Do you feel stuck? Are all the plans you’ve had for your life feel like it’s taking you nowhere or that you are not making any headway? What if I told you that it may be time for you to try other options?
In today’s world, everyone is adapting to change. For example, in the world of work, you may see someone who studied engineering working as an accountant or in sales; although the same cannot be said of the reverse. People are no longer stereotyped to working or earning income based on what they studied in school. We have transitioned from a time of having one highly specialized role to being competent at several related or diverse fields. This is what Marci Alboher, Author of ‘ONE PERSON/MULTIPLE CAREERS: A New Model For Work/Life Success’, refers to as slash careers.
Work-life used to be highly specialized —when someone’s professional life could be summarized in one word. Perhaps a carpenter, a teacher, or a doctor. This doesn’t happen anymore. Everyone has found out that they can do more than just one thing with their life.
Time has changed. These days, you don’t linger in one job or skillset. As such, when things do not seem to be working out on a chosen path (personal, business or career), you should try other options. Now, it is necessary to have a plan A, B and/or C…
For example, Adamu (not real name) studied robotics engineering in university. Upon graduation, he got a job and worked for a few years. Meanwhile, he had already started a family and his family needed his financial support for their upkeep and wellbeing. He decided to go a level higher by bidding for contracts. He got the first one and executed it. Although his full-time job did not give him ample time to be fully present to execute the contract, he therefore entrusted some of the contract duties to a bosom friend who cheated him in the process. In order to avoid that from happening the second time, he quit his full-time job to go fully into bidding for contracts.
Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as he expected. The contract was cancelled. And he didn’t have any job to fall back to. His wife advised him to start a business of selling building materials. They lived near a developing area, hence her suggestion. He waved her suggestion aside because as far as he was concerned, she wasn’t qualified to offer business advice. To him, it was belittling for a man of his pedigree to start a small business by the roadside. He also didn’t think he would need to build his professional network. This would have helped him in his job search. He kept on looking for a job for years to no avail and so he continued in a state of joblessness; no means of livelihood, no income. When I heard this story, I was disheartened.
If a particular choice of action you have taken is not giving you the desired result, you could take a break and try to see if something else can work out. It is not wise to continue in the path that doesn’t yield any positive outcome? Be wise to try other options, if one thing you have been trying for years isn’t working out. This is not to say you will not breakthrough at the umpteenth time if you keep trying. Wisdom is the principal thing here.
I watched a video where Oprah was interviewed about her life goals before she became a talk show host. She mentioned she had plans that if being a talk show host didn’t work out for her, there were other things she could do with her life that would make her still find fulfillment and success.
Many of us have our minds fixated on becoming one thing, and if that thing doesn’t work, we will become so depressed or devastated. We invest all our resources into becoming that one thing and as such get so disappointed to the extent that we disconnect from reality if it fails.
If you have chosen a particular way to express your skills and abilities and things seem not to be working out, please try other options. Don’t get stuck trying to do one thing that isn’t working out.
When I got admission into a tertiary institution, I was enrolled as a Banking and Finance student. That was the course I loved to study. But something happened. The National body for course accreditation came to my school and the Department of Banking and Finance was pulled down because of some requirements that the school didn’t meet. A lot of us were devastated because we wanted to be bankers by profession partly because the industry was very attractive and booming at the time (this was in 2001). Many bankers could boast of fat salaries and flashing official cars.
Years later, I continued my education at a University but this time I applied to study Business Administration. At the time I was rounding up my studies, many students didn’t want to be bankers anymore. Why? The economy was now in a depression and the financial sector was the worst hit. This triggered job cuts across the sector. Jobs in the financial sector were no longer secure. The banking profession was now seen in a negative light—low earnings, job insecurity and little or no time for oneself and family.
Adamu desired a job badly that was in line with what he had studied all his life. But it wasn’t forthcoming. He didn’t get the job and didn’t do something else with the knowledge/skills he had acquired. Also, he did not think to start a business. He just waited and waited and waited.
Today, lots of graduates are learning vocational skills in the absence of white collar jobs. In like manner, in other areas of your life, you don’t have to stick to one thing or strategy if things are not working as expected. You have to look for new ways to get things done so you don’t get stuck. Find a new way, for life is full of options. Oprah Winfrey puts it this way: “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.”