The usual questions associated with ‘transitioning’ surface once you start looking.
Finding the right fit for you is where some serious thinking and asking of the right questions for yourself come into play. Sure, you can model building your move on the proven success of others. Equally, you can carve your own path. Whichever way you choose it’ll be your decisions that will take you closer or further away from your goals.
And keep it real. No, you can’t do anything your heart desires whenever and wherever you want. Realistically, there are certain attributes that predetermine what you can and cannot do. Remember the difference between what is possible and what is probable. Some people and things will grow and change with you and some you will leave behind.
So, once you’ve gotten over the angst of making that first, momentous decision to change, you can start a somewhat clandestine operation until you are ready to announce to the world who and what you are. It is that caterpillar to butterfly analogy. We all understand both grub and bug but we’re not quite so sure about the chrysalis stage. Where, oh where, does the chrysalis fit in? Tucked safely away from plain view while metamorphosis takes place? Abandoned and defenseless against a merciless world? Or a little bit of both?
It’s not usual to hide away for years whilst transitioning. Oh to be in that perfect world! The reality is that there are bills to pay and quite possibly a family that needs your care. In seclusion, you may be dodging well-meaning friends and family weighing in with their opinions, experience or lack thereof, financial assistance or lack thereof and well-intended input that will generally create doubt in your mind. Or you could go into debt via government “assistance”. You’ll even dodge enemies for a while. The lucky few will have family and friends who wholeheartedly offer support and protection in any way necessary, no matter what. Your life is indeed blessed. Remember help only helps if it’s helpful.
Another way to transition is to take a tried and true path to successfully move from one career to another. It requires time and money upfront as well as all the way through the process and, possibly, beyond. There will be times when you feel the need to squeeze yourself into spaces where you don’t comfortably fit but this discomfort might lead you to your niche. It might also drive you to despair. Usually, you’ll swing between both until you choose and get a foothold.
It’s up to you how you do that. No one is going to tell you how to live your life for you without the terrible cost of being controlled. Make some choices. Make some decisions. When they are good choices and decisions, celebrate. When they go pear-shaped, lick your wounds and begin again, each time with a little more experience than you had before.
So, is there a successful formula for transition? Sure! Make your statement of transition. Do your research. Ask yourself questions. Ask a lot of questions. Ask more questions. When listening to answers, trust your gut. Learn from your wins and losses. Be ruthlessly truthful with yourself. Ask others who are where you wish to be how they got there. Ask again and again until you know you are moving closer to your goals.