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It’s Sunday and I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow

I decided to change my workout routine this morning and went for a 10 Km (6 miles) bike ride through the forest instead of training on the elliptical. As the cold wind was blowing on my hands (it was only 6° C or 43° F) and the ducks were swimming on the lake I was reminded of the discussion I had a few days ago.

A friend of mine shared with me a dilemna he was facing. Although he had been satisfied with his current responsibilities, he was hoping to get selected for a new position within his organization. It is a role he had helped with in the past but the thought of taking on full responsibility for an entire product line was making him nervous. In a nutshell, his thinking went like this:

  • I’ve given a lot of thought recently to what I want my career to be.
  • For the past years, I have been very comfortable in my role – I’m in my comfort zone.
  • I like what I’m doing but…
  • I feel very excited about this new opportunity.
  • I felt very high energy when I helped with the role in the past but…
  • I’m worried I might not succeed!

Did you ever get similar thoughts, similar feelings? How do you know if it’s the right thing to do? The latter question was his.

Here’s a summary of the questions I asked him:

  • Why do you want this new role? How does that fit with your personal aspiration?
  • Would you get more personal satisfaction by taking on this new challenge or by staying in your comfort zone?
  • How would you feel if you found out someone else got the job?
  • In the worst case, what would happen if you fail at your new role? How bad would it really be?

This conversation didn’t pop in my head this morning because of the dilemna my colleague was facing. As I was pedaling uphill, the conversation came back to me because these opportunities are so infrequent. People so rarely put themselves in a situation where they would have to make a difficult decision with regards to their career. For most people I know, the question of stepping outside the comfort zone never comes up.

I know, I know, the mortgage, the car payments, the tuition for the kids’ school, etc. I don’t question these facts and I certainly don’t imply these things don’t matter but what would you be willing to do to trade your current job for something that would make you say “It’s Sunday and I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow”?

Sometimes you need to settle for one or more of the following: less money, more commute, longer hours, a regular chair (and not a herman-miller) and in other circumstances it will simply be the willingness to take a risk.

What would you be willing to do?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks again Martin !

    May 6, 2009

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