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13. July 2015

Stepping Out (Part 4 of 5)

by Vanessa Castagna, Advisor, My Next Season

Just think of all the work you’ve done, the new people you’ve met, and the effort and time you have given thus far to finding your “next season.” The soul-searching and introspection have been healthy, rigorous, and yet at times unsettling. After spending years committed to a corporate role, your life looks completely different. I often think that my days post-transition are practically unrecognizable when compared with how I spent my days for more than 40 years as an executive in various Fortune 50 organizations. What I’ve discovered along the way is that while I retired from my corporate role, I haven’t retired from my corporate experience. Transferring my business experience to new endeavors and areas of my life has provided a firm foundation to step out and take risks in exciting new areas.

“Casting a wider net” (Blog #3 in this series) was all about discovering, understanding, and newness . . . new contacts, new interests, new people . . . investigating new projects, discovering new initiatives, developing new relationships. Understanding what inspires you, what truly interests you, and what is meaningful to you. Hopefully, you have discovered projects that are enticing, interesting, and fit your skills and abilities. For me, serving as a trustee on the board of my alma mater, working as a consultant, and mentoring young adults interested in working in my industry is extremely rewarding, maximizes my business experience, and keeps me learning. Conversely, knowing what you DON’T like to do, and realizing how you don’t want to spend your time, is essential. I was certain that I didn’t want to have too much unstructured down time or stop working all together. Dis-interests are just as important to discovering as fanning the flames of those interests you love.

Change is inevitable, and while feeling doubt and trepidation is normal, you need not be afraid of it! Thinking about risk taking in an intelligent way for a positive outcome is a crucial element of the process and is also a key part of “Stepping Out.” Now, you are measuring risk taking not as before but with a newly defined lens: a lens that has been created with all your years of experience, sacrifice, hard work, success, and relationships. Look through it, embrace it, and enhance it to develop your next season. Trust your instincts and realize that your wealth of experience combined with doing what you love most, turns risk aversion into enjoyment, excitement, and lifelong fulfillment!

Vanessa Castagna brings more than four decades of experience as a Fortune 50 executive and eight years as a consultant and board member to her role as an Advisor for My Next Season. Vanessa is dedicated to supporting other executives as they transfer from corporate careers to meaningful next seasons of their own.

Please watch for Vanessa’s next blog, “The Learning Curve . . . Again,” Part 5 in a 5-Part Series.

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