First, before I begin to tell you what I think, I need you to know I speak out of my little work experience of 7 years. I don’t know much relative to how much I need to know. Whatever tiny success footprints I’ve left on the way from where I started have had more to do with my knowing (read: learning) of how to deal with my not knowing than anything I know. And, it is by far the biggest learning experience I’ve had in terms of a career transition.
Second, let me give you a backdrop on what motivated me to write this. So I caught up with an old friend a few days back. And, he casually happened to ask me if I planned to experiment further with another profession or I am happy with what I do now. Experiment? Ouch. (For those who don’t know: Three years back I made a career transition. I quit my cabin crew job to become a writer). Well, experimenting with things before you settle for something is not bad, for example trying ten ice-cream flavours before you pick the same-old-flavour each time. But when this word is used in context to bigger things in life—like your goddamn career—it does come with a nasty connotation. Why are winding career paths looked down upon?
A few years back I was timid to fuel someone to make a bold career move having done one myself. Why? Because back then I held on to the words that were thrown at me: fickle-minded, unstable, confused…use your imagination to list more. Starting all over felt thrilling but also like walking on eggshells, for the simple reason I didn’t know so much. That was the first time I learnt how to know what I don’t know and get to know it. I started with a technique and I am hoping this helps someone in some way big or small:
Think for yourself to decide— 1) what you want, 2) what is the reality, and 3) what you should do to achieve 1) keeping in mind 2).
Basically, this helps put your perspective in place.
- Not to confuse what you wish was true with what is really true
- Not to worry about looking-good; but, about achieving your goal
- Not to overweigh primary consequences relative to secondary ones
- Not to let setbacks and failures stand in the way of progress
- Not to blame bad outcomes on anyone but yourself
All in all, the point I tried to make here is: it doesn’t matter what others think about your career. Even if they think it is an experiment of some sorts. What matters is are you willing to find what’s best for you? Do you deeply believe that finding out your true potential/calling is essential for your well-being? Do you genuinely want to find out what is holding you back?