Change. Good or bad? Frightening or liberating? Smart or foolish? Play it safe or take a chance? Whether we like it or not, we are all faced with the decision to change – sometimes the decision is easy, sometimes it is not. A few months ago, I was faced with the dilemma of a changing work environment — I loved PR, loved my clients and enjoyed my colleagues, but yet still felt like it was time for a new challenge. But, being a working Mom, my situation was comfortable – I was working home two days a week, my job was secure, my family was happy and healthy, and my life was good. Complacent, maybe, but why rock the boat???
For the past 16 years most of my decisions stemmed from being Christine and Rebecca’s mother, and I can honestly say that if I had to do it all over again, I would not change anything major — I have been lucky enough to be in a career that lent itself to flexibility, and I have been blessed with an amazing husband and family. But once again, life is changing … my girls are growing up, they don’t need me as much (snif, snif) beyond chauffer and bank teller. In a few years they will be off to college, and life will be changing once again. A recent article from a self help website depicts it perfectly – very often, a career change after age 40 is attributed to the need for a change, or to start doing things for yourself. So, was this my time to change … for me?
My motivation for change came from several different places. Since I wasn’t my normal, upbeat self, my family sat me down to tell me that they were upset to see my disposition change, and they would support anything I needed to do to be happy. My friend was taking care of her dying 44 year old husband, and while her life was in complete turmoil, she kept reminding me that I was so lucky to have such an amazing life and career, and that I should take nothing for granted. My father, who is currently fighting a battle with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, has been my biggest motivator. At 74 years old, he is living every day like it is his last. While he struggles with side effects from medications, and has had three surgeries in as many years, he continues to take control of his life. He is travelling, he refuses to let the confines of his clinical trial keep him complacent, and he told me that I was a terrible downer this summer, and that I needed to make a change!
So, with all of this motivation, I decided to embrace change. I found Taylor, a company that I have known for years – it is a place that shares my values and one whose culture I am at home with. I didn’t close my eyes and jump – I did my research, sought the right fit, and even though it’s only been two weeks, I have a feeling that this change will be one of the best decisions of my life.
At the gym last week, I heard a trainer tell his client “If you stand still, you go backwards.” I laughed … because I was standing still for a long time, but I have made the change and I am now moving forward. Yes, I am taking a chance … but it’s good, liberating, and smart.