Do you remember Pin the Tail on the Donkey? You may look back on the childhood party game with fondness or annoyance. To be blindfolded, spun around and confused, and then asked to propel yourself in a partially unknown direction can be an exhilarating experience. For some, however, it can invoke fear and doubt to be headed toward a goal without a clear sight of exactly where you’re going.
Exhilaration mixed with fear and doubt are also some of the same emotions that we encounter when we are in the middle of switching careers. How nice it is to think of a fresh start and a new look to your day! Letting go of the mundane tasks that have controlled your work week for way too long and opening up a new door to shed light on a whole new set of tasks and projects. Sounds like an exciting adventure, right?
If you’re a glass half-empy kinda guy, however, a switch up in your daily grind can be scary and uncertain. The old job was grating on your last nerve, but at least you knew what to expect, both from yourself and your team. What if you’re not cut out for this new line of work in the way that you’d hoped you were? What if you get a new job only to find yourself unhappy again?
When moving to a new job, there’s a healthy balance in there somewhere between eager excitement and legitimate caution. Just like the game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, going in blind is a factor to be considered. You know that the target is out there, but you kind of have to feel your way toward it at first. And it helps to have people in your corner that are there to guide you if you feel overwhelmed.
By utilizing your contacts within your new industry, you are gaining an inside scoop into the new world in which you are about to fully immerse yourself. You’ve already put in countless hours researching this new career field and preparing yourself accordingly, but there are still mysterious pieces of the industry that you don’t fully connect with. By calling upon someone who has worked in this job arena for years, you are making yourself more marketable by developing a deeper understanding of what is expected of you in an interview and as a new employee.
If you are switching from the world of business to the classroom, then it will greatly benefit you to talk to other teachers, young and old, who can help point you toward refining the skills that are the most necessary to be a solid educator. If your industry is changing from sales to the arts, then speaking to your friends and colleagues who are successful actors or artists can help pave the way for the many transitions that you can expect to encounter along the way. By reaching out to others, you are not showing weakness but wisdom, and wisdom will take you far!