Are You Looking For Your Next Job? Work Your Next Job NOW!
It’s a cycle that most of us find ourselves in. From a young age, we are taught to find what interests us. We are told to pursue that and become good at it. At university, we prepare ourselves by learning more about that one thing that we’ve always excelled in. We pick up the skills that will enable us to use our talents for a lifetime of being a productive member of society.
And our sense of accomplishment is such that we bury ourselves in our work in order to justify the years of preparation. We become productive. We become stable. And we think we will live happily ever after.
But it doesn’t always happen that way. Often, there are bumps in the road that shake the foundations of our reality, requiring us to reassess our skills and realize that we need new ones. The problem is, it’s never easy to just change course, after a lifetime of gaining expertise at just one thing.
Let’s face it. It is hard to even consider changing careers or learning new skills. Stability grants us a sense of security that change disrupts. But in a world when economic futures can be affected by events beyond our control, it is wise to ask, are you looking for your next job?
Insulate Yourself From Change
There’s nothing wrong with preparing for the worse. We do it all the time. We have a saying: hope for the best, but plan for the worse. And it means exactly that. There is no shame in admitting that things may not always turn out the way we planned. In fact, by admitting this, and preparing for it, we may well save ourselves from ruin.
Survivors share a common trait: being able to adapt to changing circumstances.
This ability to shift and react to whatever comes your way, instead of only being able to function when circumstances are predictable, is what separates those who succeed in anything, and those who stumble and are never able to get back up. And this is never an easy task. No one is born ready. You prepare for eventualities. Then, you become ready!
Having multiple skills insulates you from the whims of fate. And often, preparing for new skills involves no rhyme nor reason. Something catches your fancy, you decide to learn more about it, and through constant practice, you become good at it!
Your skills function as your armor against change. The more skills you have, the better prepared you will be to face the onslaught of market downturns and changing economic fortunes.
Always Be Curious
That involves a fair amount of curiosity. They say curiosity killed the cat. I don’t think so. I think curiosity made the cat smarter.
A concrete example of what I’m saying here are these well-known chefs who now own multiple restaurants. They have reinvented themselves as media personalities, cashing in on their popularity to launch careers that are sort-of related to what they are doing, but going off on a totally different trajectory.
You have Anthony Bourdain who has parlayed his culinary skills, coupled with a well-developed and unique story-telling style, into a career in television as a travel and food guru. You have Guy Fieri, a restaurateur, author, then later a TV personality and host of several shows on cable TV. Both were not satisfied with caging their creativity inside their kitchen and restaurants. They broke free of those confines and explored further out of their comfort zones, to see what else is out there for them.
Then there’s this nurse I work with. She’s been a nurse for years, and a very competent healthcare worker, at that. But while she’s in no danger of losing her job, she’s also learned how to become a photographer. Now, she shoots events on the side, earning for her a stream of income that she probably never thought possible when she started out.
Then, there’s what my wife and I are doing. We’re nurses now, but we were not always nurses. And while we’re still in our current careers, we’re now exploring this still fairly new, and exciting online world, where the possibilities are almost limitless.
Today, our passion for writing is a creative outlet for our thoughts and experiences. Tomorrow, who knows? But today, we’re learning, exploring, and every day, we’re getting better at what we do.
Training For Your Next Job
That’s what this is all about. Training for what could be a future job! There’s no shame in that. No admission of defeat. Just a realization that things may not work out as you planned, because you’re not always in control of all the factors affecting your life.
And these preparations need not be so intense nor serious at first. It could be as simple as a curiosity, an itch you need to scratch. A new fad you want to explore. An interest that piqued your curiosity.
Take again what we’re doing now. Writing has always held a fascination for me. But I never fancied myself a good writer, not even a competent one. But I had stories to tell, ideas I wanted to share. Then came this new medium of online blogging and website creation. Both skills never existed before, and I clearly had no training for either. But then, here I am. Creating an online presence that, for now, serves as an outlet for my creative thinking. Someday, perhaps, a self sustaining income stream!
Whatever happens, I am now gaining invaluable skills and knowledge that someday may help me transition into something else, if what I’m doing now somehow, no matter how improbable, takes a downward turn.
Disaster vs Opportunity
It’s a cliche, but still worthy of repetition. Are you a glass-half-empty kind of guy, or are you the glass-half-full type? Do you view unpredictable change as disasters, or opportunities? Always, success depends on your outlook.
It’s always the case, and self-help gurus through the decades know this as fact. You need to convince your mind first if you want to achieve success. Being able to view a potential disaster and snatch defeat from its mouth is an ability we all possess, but very few are able to master. It’s all a matter of perspective.
At best, a failure is a setback, an opportunity to change direction, a chance to not continue down the wrong path. Or, your catalyst for change does not need to be a setback, at all! It can simply be an opportunity thrown your way, and you decided to take it on.
My mother-in-law was a bank manager for the longest time. And she was good at it. But throughout her life, she had a knack for selling. When an opportunity to leave banking and pursue her passion to sell came up, she grabbed it, and never let go! She’s sold insurance, real estate, jewelries, and a host of other things, becoming a successful, and highly profitable, self-employed single mother who raised two daughters who never wanted for anything.
She never saw an opportunity she did not like. And it’s all fueled by the proper perspective.
The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared!” That motto can serve you well in all aspects of life. Especially in making a living.
We’re all comfortable with the status quo. We all would rather not deal with change. But change is the only real constant in life. We better prepare for it. The days of working all your life for one company is over. Whole industries have collapsed and disappeared. The American auto industry has suffered for a long time, unable to compete with the more agile and innovative companies from Asia and Europe.
It took Detroit a long time, but when they finally decided to change and adapt, they started again to thrive.
As for me, I’m working my next job NOW.
I’m writing now, blogging and creating an online presence for myself that someday may be a platform for something else. Maybe a new stream of income that I never imagined before. And I’m preparing myself by partnering with online mentors that have so far made it possible for me, a total IT neophyte, to start and maintain a website, and teach me all the tools I will need to develop this new skill.
Be the best that you can be at the work that you’re doing now. But never stop learning or training for new ideas and skills. You never know when they will ever become handy!
Is there anything that has interested you lately that you’d like to learn more about? Share it with us in the comments section. Thanks!