The world of work is changing, I was at McDonalds this week and found only 1 person at the desk with my order ready to go and I asked myself how much longer before I self-collect my order from a machine. A few weeks earlier, at the airport, after scanning my ticket & checking in my luggage, I went through a personal security scanner, at the gate scanned my boarding pass and next thing I was making my way to the plane almost not having to talk to a single human being.
“One of the most important distinctions you need to learn to make is between those things in life that should be constant and unchangeable and the kind of change you should welcome”.
People’s lives are constantly changing- especially when you are in a career transition. During transition you lose the fixed framework- work routine, work environment & social environment. The only way to prevent change from utterly dominating your life is to make sure that your life possesses a fixed and unchangeable framework of reference.
During the 2008 recession, while businesses were struggling of the unthinkable, only a year earlier, Jim Collins, the author of the 1994 classic ‘Built to Last’, was asked how great companies get through tough times. His answer: “In times of great duress, tumult, and uncertainty, you have to have moorings.”*
A successful transition does require keeping an eye on the world at large, regardless of your own particular field of endeavour. Especially in times of digital automation, no one can afford to say, “I’m a driver, so what is going on in the computer industry is irrelevant to me, or “I am the head of sales. Why do I need to know about AI?
Just like Blockbuster ignored online streaming. You need the ability to let go of the old in these cases and embrace the new.
From my experience, incremental change is easier to accept than a sudden change. I have experienced this with the sudden deaths of a few close friends & relatives including my dad when he was 49. Understanding this concept allows me, as both an employee and an employer to handle change in the workplace more effectively.
I love the familiar scene of Buckingham palace, it reassures me that some things don’t change and act as a landmark, the guards are still there and the roads are still red. It looks exactly the same since my first job there as a porter before finally enlisting in the British Armed Forces on the 9th of September 2001 also known as ‘9/11’.
It is always a walk down memory lane whenever I pass by Buckingham Palace on my way to catch up with thought leaders or partners in the city. As a leader you can prosper in your career by integrating into your life the things that must never change along with an openness to the things that can and should change. Turning change into an ally helps businesses adjust to technological advances, and failing to do so hurts them. As you undertake this journey be prepared to change course but have a destination in mind.
Likewise, using a career change correctly can help you, and failing to do so hurts you. So, expect the unexpected, plan on it, profit from it. With the future of work changing constantly, when you lead change you actually lead opportunity for your career. Do remember the more things change, the more you must depend on things that never change.
This blog is an extension on my previous blog ‘Be prepared to change course but have a destination in mind ‘ which you can read in the link.
What has been your experience with transitioning? I would like to hear your views on how this has impacted your lives. Follow me here or connect with me on Linkedin, twitter or facebook @SamuelTReddy.