I can recall a time, many years ago now, when I first decided I wanted to be my own boss and escape the shackles of the job I was in. I was newly married, working in an intense job as a marketing executive for a computer software developer and I was so tired (mentally more than physically) from all the travelling I had to do.
I even remember what I thought my escape plan would be. Writing.
I would become an author, earn heaps of money and live happily ever after. The seed had been planted by my dear husband before we were even married – he told me I should write Mills and Boon books for a living simply on the strength of my notes to him. (Yeah, mushy, sentimental… you get the picture.) Well, Mills and Boon didnt appeal (I never read them) but writing did.
I am sure you realise that that stellar writing career never eventuated. Well, not until I created The Clearing Space and started writing on this blog. This is writing – isnt it?
You see, it was just a fantasy – a crutch if you like for my mind and my emotions. On a bad day, or when I was really sick of whatever it was back then (politics if I remember rightly, and a lack of care for their customers) I had something for my mind to say – ‘it’s OK, there are other things you can do – you wont have to put up with this forever’.
I diverge from my story.
There were times after this when I felt like a fish out of water in corporate life. Many times, actually. Times when I felt like I just had to escape. Only, I wasnt sure exactly WHAT it was I was wanting to escape. (Or where I was going to go, but that is a story for another time).
It is very easy to say ‘I hate working here’ or ‘I really cannot stand this job’. But to make change effective – to really know what it is that is wrong with now so that you can ensure that next time it doesnt happen again – takes a bit of thought and analysis.
I have watched friends and family resign from one job and take up a new one, only to find out 3, 6 or 12 months down the track that they are still mighty unhappy. They find that the new job that was going to be perfect for them and much better than their previous one, really isnt, after all.
I have also seen people buy businesses, only to end up with the same result. Or start up a new venture – only to find that this isnt what makes them happy. And these can be costly mistakes!
What I found, and what I share with my clients when we work on this, is that it is very important to take a look at the current situation from two different angles before making any decision.
Firstly, what isn’t working now – very very specifically what isnt working now.
And secondly, what is working now. What is good to great about this job, this career and this employer. Every single little thing.
Armed with this knowledge they then can make a decision about their career from a position of strength rather than just the emotions of the moment.
I think there is a lot more I’d like to share on this – including some specifics about these two angles – so there will be further posts on this topic.
To change and to change for the better are two different things.