Sir Frances Crick, who, with Dr. James Watson unraveled the DNA code, declared if you are not prepared to take a risk you should never get married, you shouldn’t have children and you most certainly should never risk changing jobs.
You, Dear Reader, are taking a huge risk. You are thinking about embarking on a new career. Simply reading these words is a measure of your bravery, your sense of adventure and your willingness to take charge of your life.
Whether we know it or not, we are all taking risks all the time. Even if we are classified as full-time employees, we are really freelancers. The ax hangs over our head by a slender thread. The only security we have is our ability to transfer our knowledge and experience into a stepping-stone to the next opportunity.
Rather than thinking about permanence and security, we should be thinking about — indeed hoping for — change. Change is the only constant in the continuum of our life. If you think you are standing still there is an illusion you are coasting but in fact, you are falling behind.
Like it or not we have to keep making decisions. Should I wear this or that? Take this apartment or that? Go to this movie or that? Go out. Stay at home. Should the steak be well done, medium or rare? Will it be blue cheese or vinaigrette dressing? Smooth or chunky? Small, medium or large? With or without? Paper of plastic? On and on goes the list of questions — and answers. Now is the time to formulate the right questions and lots of them. (At the O.J. Simpson trial, Johnny Cochran didn’t ask the jury “Is this man guilty?” Instead he asked if there was hanky panky going on in the L.A. police department.) It is a matter of interpretation whether or not this was the right or wrong question. If you ask the right questions you may alter the course of your life.
Deciding to change your career, or embark on a new venture or just change jobs is a major undertaking. It means thinking ahead and anticipating where you want to be in the short-term — not the long-term because you will probably change your mind and change jobs several times. Most people do. Remember you are in charge. You may be willing to exchange your time for someone’s money but you are not a prisoner. You can leave a job if you are miserable. Being unhappy is a WOMBAT — a Waste Of Money, Brains and Time.