The best time is always now! – Podcast
As you may have heard, I had emergency surgery on some gall bladder issues last week and I am currently on the mend. As with any major life event, this got me to thinking about what I want in the future from both my career and my life. It also made me think about the timing involved in making other, important life and career decisions.
Often, when facing important decisions, we are counseled to “go slow — take our time — don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire”. While there is certainly some wisdom in the this advice, I think for most of us, we error far too heavily on the slow side of the equation. This can lead to unacceptable situations where we struggle in a bad job or position for years before we even attempt to make a move. It is a situation where we tell ourselves everyday that we are doing something when in fact we are just postponing the inevitable. This can also lead to situations where our employers can make our decisions for us i.e. fire us, before we get a chance to make the decision ourselves.
There are times in your life when going fast may be your best option. You need to evaluate each situation on its own merits, but I can guarantee you that there will be times in your life when jumping first and looking second might just be your best choice. One of the most important times to go fast is when you are presented with an opportunity that is clearly and obviously more in line with your wants, needs and desires. I have seen people turn down what I considered much better offers simply because they weren’t prepared to go fast when the situation called for it. You don’t want to find yourself here.
Your ability to go fast is directly related to the preparation you have put into your life and career BEFORE being presented with the opportunity. As I say in my book, Career Compass: Finding Your Career North, you need to do some hard thinking about what you want out of your career before you are able to make clear decisions ABOUT your career. This discovery should be an important part of your work during those “go slow” periods of your life.
As part of the Career Compass, you look at all the work you do and might like to do and place them on a chart accordingly. Once you have thought about your wants, needs and desires, you can use your Career Compass to quickly evaluate new opportunities that might appear. This go slow work of developing your Career Compass during the slow times directly relates to your reaction speed when you need to go fast.
So, are you currently in a “go slow” part of your life and career and evaluating the pros and cons of a new situation or are you just using the “go slow” advice to procrastinate on making the changes you really need. If so, don’t despair. Many of us find ourselves in the exact same situation in our lives. There is a way out. Look for those times when you need to make a quick change and “go fast”. There are times in all our lives when we need to take the “short, sharp, shock” of a quick change rather than languish in a situation we already know to be detrimental to us. It takes courage and honesty with ourselves, but it is possible and, more importantly, it is necessary to insure the continued health and well-being of your career.
Remember, in many cases, the best time for any move is now!
(You can find more more information on the Career Compass, in my eBook, Career Compass: Finding Your Career North, in the Amazon Kindle store. You do NOT need a Kindle to read the book, though. You can read it using your web browser, your smartphone or your computer if you don’t have a Kindle)