New Year, New Career
Navigating the chaos of opinion on this subject is a minefield. The millennial generation seem optimistic about their pursuit of fulfilment; yet most older folk chastise their desire for purpose. I’m a nineties kid and so I feel adrift somewhere in between.
For most people in young adulthood our elders are a generation of hard workers; they undertook their penance as a means to an end rather than for any notion of idealism. Hence to them the idea of instability and change seems foolish; persistence and hard work have long been cornerstones of the working life yet times are changing and so to are our beliefs about work. Technology and innovation are breaking down corporate structure and the limitations that once held people back from their own initiative are slowly abating.
Ironically now that we have endless possibilities though it is increasingly difficult to channel our focus. We might have multiple interests or broad skills; too many opportunities or not enough. There’s no straightforward answer to the work life balance; even with the tides of advice we're afforded; if you're thinking through a career change though these ideas might offer guidance or a starting ground.
Without understanding ourselves or the values we associate with work the pursuit of different might be frivolous rather than revelational. It’s difficult to comprehend how other work might suit yourself without immediate experience and so thinking through what you're actually chasing can be quite enlightening. It might give rise to more questions than answers but it’s better to explore your motivation in the beginning rather than woe further disappointment in the future.
A Gradual Approach
It’s almost impossible to reinvent yourself or your career overnight. Change requires significant effort, time and commitment. Unfortunately most people want immediate liberation after they’ve made the decision to act. The reality is though that often you’ll still need a measure of security while you navigate the shift. Focus on taking small actions. You might need to learn new skills, find mentors, educate yourself or look for freelance work to begin.
The Fallacy of your one chance
Our work and identity tend to bled into one another and for a lot of people who they are is inseparable from what they do. A sense of self is entirely personal of course but I do think we should take care not to get caught up in the notion that work is the be all and end all of our existence. You don’t have one chance to succeed or fail; you can start over, reorientate or refresh as often as you like. Sure it might become more challenging as you gain responsibilities with age but it will never be impossible.Think of work as if it were play; you move and align your skills with each turn of hand; the game might yield disappointment or new opportunities but it is nevertheless in motion and the outcome is never set.