Looking at all relevant magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs, etc. … change is one of the most covered topics.
Everyone always tells us how important change is, especially for personal and professional development. The most successful businesses are those that constantly innovate and are able to develop their products or services according to changing customer .
But I am getting ahead of myself right now.
Working in a start-up environment is exciting and rewarding, and believe me, no one day is the same. Start-up = continuous change, and this is exactly what I enjoy about it. I decided to work in the ever-changing tech industry while also working in education, something I feel incredibly passionate about. In a ‘non-traditional’ and young company everyone can be part of the day-to-day business and have an impact on how things are done. You learn how to be able to adopt to change very quickly and expand your skills set like in no other business.
However, the other day I was asked a couple of questions about my time at university.
“Why change, it doesn’t make any sense?”
“Why are you doing something you don’t know?’
I had done an BSc in International Business Studies but then decided to do a Master in Modern History. To be frank, at first I was quite surprised about these rather straight forward questions. My initial response: “I was ready to do something different.” Although I tried to answer it as honestly as possible, I didn’t quite convince them of why a subject change made sense. Especially because it did not necessarily increase my ‘career prospects’.
Nevertheless, they are very valid questions and I probably would have asked the same questions - if I would have followed the Business pathway through until the end.
So yes, why change?
I am sure every one of you have heard it before, but I am convinced that change helps us to develop personally and professional. It enables you to see things from various perspectives. The people you meet along the way will have a huge impact on what comes next and where you will end up.
Obviously at the beginning change is never easy and takes a little while to adjust to. Personally, I have learnt a great deal about it, going through some minor/major changes throughout the years. At the start I was always super excited to do something new, which then turned into doubt and then turned in to a ‘can-do’ attitude again.
But what have I actually learnt?
Believe in yourself and trust your instincts - if something does not feel quite right for you, change it. There is no point doing something that makes you miserable. You need to love what you do because it will be what you do all week.
Be open minded and embrace new opportunities - doing things in a certain way because they have always been done like that will not help you to progress in your personal and professional life. Business and customers change AND so do people…
The importance of people - they either make your experience great or not. Most importantly they inspire you and will play a big role in determining what your next steps are. Seeing what they all have been up to and what is possible, will make you think and urge you to get better in what you are currently doing.
Different disciplines, different perspectives - learning on your own is cool. Learning from your friends, peers, colleagues and superiors, who come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences is even better. It will help you to approach problems from different angles and improve processes.
Branch out and be curious - don’t only stick to what you know or what you’re good at. Explore new opportunities and develop your areas of interests. There are so many greater opportunities available and activities to do, so why not do them!
Ask questions - there is nothing more important than getting the answers you need to do your work and succeed and, in my experience usually (most) of the people are happy to help. Remember, there is no such thing as a ‘stupid’ question.
Change is important. Don’t turn opportunities down just because you are scared of failure!