“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” Andre Gide
We had a mentorship session on Saturday the 25th of November. It was a really good time, we had lots of fun and we were able to be of help -‘Gbenga Sesan and Myself. It was a bit dissappointing that some people who by requesting for seats ahead had caused others to be turned back from this session did not show up. I guess this further confirms that people will most likely only put their mouth where there cash already is committed.
Nevertheless, it was a rich and good session, and the common theme of the day was transition. It so happened that many people were contemplating making a move, and the gathering became an opportunity for people to ask questions and share experiences. At the end of the day knowledge was evenned across the room. You might be considering making a move, transitioning from where you are into where you feel you ought to be. You may be a bit confused, “should I, should I not?”, you may feel a little nervours, a little unsure of how secure the move is, you may suddenly discover you are afraid. Don’t worry, it’s not a road that hasn’t been travelled before. There are guidelines. Don’t learn from your own experience. Read this.
1. Understand why you want to move – Many people move for various reasons. There are good reasons to move and their are wrong reasons to move. One of the most common wrong reasons to move is running away from someone or something within your organization. Believe me, he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. What you are running away from might be a challenge you need to learn to overcome to get to your next level. The best reason to move is when your personal vision and the vision of the organization you work for are no longer together. What binds you together with any organization is your mutual quest for success. This of course means you need to have a vision and a life plan.
“There is a time for departure, even when there is no place to go.” Tennessee Williams
2. Face your fears – Many times people know they are not gaining value where they are, but rather loosing value. Move! Don’t be emotional about it, move! I understand your fears, you sometimes wonder how come most other people take their lives in their hand and have no fears. They have fears, we all have fears, but some of us have chosen not to back our fears but to face them. One question you need to ask yourself and answer, is “What is the worst that can happen?” When you face it, you’ll discover that it is not as bad as it looks. By answering that question you set yourself free. Until you are willing to loose sight of the shores, you will never discover new territories.
“He who lacks time to mourn, lacks the time to mend.” Shakespeare
3. Evaluate – You need to be real, look at the past and project into the future. What will you be loosing? Are they things you can afford to loose? Face it factually, it usually looks bigger than it actually is. You might not be loosing your friends, people stay in touch after they are not colleagues, you might not be loosing your status, $100 in your purse, on the ground or rumpled doesn’t loose its value. What is changing, what is not? What is an old wound, what is a current loss? What have you lost and what are you gaining?
“The important thing is this: to be able a any moment to sacrifice that we are for what we could become.” Charles DuBois
4. Recognize the Symtoms of Transition – Are you afraid, do you feel empty, inert and flat? Are you confused or do you feel lost? Don’t worry, these are all normal phases in a transition. When you have made the move, these feelings will want to stay, they are the normal symptoms of any transition. Change is hard! Wise people however do not live in the past, they live in the here and now!
“Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.” Henry Miller
5. Take a time-out – There are few people who make use of the wonderful opportunity of being alone to think things through. Do you have a place you withdraw to to think? Believe me, the cycle of work needs to be broken for you to come up with clear thoughts. Use the opportunity to also take stock, re-evaluate your priorities and check to see that you are still on track. Also re-evaluate yourself, your skills, desires, abilities, goals and dreams. Break out from your current mindset, who says things should be the way they are? You don’t want to move with your head to discover that your heart is not with you.
“It is a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead – and find no one there.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
6. Take Action – Action should be immediate! Your action can be to say, I’ll leave today, next month, or give it 3 more months. Action can be to mark your calendar and set a target for yourself. Action can be to build a stronger and better relationship with your boss who you thought was your problem. Action can be, to decide to stay and not consider moving for another 1yr. Take action! You might not be able to say with certainty what lies ahead, but believe me, it can’t be as bad as it feels.
“The great end of life is not knowledge but action.” Thomas Henry Huxley
7. Decide quickly and change your mind slowly!