I was once advised that changing career in mid-life is like turning around an oil tanker. In a mature economy there is little room for enthusiastic amateurs or people who are quite good at what they do for a living and companies are unlikely to invest in you. Quite apart from the fact that this ignores entrepreneurial, portfolio or 'lifestyle' careers, having changed career myself and advised many others I now see this advice for what it is- narrow and self-defeating. You do however need to understand yourself and your risk profile well. Here's my advice for speedboats and oil tankers alike.
Why is that some meetings and conversations are so frustrating? Why do we emerge feeling like no-one listened properly? Was it you, was it them? If you didn't persuade others to do what (you thought) you were asking for, it might just be that your own 'listening habits' need a re-think...
We all have a hidden part of our psyche/mind which is called our Inner Child. He or she lives deep inside us and is the echo of who we once were as a child. It carries our beliefs about ourselves and it directs our sub-conscious behaviour – about 90% of the time – at home, on our travels and of course at work.
I was once asked, or rather told at an interview ‘everyone is motivated by greed or fear, which is it for you?’ I answered (on reflection Spock like) that I did not agree with the question, and therefore could not answer it. The interviewer was a crocodile of a man and that was the beginning of the end of a difficult interview. We did not get on at all and it was a lucky escape as I would never have fitted with the culture. I have thought about this question and the interview a few times over the years, because it raises important questions about the role of fear, and control in business life. here are some of my thoughts and reflections.
"How do I stop worrying so much about what other people think?"
You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a line from a dodgy 1970's B movie. Actually it is driven by a genuine concern for our children's future employment prospects, given the steamroller of technology which is heading our way, and therefore their way. The convergence of technologies, including the Internet, collaborative software, big data underpinned by ever more complex algorithm's, nanotechnology and yes, the good old fashioned Robots is akin to a perfect storm. This will have a massive impact on the number and types of roles which will be available to current, and future generations. I do not believe that it is possible to 'futureproof' our children, any more than out parents could do for us. There are however things that we and they need to be thinking about to give them the best life chances . In no particular order, these are my thoughts.
Many people, most of us perhaps, tend to be oversensitive to other's opinions of us. We will go out of our way to seek positive affirmation and you only need to look at Facebook or LinkedIn for example to see the most obvious expressions. This helps to explain why we tend to respond badly to others negativity towards us, particularly if we feel they are being judgmental. But is it always about us and what does others negativity say about their inner reality? More practically, what can we do about it?
Albert Einstein once said “The problems that face us cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them. What we need is a shift in consciousness”. I believe we are at the point of a real shift in our world right now. I am inspired and excited by it. As humans we have created some amazing achievements, but I feel we may have lost sight of our real purpose along the way - to be caretakers of the earth.