Four years ago today (April 30, 2020), I, Founder of Pivotal Impact, resigned from my Learning and Development role at The University of Chicago. One of the world’s greatest academic institutions – and that it is. It was a big decision and a bittersweet departure – yet one that I celebrate wholeheartedly today. Many colleagues were shocked and in disbelief that I’d leave a perfectly good opportunity for the unknown. Yet deep down some longed to do the same. As for me, fear had paralyzed me for too long. We must grow to understand that sometimes life gives us circumstances and opportunities to grow our wings and one day, FLY.
It also feels bittersweet to celebrate today when myself, many colleagues and friends are affected by our current climate. Many laid off and uncertain of next steps but I’m here to say this…
Over the past 10 years my faith took me from LAID OFF to LEVELED UP! At one point early in my career, I was discouraged, uncertain, and unfulfilled. While driving into work one day I found myself on the shoulder of I-88 with my head in my hands crying uncontrollably having a panic attack… chanting “This can’t be my life.”
If life knocks you down try to land on your back, because if you can look up…you can get up!
~ Les Brown
If I hadn’t gotten up, I never would have landed an opportunity at The University of Chicago, which was training ground for the successful company I’ve built today. Several years after transitioning to a career field I loved, Pivotal Impact, LLC was born as my professional charge to level up; serving those I care for most – Early Career talent and Emerging Leaders struggling to navigate, thrive in their career, and impact the organizations they work for.
At the university, I had a quote on my desk in direct line of sight that said “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” I didn’t know what the “unknown” had planned for me, but I knew that I believed in myself.
Following this Covid-19 crisis, when the world re-opens, are you planning to simply resume your old work routine? The one that no longer challenges you. The one that no longer serves you. Searching for jobs and working within companies and industries that may not suit your strengths? If at some point you’ve been less than happy with your career, it may be time to level up as well and create your new normal! Start by taking inventory of what’s within you. What is calling you? Then work to gain competence to achieve it. Whatever it may be. While we’re all trying to stay afloat, we can still look to create our own “new normal.” One that may put us in a slightly better situation to weather future storms.
To say my journey hasn’t been scary would be a bold-faced lie…but that’s been the best part. Because that’s when FAITH over FEAR steps in. Before long small wins turned into big wins. Big wins turned into back to back referrals and contracts. I’m grateful for my amazing network and support system of mentors, family, friends, and faith. Trust that the right people and opportunities will be placed along your path.
None of us really know what the world’s “new normal” will be; however, you are in control of creating your own. Reframe your mindset, build wings from where you are, and prepare to FLY in the direction you want to go that creates your greatest impact yet. Like me, one day you will look back and be grateful for the lay-off, the panic attack, the failures. Grateful for the managers and opportunities that told you NO so that you could tell yourself YES!!
Just believe in yourself and you’re halfway there!
Everything has its purpose. Be encouraged.