In life, you can count on one thing: Change.
When I first started working for my current company I came to work completely animated and thirsting for knowledge and experience. I rotated through multiple roles and multiple programs which expanded upon everything I already knew and helped me offer more to each new assignment I tackled. I’m a bit of an over achiever and have never had a bad, nor even a ‘normal’, end of year review. In fact, I’ve gotten consistent exceeding and far exceeding performance rankings as well as the occasional achievement award. I’ve been nominated as a high potential employee and continue to earn respect amongst my peers for the work that I do. So why then am I talking about a need for change?
You see this current position is the absolute longest I’ve ever been in one role. I’ve been at my current assignment and program for over four years now when previous assignments have been capped off at 1 or 2 year periods of performance. Yes I’ve expanded the work I’ve done and taken on more and more responsibility – but I realized I’ve stopped learning. It’s still fairly early in my career, and I’ve always had the belief that this is the time to stretch yourself, to experience as much as possible and gain as much knowledge as you can. I’m too comfortable. [It’s funny typing that as I sit in my cubicle over lunch realizing that a walk break is more than overdue… and it currently feels the opposite of comfortable.]
Why has this position lasted so long compared to the others? Well, I believe that’s due to multiple things – major changes and reorganization at the company, changes in immediate functional supervision staffing, and a feeling of being needed by my current program. The need feels so strong I even worry about leaving now, and I know this will sound absurd to many and no I don’t have kids yet, but the only way I can think to explain it is like a mom stepping away and allowing her children to make mistakes on their own so they can learn and grow from it. I’ve realized in recent weeks part of my day to day frustrations were somehow created by myself – I threw myself so completely into the program they began to rely on me for things that shouldn’t have been my tasking in the first place. And while in my naïve mind this was temporary, until I could teach them and then they would take over things from there — why would they bother? Right now if anything gets messed up they know I’ll cover it, I’ll fix it, I’ll run it to ground… I’ve enabled them. Well, actually, dis–abled may be a better term. Hmph. All good intentions mind you – I just am the type of person who sees a need and jumps on the task and owns it.
I’ve done a lot of learning and growing and maturing with this program and will take these skills and lessons with me – but it’s time for the next adventure.
Have you ever come in to work, sat down at your desk, and within
10 5 ONE minute of reading through emails and to-do’s just felt completely over it? Story of my life lately. And then I realized, I don’t have to keep it this way. *ding ding ding* You control your own destiny!
Part of this realization came through a chance. One of the three’s C’s. Because of my participation in enterprise wide collaboration I’d had the opportunity to meet people from all different divisions within the organization and it was through one of these contacts that I was told about a new job opportunity. The job was in a similar field to my experience, but an entirely different business unit and a different product line. This could be the change I was looking for! But, I had a choice to make. (You see? The three C’s….)
The facts: If I took this new job it would be starting over in a way. I’d have to learn new processes and a whole new product. I’d be the new kid on the block whereas now I lead multiple meetings and am on decision making boards for sign-off and review. No one on the new team would really know much about me or my past accomplishments. I’d have to “earn my stripes” all over again. I was terrified just thinking about it!!
“But why are you so scared??” I thought to myself. “This is not the first time you’ve rotated through to a new assignment, what makes this one so much more terrifying?”
Turns out all my previous rotations were generated and steered somewhat through my functional management – they were pre-determined and I was ‘talked up’ with no need to even interview. THIS would be the first career move I truly made on my own. So, if I failed it would all be on me. Well that’s just ridiculous that the only reason I’m scared is fear of not “earning my stripes”. I’ve done it before and I am only more experienced at this point so why wouldn’t I believe in myself to do it again? Done. That’s it. Decision made. You can’t let the fear of failure stop you from living.
As my husband, Mike, pointed out – “What’s the worst thing that could happen? You don’t like the job and we look for another one? …you don’t really like your current job right now.” What a genius (don’t tell him I said that).
Still, I couldn’t get rid of the negative feelings – both of fear and of leaving people who need me. Then my sister came through with some pretty insightful quotes that were exactly what I needed to hear to know I was making the right decision.
Pretty powerful stuff, huh?
So that’s it – I took a leap of faith, interviewed (which maybe I’ll talk about in a different post if there’s any interest – the whole process is a LOT different these days!), got the job and telling my supervisor and managers even went better than I thought it would. They mostly understood my need for change and growth and wished me luck on my journey. So now the next few weeks will be filled with wrapping up tasks and passing on assignments to a backfill before I start the new position (date still up in the air).
After all the contemplation and review over the past month I thought others may be in a like position and looking for some words of wisdom so here’s a few other quotes and statements that have a similar truth to them:
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
And a great article to read: 10 Choices You Won’t Regret in 10 Years
Are there any quotes or sayings that you like to remind yourself of when you’re faced with a hard decision?
How often do you change roles or assignments within your job? What’s the longest you’ve stayed in one place?