Has anyone ever told you that you should do something that scares you at least once a day? I’m not sure I do that on a regular basis, but I think I have at least satisfied the requirement of doing one, big, scary thing for this year: I quit my job.
I quit a job I really liked about a month ago and it was an incredibly hard decision because I have never been as set in my ways as I was in this last job. On the surface, everything seemed to be right with it:
- I had a fairly short drive into work
- I worked with really nice people
- The company treated their employees with respect and offered great benefits
- I wasn’t digging ditches or laying asphalt on 100 degree days
Things were good but something was missing: I just didn’t love what I did. I knew I was capable of doing more and for whatever reason, I’m one of those people that is always looking for the next challenge.
Then it happened: I got what I wished for. I wanted an opportunity to build a marketing team at a small, entrepreneurial company and I got an offer from a company that fit that description exactly. All of this just happened to come at a time when I was reading Seth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception. In that book, Seth challenges his readers to “fly as close to the Sun” as possible and “choose yourself” to be the person that makes things happen – or as he calls it, “art”. When it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to accept the offer, I literally had to stop reading the book because it depressed me too much. The thought of not having the confidence in myself to take a gamble really pissed me off.
So, here I am two weeks into my new gig and I can now safely say that I absolutely made the right decision. All of that fear I had through the decision making process is gone and I am completely energized about work again. That might sound weird to some people and I can totally understand that. Not all people live to work and that’s totally fine. I just happen to be one of those nerds that gets a lot of fulfillment out of making things happen and building stuff – or as it is in my profession, brands.
If you are faced with a big career-changing decision anytime in the near future, I don’t envy you. It can be an incredibly painful process to go through and it takes time for the answer to become clear.
I’m not going to sit here and say that the risky and scary choice is always the right one because everyone’s situation is different. What I can tell you is that the old saying of “be careful what you wish for” is really good advice. If you are focused on a goal and work toward it everyday, there is a damn good chance it’s going to happen. If you are absolutely clear on what you’re wishing for and everyone who has a stake in the decision making process is aligned to that goal from the beginning, the choice will be a whole lot easier.