Your Next Steps: Bridging what was with what will be

Apr 10, 2017

Once a year, through most of Canada, there is a magical week. It is that moment when we realize we are almost finished with the winter thaw and there is evidence that a full and lasting spring is arriving. It doesn’t happen at the same time in each region – but it does eventually come to every corner of the country.

This week is southern Ontario’s winter thaw. In recent days we’ve moved from snow to spring glow. We are not yet firmly confident that spring has sprung, but we know that we are in the final days of winter.

This time of year always generates articles and discussions focused on rejuvenation.  The focus on the promise of the new season inspires us to reinvent, reinvigorate and resuscitate our careers. Indeed, we see a surge of new clients starting programs that focus on career iteration at this time of year.

But moving too quickly to focusing on spring misses an opportunity for a different type of career learning. I was reminded recently to reconsider those opportunities presented by this window between seasons in fresh ways.

While we can’t wait for the coming spring, there is something special about this particular “in between” moment in time. There is value in considering what it means to be in the midst of the winter thaw: Rather than jumping immediately to new opportunities that lie ahead, the winter thaw allows us to reflect upon what has been beautiful about the season just coming to an end.

Winter thaw allows us to watch as parts of the cold winter melt away. In career terms, it is a reminder that there are many aspects of our careers that we can appreciate and then move away from as we move forward. The thaw is not instant, crocuses currently poke through remaining snowy lawns in a way that makes both the flower and the snow more beautiful. Our transition does not have to be in one step. It can be gradual. We can find ways to have what is working now coexist with what we want to have come next.