Embarrassed That You're Feeling Stuck? Here's How To Ask For Support
I recently worked with a client who was in transition: She was deciding to leave a successful career path to pursue her true passion.
While she has been successfully climbing the ladder at her job, the truth is, she's been quite miserable for years now. And feeling overworked (which, no doubt, had something to do with her being miserable...). And a lot of her friends were aware of it.
So, as we worked together, taking that first step of exploring possible new career paths, she says to me,
“I'm a bit ashamed that it’s taken me so long to make a switch. It’s embarrassing that I haven't done anything about it sooner. What are people going to think?”
Does this ring a bell? Have you ever felt this way: Embarrassed about not having done something sooner since you feel like you’ve certainly whined about it enough—and/or just plain ashamed that you didn’t have it figured out yet?
For those of us who think we should always have everything figured out, and that if we don’t, we’re Losers, I’m here to say, Hold on there, sista!
I know it's especially hard to talk about stuff when you don't have all the answers. (Trust me, I know!)
Yet, in order to discover what you want and be able to move forward, it’s actually important to talk about where you are with stuff and how you’re feeling. Important? I meant to say, It’s essential!
Change and being in transition are rarely easy. You need the support of other people. And it can help to have their input because, even if you don’t agree with their suggestions, it gives you more to think about and help further solidify your own ideas.
Plus, when you do share, you not only find that you’re not alone, but that you can help inspire others to examine their own lives and work.So, look at that: By sharing, you’re actually doing a service to the world—or at least, for the greater good!
To help you with the right words, what follows is a sample script I offer my clients—to help them confidently enlist the support of their network in attempting to figure out what's next for them.
A few points:
The format is specific to emails. It’s always stronger to have it in writing. (You’re more in control this way, can’t get tongue-tied or go off on a tangent.) Besides, it's efficient!
When compiling your list of recipients, I recommend you send it only to those friends and colleagues you know you can count on, who are open and nonjudgmental.
This might not be intended for family members—and maybe not even your closest friends—because they could be scared for you making a big change, and try to talk you out of it.
Here we go...
Email Template for Disclosing a Transition—and Seeking Support
1. Authentically describe your inner state and that you’re seeking a change—also, why they’re receiving this email.
For example: This may come as a surprise to you, and frankly it’s a little of a surprise me, but I’ve decided I need to make a change. In my next chapter, I hope to be pivoting my career path in the direction my heart is leading, which is ..... I’m writing to you because I trust you and value your insights and would welcome any input. (Only positive and supportive, please.)
2. Briefly highlight your achievements and where you are now. Be specific with any titles, brand names, and/or results. (Friends may forward this around to support you, so you want all readers to be onboard with your awesomeness).
In the past 15 years, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with some of the world’s greatest brands like Nike, Google, and Apple to help them design excellent customer service. And it’s been an amazing ride!
3. Describe what, if anything, you’ve done so far and the actions you’re thinking of taking.
I recently invested in a career coach to help me clarify what really matters in terms of how I lead my professional life. While I’ve been successful in the first phase of my career, I’m now taking the time to be deliberate and examine what would be most fulfilling in my next phase.
4. Explain that you're seeking support to help you determine what's next. Include the qualities and/or fields and/or context you’re thinking you’d like for the future you.
It's definitely a little scary, and I'm just beginning the discovery phase of what this all may look like. What I know for sure is that I value the following:
- A socially-conscious organization—I’m open to suggestions!
- Being a part of a paradigm-shifting project
- Collaborating with people who are on the same wavelength
- Working with a leader I can truly admire
- Flexibility—being able to work from home (some or full-time)
- Effecting a change, working hard, but no longer working around the clock
5. End with asking for their help, input, resources, connections—and anything else you can think of.
I would be most appreciative if you would:
1. Share any resources, websites, books and ideas you feel will be helpful—via email, phone or over coffee!
2. Share contacts, suggest people and/or make introductions.
3. Pass along any opportunities you know about or hear of.
6. Thank them for their time and help; maybe ask for their discretion, since you’re not going public yet; and promise to keep them posted.
Thank you for being a part of my life and for taking the time to read. I so value your friendship and promise to keep you posted on developments!
Need more help on this?
As always, if you’re in transition and would like some help figuring out which way to turn next and how to ensure that you’re working toward what matters, email me and let’s chat!
Love to hear from your guys!