The past two weeks have been full of hellos and goodbyes with my job changing. These are my thoughts, observations and advice to others on not letting moss grow on ones toes and how to be wary, not of wolves, but of the insidious fear of change.
I went to a Columbus Web Group talk last night where the presenter, Tom Burden of Grypmat, spoke about his journey toward building a startup. He touched on things like making things personal, identifying what makes us angry and other points, including working with our own fears, which comprise his decision-making framework. Over all, it was great, and he reminded me of my own experience. While I don’t want to create a startup anytime soon, Tom’s thoughts on how to identify a goal and start a journey were on point.
With my recent move from Nationwide Insurance as a collaboration software architect over to Insight as a software engineer, I appreciate what Tom said about, essentially, leaning into what Brené Brown calls discomfort and what Tom calls “what makes you angry.” While I was in no way angry, Nationwide was great, I did have some advice that the CEO of DaVita gave me on a flight back from San Francisco once.
“Re-pot yourself every three years.”
The thing is, I spent way too many years at one company once in my life and it was my responsibility to pursue change, but I was comfortable doing web and SharePoint work in a corporate environment. For fifteen years. It was fun, secure and predictable but that’s just the thing. It’s what Tom talked about. “Find the thing that makes you angry.” “Confront your fears.” “Reach higher.” The day I decided to leave that job in Texas back in 2008 was one of the best days of my career. I had no idea what I would learn, the challenges I’d face or the failures and success to come. But I did it anyway. I did the same thing by strategically choosing to work in architecture at Nationwide while leaving Cardinal Solutions. I am doing it over again by diving head first into cloud technologies at Insight.
When we face a fork on our path, we must actively choose the next direction we pursue. Yeah, it might be a little scary. There may be challenges ahead. But the only way we get from one place in our lives to the next is by not doing the same thing over and over. It’s by stretching ourselves, growing, being grateful always, being open, and putting our best selves forward.
Just like back-country backpacking… part of the excitement is the idea that we may change as people depending on which path we take. It’s the cumulative experience that we garner that makes us who we are at given points in our lives.
Change is constant. Fear of change is a choice. There is always a better way for those who choose to challenge themselves.