Accept and Move on- A Change in Perspective Leads to a Career Transition

My client “Ellen” wasn’t happy last summer. She was in the process of beginning a career transition, struggling to find a place where she could both be rewarded for her talents and feel personally fulfilled.
She enjoyed the work she was doing and the clients she was serving, but her work environment didn’t feel “stable.” She appreciated the experience she was gaining in her chosen field — media and public relations — yet she still couldn’t understand why her role wasn’t fulfilling.
Ellen joined a six-week group coaching program I was leading for twenty-something professionals based on the Positive Intelligence Program developed by Shirzad Chamine. From there, we entered into a one-on-one coaching relationship.
One of the key tools we introduce with Positive Intelligence coaching is the concept of Judge and Accomplice Saboteurs in a professional’s life. Defining this “cast of characters” can help us visualize the power we cede to individuals and forces, shaping our perspective and potentially holding us back from opportunities that would leave us happier and more fulfilled.
Name the Characters in Your Current Narrative
Ellen learned that her Saboteur Accomplices were the Hyper Achiever, Controller, Pleaser and Victim. She was extremely motivated to achieve success as defined by her bosses, clients and herself. But to drive her success, she spent a significant amount of time trying to control the uncontrollable. She found herself in a work environment of trying to please bosses who did not see the world in the same way. All of this left her feeling under-appreciated — like a victim with no way out.
Ellen’s aha moment in the program was developing an understanding of the metaphor of the “hot stove.” When we are young, we learn that when we touch a hot stove, we get burned. Mental fitness is about recognizing the negative thoughts in the time it takes to notice the stove is hot and then removing your hand to shift your direction. As Ellen put it, “I learned to see my circumstances more clearly and stopped wasting my time getting angry and frustrated with myself and others.” Ellen developed the Sage mindset of Accept and Move on
As we worked together throughout her transition, Ellen focused on a three-tier strategy. The first was to learn how and when she might be derailed in executing her day-to-day role. Her goal was to design a plan to prepare for it and ultimately learn from it. Her mantra was to prepare the best she could and quickly accept and move on from controlling the outcome. She also considered what future success in her career and life would look like and began to devote more time navigating toward her desired future.
To navigate and explore her new perspective Ellen focused on three questions:
Ellen recently accepted an offer for a new job in a new city that will enable her to continue building her skills on a bigger stage in a more stable environment. Fantastic and exciting news! These developments unfolded in great part due to the work we did together shifting Ellen’s perspective.
I asked Ellen what advice she would have for the earlier version of herself — or for her friends in similar situations. She said: “Stop blaming the situation you are in on other people and events you can’t control. I realized that I was responsible for the place I was in. I needed to figure out how and why I was there, learn from it, and then step up and find the resources I needed to take action.”
By following this approach, Ellen anticipated and worked through some challenging days. She also developed new insights into what was most important to her in any new role. She applied her mental fitness muscles to keep her saboteurs in check as she went through the interview process.

If you’re facing similar challenges in your career, come join me and my colleague Linda Marshall on February 22nd, when we launch a new group coaching program on Mental Fitness. Click on the link here to learn more.

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