On The Way To My Last Big Professional Gig…

Dr. Seuss is one of my inspirations for pursuing my Last Big Gig.  His book,
Oh the Places You’ll Go, is a standard birthday gift for key milestone birthdays, offering lots of wisdom and inspiration.

This is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

 And kicking a bit of butt!

 This moment right now is the youngest you’ll be
For the rest of your life.  Just wait and see! [1]

So, okay – I get the message, but what do I do next? How do I start thinking about how to choose the direction in which to steer (since I am not getting any younger, yikes)?  How do I figure out where to start if I am not sure about my destination, and there isn’t a map?  Over the last six months, I have tried starting in a variety of places, ending up with a range of possibilities to sort, explore and evaluate.

First, I started with a traditional assessment of my skills, experience and capabilities.  During a transition 25 years ago, I benefited from a very structured process of moving from what I did well in one career to applying it in a different one.  What do you like to do?  What do you do well?  What are your most important accomplishments?  Why?  The net outcome is a very rational profile of my professional experience and the beginning glimmer of what I like to do – perhaps what I want to do more of.  But if it was just a matter of naturally evolving along a straight-line projection of my career to this date, it wouldn’t feel so hard or so big.   My challenge is that I want to make a quantum leap in a direction that builds on, but is more than, what I have done so far and that also provides tremendous satisfaction at multiple levels.

The next direction I took, was to open myself to the Universe for some inspiration.  I talked to coaches, attended a wild, energizing, coaching conference and ended up hiring a great person with whom to start a different kind of conversation.  I started reading all types of inspirational books.  I attended numerous events, big and small, on a range of topics from personal development to professional association information transfer and seminars on different techniques, tools and perspectives – looking for the inspiration.  Overloading my brain with new ideas, experiences, people and possibilities, I pushed myself way beyond my comfort zone – shakin’ it up!  So now I began to add inspirational vision to my skills and accomplishment profile.  How do I think about what I value?  How do I begin to actualize that in the world?

And then, I began talking to smart, thoughtful women from all types of backgrounds and with many different professional and personal experiences about what they are thinking about for their last big gigs.  While a unique question for many, it didn’t take long to get the conversation going.  Many of these women have wonderful, amazing ideas.  But interestingly, almost all of them want to find a way to add the component of “giving back”, “paying it forward”, making a difference by thinking beyond themselves and their families.  I have decided that this is an element that I want to add to my next big gig as well.

This is just the start to choosing the direction in which I will steer with “brains in my head and feet in my shoes”.  So much to learn, so much to do and so much to give – even the journey to creating my next big gig is one big adventure.

Marigold signatureMary Wallace Jaensch

[1] Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go, 1990

1 Comment

  • Mary

    Reply Reply April 25, 2014

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