Got your boxes?
Its the last day of the month and, if your town is like mine, you’ll notice cars and trucks filled with moving boxes as people migrate from one place to another.
Sometimes a few block, sometimes 100 miles or more, but the packing and cleaning and checking last minute lists goes on unabated as utilities are switched on and off, doors are locked and change begins.
This monthly odyssey – so prevalent in a college town – is in many ways a metaphor for life and job change. Everyone who ever moved swore they’d never do it again! And the next promise was not to accumulate so much junk this time around. We’ll be happier with less, people assure each other, even as they drive to Target to pick up “just a few things” for the new place.
Ah, the endless cycle.
Why do we move knowing the time and expense, and yes trouble, it can bring?
Sometimes we have no choice: the lease is up and the landlord wants too much to renew it. Sometimes its a matter of excitement as a new job or new baby can cause us to have to find something new.
Jobs are like that too. We can be RIF’d with little notice, or maybe a lateral or promotion opportunity comes about. And maybe sometimes we’re just burnt out unwilling to face one more late night or long weekend because our boss “has to have this” tonight and we know its time to go.
Reasons vary, but just as in changing homes changing jobs can be a laborious or delightful prospect, depending on how well we go about it.
- Buying a new home or leasing a new apartment depends in no small way on good credit. Building that credit history up before we need to tap it is paramount or our search is going to be restricted to some less desirable neighborhoods. Jobs are the same: keep your relationships solid building up your professional credit so you can use that when time to change. A solid bank account of good will is going to help you find that new position, so keep depositing to it all the time.
- Knowing what matters ensures you don’t move junk from one house to another. [I once moved a box of discarded wrapping paper from a previous move all the way across the country!] In career knowing what counts in your industry and area ensures you’re not leading your credentials with secondary or tertiary matters on LinkedIn or your resume. Figure out what counts, forget the rest.
- Organization is key. You don’t unload 100 boxes in a new home without any sense of what room they belong in, and you don’t pursue a career path based on overheard remarks. You have to determine your strengths, define your contributions and have a clearly articulated view of how you provide value. You need to know where your strengths fit in an employers house. Professionally speaking you need this all the time – not just when you’re searching for a new job.
Moving is not without risk but doesn’t need to be painful. Through change comes growth as we end up better able to cope with and enjoy life in all its demands.
Career too doesn’t have to be painful. Get your boxes, some tape, and keep a good inventory so you can move on when you spot a good prospect.
See you at the end of the month.