Today I was talking with a client who is in a transition from full-time parenting to…work outside of the home.
(In my opinion the work done to build a home and raise a family is the hardest work of all.)

My client is going through the process of identifying the values that compelled her to stay home to care for her three grade school children, in the face of the strong social pressures to continue working in her career in the health field.

To enter into the next chapter of life, we all need to pass through the “Middle” stage before we can enter new beginnings. In this Middle stage we need to identify the values that have sustained us, and that are now propelling us forward into new choices. This requires an opportunity to reflect and act in a focused way.

In the case of my client, as she moves away from full-time family-care to exploration of other areas in which she can contribute her knowledge and skills, we are finding that the values that had her stay home to raise her family are the values that will clarify and give form to the next chapter of her life.

These values include caring about the physical, mental and emotional development of others, and teaching others how live healthy lives. She also identified the values that propelled her through her long education – a deep concern with equity, and a desire to develop her capabilities so that she could contribute to others with quality.

As she identifies these values she is beginning to explore and assess options for her next steps in life. For example, she has enrolled in an online public health course about health disparities and is using the course content to refine her aspirations. Her path forward is becoming clearer with each step.

This action and reflection is what is needed for accomplished professionals who are moving into the next chapter.

Some can accomplish this more rapidly than others.

For example, A recent college graduate was able to complete her transition in a few months. Her aspirations shifted from patient care in a hospital setting, to providing health care organizations with the knowledge to function more effectively. She did this through a process of focused action and reflection.

Transitions are different for different people. For some it is moving to a new field of work, or a new job. Others are grappling with ending long relationships and re-entering single life, with the hope of finding reciprocal and supportive love.

All of these transitions need support.

In my life of many chapters I have never made a large transition without the support of a skilled and supportive coach.

My life transitions have included:

From Harvard undergraduate — to labor activist in Quincy Shipyard;

From single-mother/doctoral student — to management consultant with executives in global companies

From teaching leadership to health workers in Africa and the Middle East –to working with scientists in biotech

From writing my book Leading for Results to apprenticing with Katherine Woodward Thomas
(who taught me how to coach, and live, relational success – as I entered into a new marriage.)

My mother (who also lived a full multi-chaptered life) taught me that the only constant is change, and she was right.
Among many other changes, I am now learning the importance of sharing my voice in social media (with the support of my coach Shannon Hernandez!

It’s been quite a ride.

In each transition professional coaches supported me by:
Helping me to identify my core values, and clarify my purpose;
Breaking up my limiting beliefs so that I opened up to new possibilities;
Focusing on the critical actions to move me forward;
And most importantly sharing of themselves to give me the courage

This is what I bring to my clients –

  • I am a fierce stand for their success (in the same way that I am a fierce stand for my, now grown, children’s success.)
  • I help my clients clarify what the results they want, and identify what is getting in the way of achieving those results.
  • I am a stand for them to achieve the results they want and to move to their next chapter successfully.

If you are an accomplished professional in the middle of a transition, and want support to move in a focused way into your next chapter…

…please send a note to joan@joanbragar.com to schedule a complimentary “Clarity Call” to identify the kinds of resources would best serve you in this transition.

I’ve posted the video, Coaching Liz about her Purpose. You will see me coaching my colleague and friend Liz, as she works to clarify her purpose (mission).

Speaking of life “chapters”, this video was filmed in an earlier chapter. I have a different last name, and was at the time teaching leadership with an organization called MSH, Management Sciences for Health.
I offer the video so that you see me coaching.

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