Several years ago, a very special person debuted in my life through my “day job.” I didn’t realize at the time that she was not simply passing through; but she would be one who would remain a life-long dweller in my world. Oh, she lives many miles away now (we’re talking thousands); but she’s still in my world. She transitioned from acquaintance/coworker to friend, confidant, encourager, business helper, and adviser. Sometimes I call her “Doc.” She watched my sons grow from young boys to men. So, I think you get the general picture of what she means to me.
In our office in corporate America, she had all of the attributes you would want in an employee – topnotch skills, was well liked – worked well with everyone, was trustworthy, reliable, punctual, and dependable. Quite frankly, I never witnessed a mistake – the perfect employee.
But corporate America has its own agenda, is far from perfect; and when the day is done, you can never look to the company to be your life-long friend. The Fortune 200 company went bankrupt; and little by little, one at a time, we all scattered. She was one of the very last to leave – she helped shut the doors, literally. We stayed in contact through various job opportunities and shared the good and the bad over the next several years. Along the way, she helped me become the writer I am today. And I watched her, very strategically, pack her chute. As it turns out, seven years (the year of jubilee) after we received the word of our Fortune 200 company’s demise, she jumped!
For nearly four years, I’ve watched her not only survive on her own but work from where she wants, when she wants, and grow her own business. So this past month when I read Day Job to Dream Job, naturally I thought of her. I found myself thinking, “She could have written this book.” But she says if she had this toolkit a few years ago, it would have been even smoother and easier.
I had some of those same feelings “… if I had read this last year …”
You see, after eleven years, the corporate job I transitioned to, after the death of our Fortune 200 company, merged with another company. I found myself faced with yet another employment decision. (By the way, this was actually my third major job transition having spent my first decade of employment with yet another corporation that transferred to a different city.) Each time, the choice was hard, and the transition was not easy – moving to another day job. After all, I was “comfortable.” This one little quote from Kary Oberbrunner would have cleared my mind completely:
“Your day job served a purpose and hopefully you served it – with integrity. But to advance, you must let go.” (Part 3 The Payoff, page 214, “Day Job to Dream Job”)
All of us are on separate journeys faced with unique situations. Where are you at today? Do you need to bust out of prison? (Then definitely watch this compelling trailer. The author wrote the book from Shawshank Prison.)
Maybe you simply need to make a change in your day job and move from one to another, whether by choice or by force. Or maybe you need to be prepared for a time in the future. I think this is worth your time today to be prepared for tomorrow.