Sometimes, the easiest thing to do, is to do nothing. Maintaining the status quo is comfortable. Many years ago, I remember asking Anne, “What’s wrong with easy?” I still like that question by the way.
Change is difficult, change is confronting, and change is risky. Change takes you out of your comfort zone, so why would you want to go there if you didn’t have to? If life and work is treating you well, providing the rewards and personal satisfaction you desire, then there is no need for change. You just need to nurture the things you have and embrace them.
After returning from our six month adventure, there was no status quo. There was no normal. There could have been though, if we let it happen. It would have been very easy to step back on to the treadmill of work and life as we knew it, and that’s what we did……..well at least initially we did. It was like we had never been away!
My work colleagues still sat at their same desks, doing the same work (but more of it), catching the same bus, eating the same lunch and leaving work at the same time.
My office was waiting for me. It looked and felt just like I had left it six months earlier. I did have a new computer though, loaded to the hilt with unanswered emails and a full diary of meetings. The routine (and stress) of the day-to-day of my government job hit me hard. It’s not what I wanted. I’d been doing that for eleven years!
If you want to make change, you need to make it happen. Opportunity doesn’t always seek you out and offer itself to you on a platter. It was time to take charge and create my new future. I proactively looked for a new start, registering myself on “Seek”, talking with trusted friends and family, and sharing with them my desire for change. I wasn’t certain what it was going to look like, but I knew for sure it needed to be different, and lie outside the public sector.
I’d only been home for a week or two, when over dinner with friends and family, a conversation turned to the subject of work. I shared my concern about the prospect of being back on the treadmill, and not wanting the last five to ten years of my working life to be spent unsatisfied. After more conversation and a few red wines, we tossed around ideas, some ridiculous, but others not so. A plan was starting to form.
That plan continued to develop over a few more targeted conversations, and within six weeks, a job offer was on the table. I was fortunate that a dinner guest on that night of red wine and conversation happened to be the person who made the offer. He had an opportunity and I fitted the bill. It would not have happened if I didn’t start the conversation, but more importantly, I acted on the ideas we discussed, and together, we reached a mutually beneficial outcome.
The happy ending for me is that I start my new career on the 9th of November. It’s a role that brings together all my experiences, offers me a fresh start and reignites my drive and passion.
I guess I’m not too old for a career change after all, although, to be honest, I am feeling a few of those nervous butterflies.