The concept of “career change” is nothing new. People have grown dissatisfied with their jobs since, oh, I don’t know: forever.
As soon as people started gaining the choice to change jobs, they considered it.
If you want to change careers, maybe it’s because you’re tired of doing the same old thing. Maybe you’re tired of always being at the mercy of your employer, and you’re hoping you’ll gain a bit more control elsewhere.
Any attempt for positive change is a noble venture – so pat yourself on the back for even thinking about it!
But just make sure you re-consider the concept of “career change” before taking the next steps.
One and done?
If we talk about “career change,” it implies that we’re doing it once. Transition out of this career we don’t like, and into a new career that we will love until we die.
But what if it’s not that simple?
Very, very few people marry the first person they ever dated. Even fewer stay happy in that marriage.
Because in dating, we’re not just getting to know other people – we’re getting to know ourselves. We might find that what we thought we were looking for doesn’t really impress us when we see it in the flesh.
How could we know if we’d stuck with the first option we were given?
When did you pick your career? For most people, it’s when they pick their major in college or university.
And how much experience with the job market does an 18-year-old freshman have??
The problem with “transition”
Imagine you’re standing beside a pool, and you decide to jump in. (Don’t worry, the water’s warm.) How much different is your current situation?
You’ve “transitioned” from dry to wet, but basically: your location is the same, it took only a couple of seconds to adapt, and – apart from the water – your immediate surroundings haven’t changed a bit.
Now imagine you decide to jump into a fast-moving river instead. Immediately you’re pulled forward by a current, and although it takes a heck of a lot of effort to gain control, once you do and start swimming with the current…
You’re going faster than you could run. Every second, every minute shows you different scenery. The current isn’t pushing you in a perfectly straight line, but in zigzags that give it almost a roller-coaster-like feel. You’re using and constantly building muscles you didn’t even know you had.
The more you try…
That’s not to say that it’s an easy transition the first time you undertake it. That current can be powerful, and maybe the water’s splashing you around quite a bit.
So maybe you do practice in that pool, not just for the sake of getting “wet,” but to push yourself within your current confines. Once you’re sure that you’ve become a good swimmer, then take a dip in the moving waters.
We all have our limits, but only a select few choose to push those limits.
Once you’re challenged by fast-moving waters – and not overwhelmed by them – you’ll discover the pure enjoyment that you can gain. No longer is sitting still an option. No longer will you be able to look at the same buildings, the same people, the same routines without feeling bored.
By constantly exposing yourself to new places, new ideas, and new people, you’ll be opening up your world to possibilities you never even knew existed.
People with interests different from your current circle. Jobs that no one in your field ever knew about.
Success in a way you’d never defined it before.
Explore your options
That’s why we don’t talk only about “career change” here. It’s not a one-and-done deal, leaving you vulnerable to another situation you don’t like.
Career Motion, on the other hand, means trying new jobs as often as you like. It means saying that you refuse to accept what’s put in front of you, just because it’s always been there.
You can’t know what’s best for you unless you’ve covered your options. Maybe that means continuous transition – staying in one job for no more than 18 months at a time – for a decade. Maybe it means a handful of shorter-term jobs for three years.
Maybe it means changing jobs often for the rest of your life.
Only you can define your expectations for what you want to get out of a job, and so only you can know what will make you happy.
But you won’t be able to make an educated guess until you try the whole menu.
Have you ever made a few job moves in a row? What are some of the things you learned about yourself? Tell us in the comments!