What if success at work only happens when you embrace change? What if you have to pursue change if you want to actually think with more creativity, invent something new, spur your own productivity, and find lasting success in the workplace?
I've been asking those questions lately as I plan a move across my state to a more populated area. FedEx will be happy; a few companies based here will probably see me once in a while. I can only assume I will find more coffee shops. I'm targeting an area where a commuter train makes its last stop, which makes perfect sense because I'll be as remote as possible and still in a lush and peaceful setting, yet with easy access to a major airport by light rail. I'm pretty excited about all of the changes.
But it's freaking me out. A major life change is a recipe for disaster for anyone who claims to be good at their job. It crushes you. Or does it? Can change somehow become the fuel we need to find greater success? In fact, is it a 100% required ingredient of success?
I'm struggling with all of the details. To give you an idea of what this is like, consider a few interesting factoids. This month, I will write at least one column here per day. Yet, I'm also an incredibly active product tester-everything from phones to business sedans. I tend to conduct interviews constantly. I receive a few hundred emails per day. I post constantly on social media. I tend to track multiple companies on a daily basis and read blogs religiously.
Now throw in a U-Haul and a few moving boxes and my productivity house of cards will turn into a house of horror. I can't even imagine what it will be like to keep up with social media and move a sofa at the same time. (Feel free to send me any tips if you have lived this recently.) It doesn't seem possible that a major change can help me in any way.
Yet, I'm no "moving" newbie. This is my third major move from one town to another. There's a tendency for all of us to see change as the enemy but it's actually your best friend. You have to warmly embrace it. You have to pursue it. Change opens up a whole new world of thinking. It's transformative. When change happens, your perspective shifts and you suddenly get a better view of what is really happening in your work (and in your life). It's like taking a step back from the trees and seeing the entire forest. Without change, you are stuck with the tree.
I remember my last move in 2006. It was right before one of the worst economic meltdowns in recent memory. There was a dream-like haze to the experience. Everything seemed new. I discovered a tiny roadside cafe that is always quiet in the morning and serves excellent coffee. I met new friends. And, I pumped out an incredible amount of work. My entire job changed for the better. I embraced the change and moved forward in a way that was not possible before.
What major change can you embrace? I'm talking about more than switching from a PC to a Mac, although that can help. And, not everyone needs to move across their state. Yet, you might need to make a purposeful, intentional change and then embrace it if you want to see progress. Maybe it is a change in career. Maybe you need to finally start that mobile app development company. Maybe you need to get married or have kids (or both).
Here's my usual call to action. Contact me if you have some ideas on what you need to do to change. I'm here to help you make up your mind and get unstuck. I'm also here to attest to the fact that change works. I'm not sure where I'd be without it.