What’s your special sauce? That special something about you that others appreciate. Last
week, a friend asked me, what’s your special sauce? I wasn’t sure how to answer. I thought it
was a new expression and I hadn’t heard it before. Do I have a special sauce! It’s the same
type of question I was asked after my corporate job was eliminated and my career went into
transition mode, what’s your purpose? Do you know your special sauce and your purpose?
Questions like these can trigger you because you’re going through what you know, even
entering some of the unknown area of transition. Then your career and former work colleagues
change their interaction with you and you’re not sure what’s next. When you’re going through
a transition, you’re thrown off and these questions feel like you’re losing your footing?
Are you going through a transition?
When the special sauce question comes up, how do you respond? Where you are today, where
you want to be, or what’s next and how to get where you want to land next are all questions
about your transition. You have the certainty about who you are and don’t give it a thought
until that uncertainty appears and now your purpose or special sauce answers aren’t feeling
right. When the rug of your identity is pulled out from beneath you, there is a shuffle to figure
out what’s next. When you don’t think about it, it works until your identity is shaken and you
don’t know how to answer.
When the questions come, identify what you do that people come to you. It’s usually tucked
inside you and so much a part of you that you don’t have to think about it. The chances are,
your special sauce is your specialty. Do you know it? Or do you want to change what you’ve
been doing for something new?
My Special Sauce:
Mine is to help others with their transition because I enjoy the path of transition. Ever since
graduating high school, I’ve gone through transitions as my family moved from the northeast to
the Midwest. Since the mid 1980’s, I’ve relocated back to the northeast and have made a few
other locational stops in the process. Sometimes I feel there haven’t been too many locations I
haven’t experienced living, ie. the time in Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin and Utah.
Enjoy the changes and transitions in your life. Life can be unsettling and it’s a choice to either
land on your feet and thrive to enjoy the changes that have come your way. Or resist them and
your life will feel unsettled until you either revert to where you were and notice how that feels.
Reverting back isn’t comforting. It feels like you haven’t made process. Yet, there are people
who would rather dig their heels in the ground to slow down, because they resist changes going
forward. Do you go with the flow and find a new path, a new experience and find a new way to
learn, whether it’s learning something about yourself or how you see others?
As a relocation manager for over 15 years, my job was to help others transition from one
location to another as quickly as possible so they didn’t lose too much leverage in their
transition. I loved that part of the job. I know it well because I had done it myself. There was
something about the packing up, because you go through a declutter process to take your
essentials and let go of what you don’t want or donate it to others that will enjoy your no
longer needed treasures while you start fresh and in a new location. You can move across
town, across the country or any move in between. Your perspective changes as a result of the
change in location. You have the opportunity and it’s a choice to see through different lenses.
See what you didn’t before. That’s easy to say when you’re moving across town. When you’re
moving across the country, you notice the differences in culture, in traffic, in food preferences,
in your habits and those around you. You also notice and can identify what you like and dislike
or are open to learning about what’s different, you either embrace it or not.
My special sauce is in paying attention to the differences in culture. You learn to appreciate
and ask yourself, what can I do to make this transition easier? It may be the openness or the
new ways of communicating or interacting in a new location.
When I noticed what was it about my special sauce that I was attracted to, it’s the learning
which stirs my curiosity, being in different locations whether it’s to find a new home, activities
or learning more about myself and Embracing Change in my life. In Sara Davidson’s book,
Leap, What Will We Do with the Rest of Our Lives?, she interviewed over 150 celebrities,
authors, and people about their next chapter transitions. The message that summarized the
transitions was a quote by T.H. White that summarized the only cure for sadness is “to learn
something.” This seems fitting when you are upset about a transition in your life, whether your
identity is changing or another facet you haven’t quite embraced, committing to learning
something will change your thoughts, perspective or the lens you view the new chapter.
Which do you prefer; learning through experience, research, curiosity and touch or connecting
with others? Ask yourself what’s your special sauce and you’ll connect with your mode of
learning while in transition. When you’re in transition, connecting with being open to expand
enables you to embrace change and move forward with grace. Identifying your special sauce
will help you transition because it’s the connection you have with others that opens new
pathways on your journey.
Need help with identifying your special sauce, email Karen@laterinlifetransitions and we can
set up a time to have the conversation to accelerate your later in life transition.
The most important thing to do now is to take a step. Click HERE to take the Empower Me Quiz and find out what’s next for you.