A few years ago, I was vacationing in Florida when I decided to finally do it. I drove 2 hours through back roads and sugar cane fields and arrived at the skydiving centre. At the hangar, we watched a video and were made to sign a waiver that said something to the effect of: “If, for any reason, the chute doesn’t open and you fall to the ground and die, we are not responsible.”
It was a tandem jump with a professional skydiver who was 6’ 3”. I’m about 5’1”. My mind started racing. What if our attachment somehow becomes compromised? What if the chute doesn’t open? What if….
Well, here we are getting into the plane. We’re 6 jumpers. I’m slated to be #6. First one in. Last one out. The plane is climbing and climbing and climbing. The fields below are getting smaller and smaller and smaller. The door to the plane is open. We’re being given instructions. Oh, my goodness! This is real. And then: Jumper #1… Jumper #2…
And as I watch each person getting ready, my mind takes a weird turn.
I think back to a conversation I had recently with my client John. At 38, John is in a dead-end job that he hates. Yet he’s stuck because he’s afraid of losing the security his job brings him.
We’re working on discovering WHO he is and what he needs as a way to figure out WHAT he wants to do. And it has now become clear to him that there are 3 things he needs: He needs variety, he needs to play the role of defender of the organization and he needs action. But he still isn’t sure how he’s going to do it.
The voice from behind breaks into my reverie. Jumper #5! It’s getting closer to my turn and I’m thinking “OY! What am I doing. Am I crazy? Can I get out of this NOW?
Whoosh! For 30 seconds of freefall, I just give it up. I let go. There’s nothing else I can do. And then the chute opens and I know I’m safe and can enjoy the rest of the ride down. And that’s when the rush of adrenaline hits my body and I suddenly have an incredible urge to throw up.
As I feel the nausea build and work its way through my body, the only thing I can think about is, where is it going to go? I mean… he’s 6’3”… up there… I’m down here, the physics of it… It would be so embarrassing. I can’t let that happen. So, I just start breathing deeply, all the way down, until my feet hit the ground and I know I’m safe.
As I bend down and kiss the earth, I know now what I’m going to tell John.
Even if it makes you want to throw up: JUMP!
Because most of my clients, in fact almost every person I speak with tells me they hate their job but they’re afraid to leave. Some of them don’t know what else to do with their life. Some are simply afraid of change. Many, like John, are afraid of losing the security the job brings them.
But is there really such a thing as job security? I remember, every single time I was fired from a job (and it happened to me at least 4 times in my life), every single time, I realized how unhappy I had been before being fired.
This un-happiness translates into every other aspect of your life and your relationships. Don’t try to hide behind the veil of “job security.” Find out the real reason you don’t want to leave your job. Let’s figure out together what you were really meant to do and make the leap that will lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career.
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