Career Change? Change as a Catalyst for Good

Have you been thrust into a job search.  Laid off, outsourced, fired, position eliminated, early retirement…no matter the reason, being forced into a job search is difficult on so many fronts.  Yesterday I penned a piece about taking some time after receiving the news to process; today we attempt to view this change in a positive light.

A friend of mine ran a small cafe.  He was very successful and had a very loyal following.  He had mastered the industry and location he was in and created a smooth operation.  He had time with his family.  He played golf (which he loved to do).  He could take vacation and travel when the opportunities presented themselves (golfing with his dad in Ireland for two weeks). Ten plus years in, his career was a good and seemingly safe one.

And he was bored.  Work did not provide a mental stimulation any more.  He was restless for something that challenged him.  Then, he lost the retail space where he cafe was situated and he was thrust into a career search.  After a couple of months of exploration (for a new retail space or a new career), meetings, and soul-searching, he landed a great opportunity that capitalized on his love of travel.  And while there are tradeoffs (his travel does not allow him as much family time as his old role), he is alive in ways he was not before.  He admits that if not for the loss of his retail space, he probably would still be at the cafe as inertia is a powerful force.

Change was a catalyst for good. Did the loss of the cafe sting – yes.  Is he happier now with the new role – yes.   Think back through your life and remember times where you did not get what you wanted (a job, getting into a school, a relationship, other choices).  See how those changes put you on a path that ended up resulting in good things in your life.  Discover how those changes were catalysts for good.

In 1997, I thought God was showing me signs that I should work for a particular non-profit organization.  I had just worked a retreat weekend with the director of the program and two days later come to find out that they were looking to hire an assistant director.  My qualifications were a strong match, I had just “helped out” the director in a time of need, of course he would remember me fondly and think I was the right fit for the position.  Alas, I was not even in the running as they announced their hire one day after the position vacancy announcement.

A bit dejected, I still took a part-time role with the non-profit over a summer break when I was not teaching in the classroom.  That was the summer I met my wife, Jenny, who happened to be employed with the non-profit.  If I had been offered and accepted the position within the organization, I would have supervised Jenny and thus not been permitted to begin a dating relationship with her.  Because I did not win the job I thought I would be a perfect fit for, I ended up with a soul mate instead.

There are many times in my life where I can look back and see choices/decision/two roads diverged in a yellow wood – and I choose to focus on the positive consequences that resulted because I did not get what I thought I wanted.

Now you find yourself thrust into a job or career search.  Uncertainty is ever-present.  Think back to times in your life where change has been a catalyst for good.  Embrace this change as being a catalyst for good in your life.

Tomorrow – Do you really want to see and know it all?


About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Career Management, Job Search, Layoff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Career Change? Change as a Catalyst for Good

  1. Pingback: Career Change? First Step – Take Some Time | Kevin Monahan – Career Seeker's Guide

  2. “Inertia is a powerful force.” That is so very true. I enjoyed reading your stories of serendipitous disappointments. I see this often happen in the lives of my college seniors; they get rejected by a coveted position only to have a much more perfect job or living opportunity drop into their laps weeks or months later. It’s hard to go with the flow, but when we can allow ourselves to, things tend to work out well indeed.

  3. Pingback: Career Change: Embrace the Unknown | Kevin Monahan – Career Seeker's Guide

  4. Pingback: Career Change: Tough Love | Kevin Monahan – Career Seeker's Guide

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