This is obviously a follow up to Making Your Own Destiny. That entry was very autobiographical and walked through some tough career choices that I’ve made over the years. Each choice was fairly close to a major shift in my life that included milestones like college graduation, moving to another city, or starting a family. Each shift in my life along with a career move added some stress and uncertainty plus challenged me to go beyond where my comfort zone was or even where I’d envisioned my life going.
One thing I think is interesting is that each change involved a significant upheaval that included my place of work. There were times when that was an easy thing to do and other times when it was painful. In every situation there was the risk of the unknown. I currently work in technology at a very large company and very large companies aren’t always known for being all that flexible. The area I am in is one of the faster changing in the market space I’m in. I’m not going to get into any details about who it is or what I do on a day to day basis. I did, however, see a need that was challenging us and that represented a role I could fill. My problem was that there was no specific job to fulfill the role. Such a job would be a great move for my career and also provide me the ability to fill a gap for the company. Over the last year I worked with my management and they had the same feelings. The result was a new position where I’ll get to work with some talented people doing what I wanted.
There’s the cliché that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. There’s also the sentiment that something worth doing is worth doing right and that good things don’t always come easily. When you’re making a decision that has a lot of significance in your life it’s worth thinking the whole thing through and trying to take some emotion out of it. I know a good number of people who have made job changes over the last several years for a variety of reasons. Some of those were right for them and for the right reasons. For others, it really wasn’t. I also know a few people who have seen a need or situations that need addressing and have run right at the challenge. By doing so, they took on a bit of political risk but are also solving those challenges while doing some interesting work they enjoy.
In my situation, working with my management to address a need and attack some different and meaty issues gives me a terrific way to do some work that I know I’ll love. The best way to do that has been as an agent of change rather than jumping ship. The important point is that I was able to set a goal and build a need in order to get something I want. I obviously need to give a ton of credit to my management who I’ve been aligned with, but I don’t know if I’d be sitting in this position if I hadn’t made it happen over an extended period of time.
If you’re considering a major change in your life or want to do something you’re passionate about then consider it carefully. Chances are good that there are multiple ways to get to the end state and that some may be better than others. The route you take should be one that not only gets you what you want but strengthens who you are in the process. It should be for the right reasons and not be a snap decision. Your life is a journey that can have some inflection points and even some tipping points that cause you to move in one direction or another. Not all of those are in our control, but where you go from each focal moment certainly can. take control of each aspect that you can because in the end, you’re the one that has to live your life.
It feels appropriate to insert a Rush quote here.
“Even if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”