Don’t marry a job before your first date. Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Be willing to get rid of the life planned so as to have the life that is waiting for you. What do you want to be when you grow up – the question we’ve all been asked. But changing your career can sometimes be classified as being unsure, a sign of weakness or failure. It is like finding a future spouse without first going on a date. Over-planning can limit a person’s success and career matching can be silly. The world is changing and new opportunities and careers will be created.
Lean planning is smart planning. Like Google, they send out testing to the viewers before they commit to a particular path. The traditional path to starting up is no longer the best strategy. Create the minimal product and get it out there to get feedback immediately and then make adjustments. Facebook is another example of a lean company by offering simple messaging services and then they offered additional services based on the market. Get going with a small investment. Get something into a customer’s hand as soon as possible and see how they respond. Toyota utilizes go and see for yourself. Don’t take anything for granted and go see for yourself. Experience what it’s like firsthand and determine for yourself. It is the most informative way to explore but also provides the key to ways of getting exposed to an opportunity you have not yet considered.
Test your assumptions. Don’t act on assumptions until they have been tested. One’s actions are often suaded by misleading or incorrect assumptions – school is too hard, too competitive, wrong degree, etc. Those assumptions can be disproved with a little firsthand experience. Work or volunteer at a profession to see if it is a career you want to do. If it is a job you will enjoy you will have the confidence and motivation to pursue your passion. Test your assumptions before you give up on a career. Talk to someone who is successful in that career and discuss what they enjoy about it. Ask yourself if you are okay in doing the work to get there.
Avoid perfectionism. People often resist change and progress because they want to proceed in the most professional and polished way – maybe next year, or a need to finish one more thing. Try the easiest thing to get you into a change. Embrace change. A good book to reach out to that I highly recommend on this topic would be Jen Sincero’s book called You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
It’s okay to change your mind. People feel they will be failures if they change their career path. Most who did change careers expressed regret over making a switch but many said they wished they had the courage to do so sooner. Don’t get stuck to a plan and be ready to change course and try new things.
Discover your success. The capacity to take immediate action and change course is more important than any plan. Many reach such success without ever deciding what their career should be. Everyone can follow their curiosity and pursue what they enjoy.
Lean approach to careers. Strive to be lean when pursuing your career. Research before making the commitment. Make the smallest plan just to take the next positive action. Focus on what you can do in the following week to have new experiences and learn. Learn to enjoy initiating small actions that lead to immediate feedback. Perform experiments to confirm or disprove your assumptions about an occupation you are curious about. Don’t believe what you hear or what you’ve learned. Come up with your own experiments that allow you to determine how feel about an occupation. Volunteer, take an introductory course, an internship or a part-time job in that field. Be prepared to change course and expect to make changes. Adjust your course depending on what you’ve learned. Avoid big investments in education and training until you have learned everything you can. Keep your plans informal and resist giving a specific answer until you have collected facts and know what direction you’re going. Develop a small plan and move onto the next positive action.