All changes in life are transitions.

They are movements from one state to another, and I’m not just talking ‘transitions lenses’!

Whether we are

  • moving from one job to another
  • moving from employment to self-employment ie. smart starting?
  • moving from school to further education and university
  • moving from youth to adulthood – which can be a very variable event
  • moving from singleness to partnership – in life or businsess
  • moving from illness to wellness – or vice versa?
  • or travelling to work one morning…..

…. our lives are in a constant state of flux.

When we think about transitioning it tends to be as something that is active.  Something that is conscious even if not entirely within our control.

(Written nearly a year ago)  Life is about change.

  • In fact it is a relentless series of changes: some more obvious than others; and some more enjoyable than others.
  • There are the natural cradle to grave life steps, with biological, physiological and psychological developments.
  • There are the ‘living life itself’ steps such as what career to pursue.
  • Then there are the transitions based on human relationships: big ones like marriage, having children and moving house; and smaller (?) ones like friendships and participation in communities.

But it’s not always active change that affects us.  Sometimes the transition can be more subtle and passive and therefore feel more invasive.   Change is imposed and it’s not just that we have no control but that we may not realise that things are moving on, or how rapidly.

Some of us love change and the constant renewal of work, places, people and things.

I love change and have learned that I get very easily bored if there isn’t some new challenge to tackle.  I love meeting new people and thoroughly enjoy networking and events where I can meet and learn.  This quote from Juan Ramon Jimenez, sums it up perfectly for me

“A permanent state of transition is man’s most noble condition.”

For others the idea of changing jobs or moving home is terrifying.  Walking into a room full of strangers can bring them out in a cold sweat!  They hate learning new systems and can’t understand why anything has to change.  Some people absolutely hate the upheaval and uncertainty and get feelings of being ‘out of control’.  We wonder why things can’t stay as they are?  It was all perfectly fine, so why change what works?

BUT…… and it’s a huge BUT…..

If you don’t change you will not only be left behind, but you will begin to slide backwards. Unless you actively decide to keep moving forwards, and to take some charge over your direction and pace then you will be dragged along with the flow.  If that happens there is every chance that you will get stuck in some by-water churning around and slowly sinking.

STORY ALERT….

When I was little I can remember hearing that there were ‘jobs for life’ when I was visiting my Grandparents in Erdington (Birmingham) with my sister.  We would visit Sutton Park to feed the ducks, walk, paddle, race each other over the little bridges at Bracebridge (counting them and always coming out with a different number!) and generally love the freedom and safety on this amazing park. Anyway…. on one stay we called in at the bank on our way for a picnic in the park and after my Grandfather had dealt with his bank transactions and was driving us onwards he talked about the fact that people working in the bank basically had a job for life.  He explained that once you got a job as a cashier, you could work your way up and achieve a successful career which would see you securely in employment for your working life.  Unless you stole or committed some other criminal act you were all set!

I was very young, and this is certainly NOT the case today – in any employment sector – but my strongest recollection on hearing this story was one of fear.  The thought that I would end up working in the same place all of my working life was scary. How dull I thought.

….

I’m not sure that anyone would expect to have a job for life nowadays, or want one. We’ve gone from linear career progression to portfolio careers, and all variations in between.  However, the most enticing way of earning a living has to include having a good measure of control over your destiny.  Doesn’t it?