Silver Lining: the "what's next?" phase

December 9, 2016

the "what's next?" phase

I n almost every possible way, our family is in a "what's next?" phase right now.

Sam will graduate in a few months, and his big "what's next?" is securing an awesome job. Corporate America, we're coming for you. Incidentally, if your company is looking for new employees, might I recommend one Sam Emery? He has a masters in business administration, a masters in information management, a freaking awesome work ethic, and sexy facial hair, although I couldn't get him to add that last one on LinkedIn.

Since it's still a bit too early for Sam to have accepted any offers, we're also in the "where next?" phase. Sometimes it's unsettling knowing that our lease is up this summer and we have zero clue where we'll move to, but mostly it's exciting. We'd love to put down roots and become homeowners one of these days, and we love to day dream about the awesome places we could be living.

About three times a day I go through an identity crisis (Sam will confirm - this is not an exaggeration). I'm constantly battling with my restless desire to do everything and be everywhere and learn all the things. First I'll swear I'm quitting my blog to have one more kid and happily stay at home with the munchkins for the rest of my days. Then I swear I'm going to business school to get myself a master's degree (or two!). Then I'm sure I'll go back to teaching and be an educator for the rest of my life. Then I think how much I love my blogging job right now and I'm convinced I'll never ever leave, even if I'm the last still-running blog out there.

A lot of my friends are in a "what's next?" phase right now too. My amazing nurse friend has risen to the top of her field, and is now thinking about what to do to advance and grow in her professional life. Lots of my friends are contemplating having a child. My pregnant friends and new mom friends are thinking about whether they want to work full-time or part-time or not at all when their babe comes along.

If you're also in a "what's next?" phase, know you're not alone. Sometimes not knowing the exact path you want to take is exciting and hopeful and full of possibility. Sometimes it's extremely scary and depressing and hard to not to be jealous of the people who have already found their path.

I wanted to take a good free online class that might help me narrow down my possibilities. And I found one with Concordia University Wisconsin's "How to Create Your Personal Place." It's a short online course delivered for free straight to your inbox. It only takes about three hours to complete, and can be very helpful in defining your goals for personal and professional development.

This course skims the surface of a lot of important tactical growth steps - analyzing where you are in your life, figuring out your strengths and weaknesses so you can play to your strengths, and recognizing opportunities you should fight for and those that won't be worth it in the long run. It's about growing, connecting, and encouraging. When you come to a point in your life where you deem yourself successful, you have discovered your personal space. It's an introduction to their 100% online one-year Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and Administration (OLA) program, which acts as an alternative to an MBA.

You can learn more about the OLA program here, or sign up for the free course here.

Please tell me I'm not the only one whose future isn't totally clear?
Anyone else going through a "what's next?" phase?
It's always comforting to know I'm not the only one.

Thank you to Concordia University Wisconsin for sponsoring this post today.

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