Nowadays, the choices on where and how to work are broad. In a talk at the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship recently, a stat was relayed that kids in primary school now will have up to 17 jobs, across five industries, working as employees, employers, for themselves, in collaborations, likely study outside the university model, and take several career breaks for months at a time.
The stigma around non full-time roles is being removed. Employers are embracing flexible ways of working, looking to hire diverse skillsets, advances in technology make working from ‘anywhere’ easier, and there is an abundance of information on ‘how-to’ set up your own thing. I believe it is becoming much easier to transition careers and industries, start a side-hustle, or generate income to compliment your desired lifestyle.
Whether that is going out on your own or with partners, moving industries, creating a portfolio career, or accepting a role you feel inexperienced to tackle there is ‘threshold’ to cross. At times, the threshold can be one or a combination of mental, emotional, physical or spiritual experiences. Below are some broad ways to look at ‘what next’ in three stages of the plunge across the threshold.
This two-part blog series investigates crossing the threshold and some things to consider before and while you’re stepping into the change.
Before you take the plunge…
Uncertainty is part of the process
You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable when you take on any sort of change. Expect this to be a constant, if not a minimum of 12 months. It takes a good 6-12 months to get under the ‘hood of a new organisation and your role expectations, yet remain open and dynamic as it’s also likely that your responsibilities will be redefined often. If your own business, you’ll need to reconcile your sense of security, plus balance processes and systems required vs. the constant urge to stay relevant and nimble to pounce on opportunities.
Align with your Values…
Know what is important to you. Your values are your foundation, they are the best indicator of how you think, feel and act. They shape your beliefs. If you design a career that matches your values you’ll be far more satisfied. For instance, if ‘freedom’ is important to you, think about the amount of autonomy and flexibility needed. If ‘connection’ is important to you, consider that you may struggle working solo vs. in a team, or having large bouts of time left on your own. Define yours with my free exercise.
Say ‘Yes’ more often
Starting now, put your hand up for projects that give you exposure outside your core competencies, mix with other departments, and go to lunch with people outside of your core team – ask them questions about their role, deliverables and get a holistic view of what the company and they do. Offer value in return, don’t just quiz them – build relationships and share experiences. You’ll be amazed how this can spark ideas for your future.
Call it, if you don’t feel it
You know in your gut when you are coasting, in a role for too long, or just settling for a pay packet. Get out before you are bitter and resentful. You have the responsibility to guide your future, it’s not all on your employer’s shoulders.
Know your decision may not be popular
Overall, most people are supportive when you make a considered choice to make a big career change or start a business, but know there will be doubters, distractors, and people who will criticize your dreams. If you have a family more considerations need to be factored in. Don’t see feedback from others as negative when you decide to grow and change, resist getting your energy tangled up in being defensive or getting feedback from people who aren’t helpful, instead use your way of explaining your choices to them as a way of clarifying it for yourself and fuelling your own capacity.
Stay with me, as Part 2 of this blog series will discuss further considerations after you take the plunge.