To Change or Not To Change
Why do we fear change? Is it the unknown? Is it the possibility of disappointment or failure? Or is it the thought of leaving for what you believe is the right reason, only to find out the grass WASN’T greener on the other side?
Every day I meet someone who is unhappy with their job and wish they could make a change. I look at them and say, “Why can’t you?” Change, while scary, can be extremely rewarding… Of course change is something that should be well thought out. While you might not be able to turn your passion into a profession, you can certainly embark on a path towards something you value and/or interests you. Think outside the box and ask yourself the hard questions… ’What excites me? What am I good at? Can I afford to make the change?’ If the answer to the last question is, ‘YES,’ you really have nothing holding you back (other than your own fears). Perhaps if the process is simplified, the thought of change wouldn’t be so daunting.
Here are some ways to make the leap a bit easier:
1. Make a PROS and CONS list. What do love about your current job? What do you hate? What is the one thing you MUST have in your next role? What can you live without? The answers to these questions will serve as your road map as you navigate the journey to change.
2. Talk to everyone you know. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve discovered the answers right in my very own network. Social media puts our entire lives at our fingertips. Everything you could possibly want to know about anyone in your life is readily available through the internet. Between LinkedIn and Facebook, it would be hard NOT to find someone who might be able to facilitate that change.
3. The internet should be your best friend. Once you decide on your path, use the internet’s resources to figure out a way to make it happen. Maybe, you are interested in fashion design and you need to take a class at FIT. Perhaps your passion is makeup and you need a list of beauty schools. Or maybe you are more of a numbers person and don’t even know where to begin with hedge funds or accounting firms. Knowledge is power, so if you come to the table armed with information, your preparedness will help to offset the overwhelming feeling of change.
4. Update your resume. This allows you to be ready on the spot if someone reaches out. Time is of the essence and if someone asks for your resume, getting it to them “in a few days,” or “after the weekend,” usually shows lack of interest and no sense of urgency. Instead, have a copy emailed to yourself so when someone asks for it, you can just email it over. And make sure it’s in pdf format, so you know exactly how it will look when they receive it.
5. Just do it. In the great words of Phil Knight (or the advertising company that came up with that slogan) JUST DO IT! Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Once you decide that change is inevitable and you are willing to embrace it, make it happen! And don’t look back. You are the creator of your own destiny. Others can help you along the way, but only you can make things happen. Imagine if Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page were afraid to take a leap of faith. What a different world this would be.
The power to change is always in your hands. Those who are willing to make it happen, rarely regret it. Do it before it’s too late. As Randy Pausch said in his famous, The Last Lecture, ”Achieving your childhood dream is something you can do! Whether you do it at 15 or 50, don’t give up on doing what you love. And if you’re lucky enough to make money in the process, well then, GOOD FOR YOU.” One of my old bosses always said, “Say YES…And then figure out how to do it.” I always keep that saying in the back of my mind when embarking through uncharted waters. The truth is, after all these years, I haven’t come across something I couldn’t do…Only what I was afraid to do. Success and happiness can co-exist. If you can’t find it, create it, then work hard to maintain it. Remember, you get what you give, so always tackle life head on with reckless abandon. While it may not be easy, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.