Change is inevitable.
It's a tag-line on my site, and from my personal experience, a long-felt truth. With family, the changes can be predictable - children progress through school, sports seasons start and finish, and, for us, we're on our 3rd college search journey which has a certain process and cadence that has become familiar. Of course, there are lots of surprises along the way - engagements (yay!), illnesses, seemingly small decisions that result in larger decisions or life impact. Many of us have a strong family and friend structure to help through celebrations and recovery, whatever life might hand us.
But what about change in our careers that might be harder to predict, harder to process, more difficult to control or direct. Again, for many of us, the idea of a career has a certain stability and constancy - in today's business environment, stability and constancy are different that even 10 or 15 years ago, much less the same as what our parents expected and experienced. A dynamic business environment can be invigorating, exciting - if you have chosen that environment for your career. For me, as an engineer, exciting comes in the form of a well-completed math problem, a creative solution to a long-fought process issue, a well-architected Gantt chart for implementing a new product or big organizational change! Surprises in the business climate are not part of my preferred work environment - but it has been a large part of my experiences.
So how do we control - or at least have direction - in these times of great change? Personal preparation to identify the career attributes in which you perform at your best is powerful. There are a number of tools, assessments, counselors, self-help books, videos available for you - some of them really challenging, some of them complex summations of psychological studies, many of them powerful as they work for you. I've developed a straightforward method to help me make career choices - I had to, so I could make sense of opportunities and unexpected changes in my life, and to counsel so many friends and colleagues at times of transition in their careers. It's been a tool I've used and updated as my experiences progressed - yes, it's a living document - and now it's a big part of my new career. Maybe it will help you as well!!