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Transition With Purpose

Dear blog readers,

This is my first post since leaving my role as CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Thank you for the the many emails and posts wishing me well in the next adventure.  I am grateful for the outpouring of encouraging words and support.

Last fall, I planned 12 topics that I would blog about in 2017.  For the month of April, I chose the topic of Purpose.  Of course, at that time I had no idea that Popeyes would be sold to a new owner on March 27th and that I would lose my job.  So it has taken me a couple of weeks to ponder what I would say about purpose during this time of personal transition.  But then, as I have talked to others about transition, I realized that there is never a more relevant time to talk about purpose than at a time of transition.

Work transition, particularly when it is unexpected, brings with it a range of emotions… the primary one being a sense of loss.  Loss of relationships.  Loss of role. Loss of a future plan. Loss of financial security… to name a few. And thus, transition can bring with it a version of grieving that might include emotions like shock, pain, anger, and loneliness. It might feel like you are suddenly without a purpose.

If you are experiencing transition, I can assure you these feelings are a normal part of the journey. In recent weeks, I have felt a sense of loss at this unexpected ending. But thinking about purpose has been an antidote to these thoughts.  And I believe purpose will eventually provide the “answer” to what my next adventure will be.

My Personal Purpose: To inspire purpose-driven leaders to exhibit competence and character in all aspects of their lives.

In the short-term, here is how purpose is helping me move forward.  I have used my purpose as a filter for things I can do while I process the emotions.  For example:

  1. I’ve written notes and made calls to encourage leaders in their career journey.
  2. I spoke at a leadership event to encourage young leaders with my Dare to Serve principles.
  3. I read a John Maxwell leadership book called Intentional Living: Choosing a Life that Matters.
  4. I’ve met with five or six people who have gone through a job transition recently to learn how they used their personal purpose to find their next adventure.
  5. I’ve listened to potential job opportunities, but have delayed my response until I’ve reflected on what will best match my purpose.

But let me add this warning: you can’t think about your transition non-stop. That will just lead to worry and anxiety.

Plan some activities during this time that are relaxing and different from your ordinary days. Perhaps you can use this time to do things you may have neglected when you were busy with your job.  A few things in that category for me:

  1. I have called a few of my girlfriends that I have not seen in a long time — and caught up with their lives.
  2. I’ve planned two “date nights” with my husband.
  3. I signed up to do volunteer work at one of my favorite charities.
  4. I’ve worked on losing a few pounds and walking more steps.
  5. This weekend I’m going to two movies — and I haven’t been to a movie in over 3 years!

Many of you have asked me, “What will you do next?”  And the honest answer today is, “I don’t know.”  But focusing on personal purpose is going to be the path to finding that ideal place to contribute.

 For those of you experiencing transition, I hope you will dedicate time to creating, refining, and revisiting your personal purpose.  For guidance on how to draft a statement of personal purpose, you can find instructions at cherylbachelder.com

Serve yourself well, as you navigate transition.

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