Transition, Detours and Changes in Direction
What will decide how we succeed in 2018? Our skill and detail in setting goals or the success with which we navigate transition, detours and changes?
A state of transition is everywhere it seems.
I wrote about goals for the new year in this post. This year I want you to think about what might be ahead for you in 2018 and how you will deal with periods of change in your life.
Careers, jobs and the nature of work are changing under the tide of automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
The validity of a university degree as a ticket to a good job is being questioned.
More people are having to accept the transition to part-time jobs, multiple part-time jobs, the "gig" economy and periods of unemployment.
Young adults moving back to the parental home which they left with such high expectations a few short years before. Others not even moving out of that secure nest. Some marrying and bringing partners home to live with Mum and Dad. Raising children in homes shared by three generations.
This process of transition occurs in most people's lives, often more than once. Career changes, relationship changes, moving to new homes, cities or countries, changes in interests, moving away from or towards faith and religion.
The transition from entrepreneurship back to employment
Lifestyle, personal development and motivational type blogs are full of advice and encouragement for frustrated employees to make the transition to "following your passion", starting a business, stop working for "the man".
Failure is encouraged - quite rightly too - as a valuable learning experience. If we never try something we can't fail, but if we don't risk failure, we can't expect to be successful.
There is not much advice on what to do after experiencing failure, except to keep trying, fail again and fail faster. All important, but that does not pay the rent or put food on the table.
Sooner or later, sooner if we have others dependent on us, we have to take action to earn money, quickly.
That means finding a job.
That is a huge mental hurdle for most independent thinkers - entrepreneurs, professionals, business owners - to overcome.
I know, I have had to get over that hurdle several times in my life.
Erin Blaskie wrote about her transition from self-employment to being an employee in her article on Medium. That move is often seen as a failure, something negative, giving up, abandoning our goals. It's not always so.
It can be, as Erin tells in her story, the wisest choice at the time. A change of direction, a detour, not a termination of a dream. It can be for some the only practical way to survive, the difference between eating and starving. Having a roof overhead or sleeping on the street.
That has been my experience more than once.
Transition in whatever form is a temporary state, it encompasses change but requires a different type of mental acceptance than needed for a simple change. Sometimes the result of a period of transition is beyond our wildest expectations, at other times a similar journey to before but on a slightly different path.
Transition might be by our choice or as a result of consequences beyond our control. Our survival and happiness depend on understanding the difference, accepting those we can't control and manage those we can.
What transitions will you face in 2018?