On the outside
Feeling like you are looking in from the outside is a typical experience during a career transition. When you are committed to a specific career it is much easier to connect to a community. Of course, all sorts of other things can affect a sense of belonging: family, finances, language, culture, convictions, race, and location can play a large role as well.
But if you can say “I am a journalist” or “I am a pilot” or “I am a football player” you have another significant way of bonding with others. People often build relationships by exploring things they have in common. If you are unemployed, however, or struggling to embark on a new career you may experience a profound loss of purpose and community, something that is usually associated with retirement.
One useful strategy in life is to try to make the most out of your difficulties and disappointments. A man I met last summer put it this way: “Never waste a crisis.”
It is worth noting that John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress while in prison, and that the Good News, or Gospel, became widely known in part because the early Christians were forced out of Jerusalem. One man who forced them out, the apostle Paul, went on to write several famous letters in the New Testament from his own prison cell.
Ironically, feeling like an outsider can actually help you relate to a large swath of humanity at a much deeper level.
© Career & Life Direction 2010. All rights reserved.