Since I’m raising two sons I’m reminded every day how important it is to set good foundation and basics for the good, successful and happy life. I recognize my own strengths and weaknesses in them, sometimes being very proud, sometimes scared to death. OK, most of the time scared to death. But I guess that’s normal for modern parenting and ambitious people.
When you start developing your career it’s also very important how you set your foundations. Not only in order to achieve success or not, but also in order to feel good and acquire the most wanted currency of the modern times – happiness.
Personally, I have decided not to chase happiness anymore because I have aspirations to become serious theater writer and I’m definitely writing much better while I’m miserable. So, I will not guide you toward happiness but you can find a lot of authors who will. With impermanent success.
I will try to explain how you set basics for successful transition or event better: for successful transitions during your life and career.
If you were reading some of my blogs earlier you might have noticed that I have several obsessions: creating amazing teams, telling good stories and proving that one can have several successful but very different careers during a lifetime.
In order to achieve the last one I must admit, there are couple of pre-conditions:
- You need solid set of talents and capabilities that you can work on and develop. I’m sorry, but I will not be politically correct and say that everyone can have several careers. Some people can’t have even one. Some people should not have even one – although they have it.
- You need to start pretty early and keep the pace because although human life is significantly longer than it was before, and yes you can start doing yoga at the age of 94 and become an instructor, it’s possible that you won’t have 100 years of life in front of you.
- You need to learn how to manage transition well. Transition in the outside world, but more importantly transition inside of you.
Managing transition in the outside world is a complex topic. But managing transition inside of you is a diabolic topic. And a very sensitive one. And then we reach the key issue: how is your foundation set for this?
Trouble with foundations are that they are mostly set while you are not aware of it. For many things during your childhood. But if we focus on career and professional transitions they are set during your professional childhood and it would be nice to be aware of it. I was not. But somehow, I managed to survive. Not without scars of course.
The first very important thing is to learn how to change jobs. I don’t mean how to find a new job, but how to leave the previous one. It’s always hard to leave. That’s why people stay in bad relationships or continue living in devastated countries. Unless you don’t have any career aspirations (and in that case, you are not reading my blog anyhow) you will have to change a couple of jobs. The sooner you start, the easier it gets. It’s in a way like the first time you have sex. The older you are, the more worries you have. The younger you are – there is more chance to make a big mistake! But, luckily, what makes it different from sex is that the consequences are not as dramatic or lifechanging. I changed my first job because of the 150 Deutsche Marks more I got from another agency. It was 30% more. Later, the company I left started working on fantastic projects that I would really like to be a part of, but that’s life! At the new job, I got amazing career progress opportunities and it led me to my publishing career where I had the most amazing 7 years. Today I would also seriously consider 30% higher salary. You always need 30% more. But I value some other things much more. People I work with, for example. So, I’m not saying you should change your job when you are young because of that 30% higher salary. But if you feel like changing it for whatever reason – do it! Even if it’s going to be a mistake, you will learn how to manage that transition inside of you.
The second very important thing is to learn to keep a healthy distance. Distance from the job you do and distance from the people you work with. This is essential for future transitions. Nowadays I see many people who are posting on social networks only things related to brands they work for or projects they participate in. Not to mention how boring that is for the followers, but it shows that they didn’t manage to establish healthy distance from their work. I’m the first one to post things I’m working on online (when it’s legal) but can you imagine me 10 years ago posting photos of me with Story magazine in a coffee shop, in a bath, at the beach, again in a coffee shop, and again in a coffee shop, then in the office… Every Tuesday with every new issue… And believe me, I was over-dedicated to this brand! When it comes to distance from people – it’s not about being unfriendly or avoiding communication. While I’m writing this I’m just realizing that I’m going to have a drink sometime next week with 4 people from all the jobs I’ve mentioned and they were all 10+ years ago. So, I have a couple of friendships from my jobs. This also not about that old story: when we work we work, when we have fun we have fun. I think you should have fun while you are working (read my post about it). But distance is about making a clear agreement with yourself that people you are working with are not your closest friends or family. And you can’t treat them like they are. They might become one day, but until that day you work together. You don’t live together. This will prepare you for future transitions. Because, when you have to leave a job you are not leaving your best friends, a wife/husband and parents at the same time
If you learn those two things you are ready. Ready to start thinking about transition. And it’s still going to be hard. And it’s still going to hurt. But, you will be satisfied at the end of it. Until the next one…
Cheers to transition! Cheers to my last post in this setup. Next one will come together with redesigned Mission45 and with new bloggers who are going to join me on this journey called “Life in Transition”. They will have different topics, different views, different styles, but I’m sure you are going to like us even more!