fractured, but I’m lucky to be really good at maintaining friendships over long distances and time. I sometimes envy people who stay put; who’ve always lived in the same town. There is something wonderful about such deep roots. They just haven’t been part of my life. I don’t know why. I just know that if/when I reach a point where I am not satisfied with my life, I’m willing to do what it takes to find happiness.
Unintentionally, I’ve learned that my story has inspired other people to make their own life jumps. It’s exciting to watch as others recognize when it’s time for a change and are willing to take the risk to give it a try. Is it for everyone? Most certainly not. Does a life jump always need to be so drastic? No. It might simply be a career change, or a relationship change. But life jumps are nonetheless major transformational moments in a person’s life. They are scary, they are a learning experience, but from my own personal experience, they are completely worth it. Are there any that I wish I hadn’t made? Not one!
I love sharing my story and it nurtures the work I enjoy doing – helping others make their own life jumps. For years now, I have been a career coach, helping people find happiness in their careers. This has always included an element of life coaching as often there is a personal element to any job change. More recently, my work has transformed into helping others design and make their own life jumps by moving from the place they are now to a new place of their own desire. As I look at what people are experiencing during this pandemic; fear, uncertainty, and more, I wonder how many will spend this time considering the future they want. We’re going to see a different world when we emerge from this. Companies will be hiring, new businesses will be sprouting up more remote work will be available. It’s truly going to be a brace new world we can’t even image. Maybe this is the perfect time to plan your own life jump! Are you with me? Let’s do this!
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Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.