It is not the strongest

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.  It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”  This quote is often attributed to Darwin, although there is a lot of debate about whether that is indeed true.  Whether or not it is a Darwin quote it has been around for quite some time and I think that it is very apt in today’s world.  In our fast moving world we experience so much change in our lifetimes, not least our jobs and careers, that adaptability has become a key attribute.  Some research states that the average person can expect to change their jobs or careers five to seven times in his or her working lifetime.

So if your career is not a single career, but a series of varying careers (take mine for instance….from Plate washer to Bartender, to Administrator,  to Office Manager, to Personal Assistant , to Project Manager, to Coach/Employee Engagement Consultant), how do you keep yourself ready, nimble and sane?  When considering a career change, it is important to anticipate and prepare for the changes that you will face, plan strategies accordingly to manage the change effectively, and build a support system to help you succeed.

Here are some tips to consider;

  • Working out what you want to do?  Sounds easy but sometimes this is the biggest blocker to moving into a new area.  If you don’t know what it is you want to do sometimes it is useful to start making a list of the things that you don’t want to do.  Once you have done that and reviewed it, then reverse the things that you don’t want to wants.
  • Keep an Open Mind:   When you find yourself in a transition that is exactly what you need.  When looking at everything with an open mind, exploring new ideas, you will discover new options and choices previously not considered.
  •  Have a “To Learn” list.  Identify areas that you want to explore more and create a “To Learn” list.  Many of us have a “To Do” list, but how many of us have a “To Learn” list?  Be creative and think about how you can pro-actively get the knowledge needed.
  • Do something with what you have learned.  Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied.  Reading a book on tennis isn’t the same thing as playing it.  Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.  If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice and practice, practice, practice.

Successful career change is possible, but only if you’re ready to do the work.  Those who fantasise about doing meaningful, lucrative work they love but won’t commit themselves to the process and journey of change, will never get out of the starting gate.

Are you ready to take these steps to build a career you love, and to get someone to hold you accountable?

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