I’m from Belgium and have lived in China for 12 years and published 2 books.

My career plan in my 20’s was to get a good education, secure a good job, grow within a company in Belgium, and scale the corporate ladder to a successful position.

I got the degree, got the job,  and then life took me to China as an ex-pat. My career was going according to plan until I lost it all in the financial downturn in 2008.

There I was wondering what I would do with my life. I had been in a job trying to be successful because I believed that I would be happy if I was successful at work. And then I lost it.

There was a huge gap between my internal and external worlds. Between what I was pursuing as a career plan and what life had for me.

I know for some leaders, the call hasn’t come yet. Or they know the call is there. But there is a fear to listen.

When you are in this situation, two things can happen:

  • You make the call for change, or
  • Life makes the change for you

When you make the change, it is a slow process. You can prepare to cultivate your purpose, plan, AND enjoy the journey of change.

When life makes the change, it is a crisis, burnout, or divorce. Often, the catalyst serves as a wake-up call to start walking a different path.

Career planning that is not aligned with your real purpose will bring change to your life journey in an abrupt way. This cannot be planned. Your life can take a drastic turn at any given moment because you are on an internal journey of self-realization. 

Changing jobs and changing relationships are part of the journey for self-growth. Changes are necessary because they stimulate growth. Life has that plan for you.

Maybe the disruption has already occurred several times in your life. Looking back, did your life play out the way you planned it? 

Probably not. And it’s alright.

Those unexpected changes were lessons for self-realization. The question now is, “are you making the calls right now, or is life making them for you?”

Suited Monk - carrer planning 2022

Raf Adams

Do you feel a lack of mental, emotional, or spiritual balance? Take this 2-minute questionnaire designed by Prof. Dr. Mike Thomson from CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) that will help you identify the gap between your internal and external worlds. Take your free check-up here now.

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