Sometimes a step backward is a step forwards. Recently a friend, Karen, called me for a long overdue catch up over a drink. She had mentioned to me that she had some exciting but perhaps surprising job news to tell me about. Was Karen going to inform me of another innovative new HR initiative? I was intrigued.
Seeing Karen for the first time in a few months was great. Her always pleasant and bubbly personality seemed extra vibrant. That something good was happening was obvious. I couldn’t wait to hear her news. Then she dropped a bombshell. She had left her senior level management role to take on a much more junior, front-line position with a new company.
My shock was not that I thought this to be a ‘wrong’ move. I just thought it unusual for a high performer like Karen to veer from the linear career trajectory that she was on. Well, it turns out that for years Karen had priorities outside of her career that she hadn’t been able to act on and she decided to change all that.
Happiness is Doing What Matters Most…Now.
Karen still continues to do work that she loves and remains an HR professional. Now though she gets much more face time with company employees as a trainer, mentor and coach. This is opposed to having to focus mainly on administrative tasks in her prior role. She now works from 9-5 instead of the 60 plus hours she was logging and she can now turn work ‘off‘ when she heads home. She’s now finding she has much more energy and has a renewed passion for the work that she does.
This has all lead to Karen now having the time, energy and focus to do some of the other things that she’s long wanted to do. Among other things, she’s writing a book, attending art classes and spending more time with her friends and family.
I have to say that I really admire Karen for the decision that she made. She chose to ‘sacrifice’ money and position for doing what really matters most to her now. While her former job as a senior HR director had been fulfilling, Karen recognized that other priorities needed to take precedent.
Can you relate to Karen’s situation? Tired of the demands of your senior role and the pace you have to run at? Are you ready to do more of the things that you love but have long put aside?