Since the dawn of time, it has been said that the only constant in life is change. We are also told that only death and taxes are certain in this life. Maybe change should be the third certainty. Or could it be that death and taxes are part of the continuous change that is mandatory in this life? Covid has been an accelerator for change at many levels of our existence, both on the professional and personal levels.
Many of us are caught unawares by change. It is strange that change is guaranteed yet we are least prepared for it. We anticipate and prepare for changes in other stuff we are responsible for like our family and work colleagues but forget to do the same for ourselves. Companies have been downsizing (or is it right-sizing) even before corona appeared on our horizon. Yet the majority of people act surprised when change shows up at their doorstep. We try frantically to put our house in order yet the guests (change) have arrived.
How we prepare for change determines how successful our transitions will be; and to prepare we have to be conscious of what is happening in and around us. English writer and philosopher, Aldous Huxley said, “Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.”
I think many of us are good at movement,that is moving up the corporate ladder. But we struggle with being conscious while climbing. Success can blind us and that’s where change creeps up on us like a bandit. I’d say that when change comes (or when we recognize it) irrespective of the point one is on the ladder, do not panic. Try not to be overwhelmed by the sudden vulnerability you will feel.
Awareness of the change is a huge step in the transition journey. We live in an information age so there is an overload of counsel and suggestions out there on how to deal with change. Coaching helps to sift through, settle the dust and increase our sobriety. A good career or transition coach will help you with guided reflection that is both practical and suited to your specific change situation.
Also Read: Glass Half Full
It helps though that when we go through our careers (and lives in general) with a measure of self-awareness, that this will enable us to sniff out change as and when it appears. That way we are more prepared to adjust to it in good time. The most critical time to be on the lookout is when you are at the top of your game. When things are looking up and you are climbing the ladder with a smile, that’s when you should question what you will do when you get to the top of that ladder. This is because the faster you are progressing up the sooner you will reach the top; and when you summit, you don’t know what the view will be like. There could be another ladder to ascend to new heights or you might find one leading you downwards. Worse still you could find the ladder you have been proudly climbing is leaning on the wrong wall.
So be woke and get a coach. That way transitions through change won’t be so scary. Coaching will help you view change as a stepping stone and not an obstacle or threat.
Written By Lucas Marang’a