Ph-ph-ph-ph-phases…

Photo by Sanni Sahil on Unsplash

I got another one of those goodbye and thank you emails from a coworker on Friday (fortunately not on my team). Later in the day, I needed to cc a few people on an email and discovered another person was no longer in the system.

Most times when I open LinkedIn these days, I’m getting notifications that so and so started a new job, or reading someone’s over the top post about how they’re so grateful for their time at XYZ company and they can’t wait to share what they will be up to next.

It’s a wild time for working right now. So many job opportunities, so many greener pastures. All during a strange chapter where many folks are starting jobs and never even meeting their coworkers in person, making it much easier to decide to bail for something better.

I’ve experienced many different kinds of phases over the course of my career. Some things that I was in control of, and some things that I wasn’t.

My career started at the tail end of the first dotcom boom (and then bust). I moved to San Francisco and was laid off multiple times. Then I moved across country to New York City the summer before 9/11.

I have been laid off at the holiday party, right after the holidays, and in the spring. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be able to choose between multiple job offers. Still, I’ve faced plenty of rejection and lived to tell the tale.

A life is not just jobs and career stuff though. We are all constantly going through phases.

Sometimes we are learning tons of new things and consuming lots of information.

Sometimes we are feverishly making our art (creativity comes in many forms).

Sometimes we are very social and connected.

Sometimes we are getting enough sleep.

Sometimes we are none of these things.

I remember a previous phase where I was really judging myself about my lack of doing things (writing, creating, whatever). A friend suggested that maybe this was just a fallow period.

In farming (I do not know about this from personal experience), fallow land is not cultivated. It is left to rest and recover on its path to becoming fertile again.

I’ll always be a champion for taking a break, getting some rest, opting out.

But sometimes there’s a deeper lesson to be learned… like maybe I don’t need to judge myself so much. Or maybe my interests have changed. Or maybe something I thought was true just isn’t.

If you feel like you’re going through a phase right now — the kind where you’re secretly wondering when you’ll get through it — here are some things that might, perhaps, alter the timeline:

  • Ask yourself, is there something here for me to learn? Or maybe, who am I becoming?
  • Is there someone (or many someones) that you haven’t talked to in a while? Try reaching out. You might be surprised by what you find.
  • Have you noticed any unusual coincidences or synchronicity? Get curious and maybe even tune in a little bit more.
  • Take a scrolling break. Make it a little harder to scroll by logging out, moving apps off your home screen, leaving your phone in another room. What comes up when it’s just you and your thoughts?
  • Just be. Everything is revealed to you on the timeline that makes the most sense for you.

Whatever phase you’re currently in, beginning, or ending; know that you are here for a reason, you are loved, and you matter.

This was originally published in my weekly newsletter in September of 2021. If you’d like to subscribe, sign up here: newsletter.rozduffy.com

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design strategist + researcher, coach, fun. she/her.

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roz duffy

roz duffy

design strategist + researcher, coach, fun. she/her.

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