“I’m not ready,” said Margaret. We were having coffee in a quirky independent coffee shop and talking about her job search. The search hadn’t really started, it was simply brewing on her ‘to do’ list. Margaret is a tour de force locally. She is a newly divorced woman, the parent of two high-school aged children and the volunteer chair of a group that established a multi-million dollar land trust in a neighboring town. This little endeavor is complete with a working organic farm and an impressive educational center. Not ready? How can this type of person not be ready?
I heard Hillary Clinton’s voice for the first time last weekend – yes, days after the surprising and heartbreaking outcome of the 2016 Election. I heard it in Kate McKinnon’s moving rendition of Len Cohen’s Hallelujah on Saturday Night Live. ‘How could this be?’ You might ask. Weren’t we all party to a near continuous stream of voices from both candidates over the past months? Even with all of that volume I was struck with the weight of the words conveyed by McKinnon. It reminded me of the importance of voice, one of transition’s most critical tools. Did we hear Hillary’s voice? Do we hear yours? Continue reading
Posted in Observations on Transition
Tagged career change, career transition, divorce, empty nests, Hallelujah on SNL, Hillary Clinton, Kate McKinnon, linda rossetti, personal transition, retirement, transition, Women and Transition: Reinventing Work and Life, women's transition
“Push off into the middle of the river,” intones a line from a poem featured in Hopi Elder Speaks. A friend sent it to me. She is a powerful force whom I’ve met through my work with women and transition. An octogenarian, she leads a global not-for-profit, participates in several wisdom networks and is in a constant state of organizational prep for events, issues and causes that are important to her. I met with her to gain some knowledge about how to architect what today looks like an impossible task. My quest? I’d like to educate women everywhere about the importance of transitioning. My new friend gave me volumes of contacts and helpful specifics. But she also gave me something more important. The courage to keep going. Continue reading
Have you ever felt as if you are bumping into the same issue over and over again? Everywhere you turn? Such events may be reminding you that it is time to start your own business or leave a fallen marriage or pick up the phone to call a long-silent friend. I am a little disturbed and amazed at how frequently I keep bumping into something of my own lately. It keeps happening. I can’t name it although I think it has something to do with identity. My identity? I’ve been transitioning for the better part of five years. Could there be more to do?
“I gave myself permission – thanks to being a part of this group ,” said Stephanie. She was crediting a multi-session working group that I put together to help me develop a workbook, a companion to my book, Women & Transition. Over the course of our sessions together we learned that Stephanie had been laid off a year earlier from her job as a research and development manager for a tech behemoth, a job that she’d held in some form or another for almost twenty years. We also learned that our work together helped her dignify a small voice in her head that kept leading her away from R&D and tech. She was excited and scared about her new path. I was really struck by her words. I felt as if she and I were in the same place. How could this be? My transition is farther down the garden path than hers. Isn’t it? What was it about permission that spoke to me?
“I don’t know,” said my twelve-year-old daughter earlier this week in response to a benign question I asked her about choosing a movie. Her tone was light-hearted if not a little distracted. My heart fell as I listened to her response. How could she not know? I hoped we’d avoid this unknowing if only for a few more years. Have you ever heard yourself say a similar statement? I don’t know. Continue reading
“That takes a lot of courage,” commented a journalist who joined me for a breakfast conversation a few weeks ago. Her remark followed my story of transition, a route that caused me to step away from a path I’d pursued for more than twenty years. She was interviewing me for a publication. I told her about my observation that transitions occur when there is a shift in what holds value or meaning to us. It is that moment – that shift – when we’re faced with a choice that so captivates me. Do we move? Why? Or why not? Honestly as she remarked about ‘courage‘ I couldn’t help but wonder if it really is the exact opposite…. Continue reading
“They only talked about their children,” said my exasperated friend Stephanie. She and her family recently relocated to Phoenix thanks to her husband’s new job. Once on the ground she met women in various places; the nursery school, the transfer station, the local IEEE chapter. She had high hopes when she hosted a networking event in her home. Needless to say she sounded crestfallen as she described the evening. Most of those she invited were working part-time or trying to re-engage in the full-time workforce. A few were entrepreneurs. “Don’t they get it?” Continue reading
“I can hear my voice,” shared a teary-eyed women who introduced herself to me last week at the conclusion of a seminar I conducted in a leafy suburb on the outskirts of Boston. “It is screaming at me,” she said. She went on to tell me about how emotional she’d been throughout the seminar – a two-hour affair designed to let participants play with the concepts of transition. She was clear about the action she needed to take. She knew it. It didn’t eliminate the sheer terror she felt as she contemplated taking that next step. Her comment instantly deposited me at the doorstep of actions. In this season of New Year’s resolutions and renewed personal commitments – are you readying to act? Continue reading
“What if I want to work at the cheese counter at Whole Foods?” asked a women of me earlier this week after a speaking engagement that I did to promote my book, Women & Transition. She was the parent of a toddler and someone for whom Whole Foods would never have been an option prior to childbirth. I’d describe her as a type-A achiever who was asking important questions of herself. Did I hear frustration in her voice? Resignation? She seemed to be toggling back and forth between a new identity and one more firmly entrenched. My suspicion was that the newer one had already introduced her to unfamiliar waypoints and some unusual reactions from others. Continue reading
Posted in Observations on Transition
Tagged careeer transition, career change, career choices, career transition, observations from a women's transition, personal transition, transition, voice, Women & Transition by Linda Rossetti, women's professional transition, women's transition, Working Identity