One of the joys of doing presentations is that you get bombarded with questions at the end – or in noisy groups sometimes in the middle too! I love these as although we get many similar questions I am often stopped in my tracks by a new one and have to be creative in working out an answer. And this is how our own thinking about this topic continually develops. In a recent radio interview I was asked the question in the title of this post. Personally I often don’t know what I think about something until I’ve heard what I have to say about it! Something to do with my personality style in that I talk a lot and most of my creative thinking comes from tossing ideas about with others. No back room solitude for the lonely thinker here.
Anyway, for a change, my answer to this question, after listening to it again in a recording, was still the same. Ask yourself: are there still some aspects of your single track career that you like? If so then consider downsizing that job so that you can still do some of it but only if that means that you can do what you really love. This also helps financially of course. Don’t necessarily throw baby out with the bath water. Its sometimes very tempting to just say “I have to get out of this completely as its suffocating me”. If that’s true then of course do it. But is it all suffocating you or just chunks of it.
Someone on a recent workshop I was running explained that doing a cost benefit analysis of their present job helped to tease out just what they loved to do and what they hated or even felt indifferent about. That’s a good launch tactic for beginning to define what you would like to put in your career portfolio. It may be that you have to toss the whole job out as colleagues and/or bosses have huge difficulty in understanding what you are up to and maybe even feel some resentment. That might also be a reason for dumping the whole bag.
Just don’t automatically think that you have to tear up all traces of your previous work life. There was a good reason for doing that job when you took it. Are some of those reasons still there? Have you moved on so that you are not now the same person. Are other things happening in your life that suggests a change would be good in the work context too. Although be wary about the latter. You should never choose to have too many life changes at the same time. The famous research from Messrs Holmes and Rahe, 30 years ago, proved conclusively that too much change is bad for your health.
If you come across me or Katie or indeed using this website please continue to spray a multitude of questions at us. It helps us to develop.