One of the refrains I often hear is, “where would I even start? I’ve invested so much time and energy building this career that I wouldn’t know what else I am capable of doing; if my skills are transferable; and what might be interesting to me.” What’s underneath this statement is the feeling of being stuck in a career that no longer fits.
I think that the development of the dragonfly might be a great metaphor for this situation. In order for the larva/nymph to transform into a dragonfly, it climbs out of the water that it’s spent the better part of its life swimming in, attaches itself to a branch or reed on the side of the waters, reassembles itself, and exposed to the elements sheds its shell and takes flight. Let’s unpack each of these moves:
Climbing out of the water — this is about trusting that there is a way for your career to be better aligned with who you are now / who you are becoming.
Attaching itself to a branch — this is about becoming vulnerable to the environment around you, tapping into the people and resources around you to discover what might be possible.
Reassembling itself — this is about exploring your skills, strengths, passions, and experiences to discover new ways you might put these to use.
Taking flight — this is about experimenting, perhaps taking a course, volunteering for a new project or assignment, joining a group or association, etc.