It is the question people become stuck with; wondering if and when they should start a new career. They can become frozen, when the onus becomes on finding the “right” answer. Fear sets in, it might be the wrong move or the wrong plan to stay. Our own thinking blocks any progress we might make. Instead we remain hanging in limbo neither committed to staying nor committed to starting a new path.

We wrap our identities up in what we do for a living. Within 5 minutes of meeting someone new, one person will ask “what do you do?” Our careers have become shorthand ways of labelling who we are. No wonder we get caught up in our thinking. Our thinking ties us in knots because we are waiting for the perfect answer, but there is no such thing. As Steve Jobs said;

Remembering I will be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all internal expectations all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Action First

So how can you move forward with this question? The key is that it is more action then thinking that is required. It feels counter intuitive to move into action rather than intellectualise your way out of the problem. However, as far as our careers are concerned it is action that is required. When we experience different options it enables us to get really clear about what we want to do.

Po Bronson wrote the book “What should I do with my life?” which is a collection of 60+ individual stories of people who looked to answer that question. It highlights how people rarely have an epiphany moment; lots of internal soul searching doesn’t provide “The answer”. Instead it is when people move into action they start to experiment, to create learning’s which move them forward, even if it not immediately obvious how.

More to follow on the three action steps we need to do to create a new career. I

Photo: Kyle Glenn

To Change or Not to Change, that is the Question

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