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Aliza Licht's BLACKBOARD


Episode 3:
"Is this what I am supposed to be doing right now?"


Over the past few weeks, I have taken power networking to new levels. Quite frankly, it's been exhausting. But we must keep busy, right? Otherwise, we risk getting rusty or worse, lazy. The truth is that I've never been one to relax; my brain is always on to the next thing I think I should be doing. I'm the person who stays home sick from work and considers reorganizing my closet because I finally have a day at home and how can I not be productive? Go ahead and judge. It's okay because I bet my closet looks better than yours. Wink.

Despite my lack of a proper job, I do not spend my days in gym clothes. I get dressed each day just as I have for the past twenty years of my former working life. I spend my days racing around the city, navigating the subway system ('
tis very sad to say goodbye to my former expense account) and trying to find the coffee shops with the fastest wifi for in between meetings. I've been a very busy girl.

Some of these meetings have led to taking the next step. Gulp. Having a lot of things in play is fabulous, but there's a problem. I'm starting to feel like all signs are pushing me to start a full-blown company. Can I dip a few toes? Sure. But going all the way into the water feels like there is no return.  
Believe me, I love the flexibility of being able to work on whatever I want to and decline whatever l don't want to. But I also consider myself a monogamist and I love believing in one brand and putting all my energy in that direction. I also happen to love being part of a team. My brain feels split in half. I'm not even convinced that I like being on my own, but if all signs point toward entrepreneurship, is that what I am supposed to be doing right now? 

Enter stage right, a new reality: professional's block. Professional's block can strike when you have too many interests and don't know which path to go down. It's a real thing and I can't seem to shake it.

I was recently at a breakfast with a friend who like me, quit her ridiculously good job to explore new opportunities. Like me, she wasn't satisfied with the status quo and felt compelled to look beyond her boundaries. In talking to her, I realized that we have the same problem. In many ways, we have graduated, and the job we want does not exist. We have to create it, break molds and pursue the areas that most speak to us. We need to make what is essentially a professional stew, adding a pinch of advice from one person and mixing it with a cup of knowledge from another. Then we need to carefully fold in the opportunities that most excite us.

My fear though is that I'm not sure if this stew will taste good. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am hardly a cook. So how do you decide what to do? I believe that when fate and circumstance push you in a particular direction you have no choice but to follow. I must figure it out as I go. It's about making one decision at a time and making sure that I say yes or no for the right reasons. It's about valuing my experience and my time and making sure that other people do too. It's about trusting myself to know what's best for me.

I'm aware that I might look back on these months as wasted time. It very well could be that the next several months that I devote to entrepreneurship are just months that I really should have been looking for a "real" job. But it also might be that I will look back and realize that through a series of smart decisions, I have built something extraordinary.

Time is my friend right now, and when time comes to visit, you invite her in and offer her a cup of coffee. 

xo,

Aliza

(Do you want to tell me something about this post or do you want to suggest the topic of my next one? Email me at blackboard@alizalicht.com or tweet me @AlizaLicht)

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