website maker

Change is bound to happen to each of us at one time or another. High flying and fast moving careers are no exception. Perhaps you are dealing with a major career shift. Your company or role is being downsized or maybe you’ve decided on your own that some kind of change is necessary. It’s important to remember that even if everything changes for you, it’s not the end of everything. It seems kind of counterintuitive to say, but it could be the greatest day of your life.

Here’s why: It’s hard to slow down long enough to deeply consider our gifts and talents and what God may have for us to do when we are speeding forward.

Road blocks are often gifts, even though sometimes it is hard to see that at the time we encounter them. Use this transition time to stop and spend some quality time figuring out exactly what is next.

Don’t rush it. Because, for many of us, what’s next turns out to be most important work we will ever do. I pray the same is true for you.

So, let’s look at some aspects of making this change that I believe will be useful for you.

The Role of Money. It helps to know before you begin this journey that God will absolutely take care of you. You have probably heard it misquoted: “Money is the root of all evil.” That is not true. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. In Matthew 6, Jesus lays it all out beautifully by beginning with this: “You cannot serve God and money.” He said that because He knew that someday he would ask something of us and if we were busy serving money we would get out our spreadsheets and decide whether or not to follow based on the numbers. Don’t get me wrong. Numbers are good. But they can’t be the determinant of our actions as servants.

Jesus then goes on to say, in essence, “Do you know who you are dealing with here? I feed the birds of the air and clothe the grass in the field and I love you a lot more than them.” Then, He makes a final statement that crowns it all: “Stop worrying.” Translation: He’s got this, whatever you decide.

The Value of a Coach. We all have blind spots that we cannot see, no matter how hard we try. We need other counselors and a coach who have our best interest at heart to advise us as we go. As the Proverb says, “In a multitude of counselors there is safety.” Absolutely true. People who love you want to help. Give them permission to speak into your life and listen carefully. More information is better. You don’t have to follow all of the advice you’ll hear, but at least you’ll have plenty to prayerfully consider.

Your Next Role May Be the One You’re In. Many, if not most, of our Halftime Institute alumni realize during the process that they are supposed to stay in their current role (when possible) but approach what they do every day in a different way. Yes, some are called to radically different missions and causes. But, whatever happens, the key is to stay open to all of it.

Bring Your Family Along. If you have a spouse, it’s critical that you help him or her understand what you are doing in real time. Pray together. Talk about this stuff with full transparency. Many have said that the onset of the season of halftime looks an awful lot like middle-aged crazy. You can nip that in the bud by being honest about it all and bringing your spouse and kids along with you.

Stay Encouraged. It’s easy to lose heart when something we’ve been successful at comes to an end. The unknown around what is next just adds to our worries and can bring us down. Try to turn all of this on its head. Treat this moment like the opportunity that it is. Don’t immediately gravitate toward safety. Stand out on the ledge for a while and see what God tells you while you are out there. He loves us. He has important work for all of us to do. We are not done yet. Rejoice and be glad. Don’t worry, and don’t forget that He loves you and me more than the lilies of the field.

Dean Niewolny
Dean Niewolny spent 23 years in executive roles with three of Wall Street’s largest financial firms, finishing his career in the financial sector as market manager for Wells Fargo Advisors in Chicago, where he oversaw a $100mm market. While in Chicago, he and his wife, Lisa, traveled many times to Africa and, seeing the abject needs of widows and orphans, made life changes that enabled them to get involved, such as helping to complete an orphan home and a Hospice home in Durbin, South Africa.

In 2010, Dean traded his marketplace career for Halftime to help more people who, like him, wanted to expand their own “first half” success and skills into passion and purpose for meeting human needs and making a significant difference. Dean joined Halftime as Managing Director and in 2011 became Chief Executive Officer.

Dean speaks all over the world to marketplace leaders who desire to use their gifts and talents to serve others. His passion is to encourage business leaders to channel first-half achievement into a second half defined by joy, impact and balance. His first book, Trade Up: How to Move From Making Money to Making A Difference, was published by Baker Publishing and released in July 2017. Click here to buy Trade Up.

Having grown up playing sports—eventually in college and semi-professional baseball—Dean still enjoys coaching youth sports, especially his son’s little league teams. He and Lisa have two children and live in Southlake, Texas.