Sometimes we need to try something on to know if it (still) fits us. This is very true for jobs as well.
You’ve heard me talk about soft landing jobs in previous posts, but today’s topic is a bit different. The ‘soft landing job’ is designed to give you a break and to land somewhere, gain some energy and plan your next steps. Trying on something new (or old) is more about being curious and testing different ways forward.
I’ve had many clients come to me saying “I never want to work in that type of role again“, when in fact it was not the role itself that was the problem, but rather the manager, the company values, the location, the timing or the development opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we need to change jobs to look after ourselves and stay healthy, but it doesn’t always mean we should reject the whole area of work because of a negative experience.
Sometimes it’s not about fundamentally changing what we do, but rather tweaking it so that it works for us. (Tony Robbins uses a powerful golf analogy on how adjusting what you do with just a few millimetres can fundamentally change where the ball lands – check his talk out here if you’re curious.)
Trying something on has a few great benefits:
- It’s not final. If you frame it as ‘trying it on’ rather than 100% committing to seeing it through until the end, you open up opportunities and allow yourself some play time. It’s not all serious, we need to allow ourselves to ‘try before we buy’ sometimes, and approaching it with this mindset helps us stay open and curious.
- It has a timeline. If you’re going to try something on it helps having a rough timeline in mind. Because it’s not a final decision, we need to allow ourselves one or a few check in points to see how we’re tracking and when it’s time to make a new decision.
- It helps us eliminate things. Unless we revisit something again, it’s hard to make a call if it still fits. As an example, I’ve just come back from a lovely holiday in Thailand. I’ve been a few times before, but quite a few years ago now. Our time on the smaller island was amazing, but my visit to Bangkok made me realise that Bangkok is just not my type of city to stay for a longer period in. I stayed open and curious and did some new tours and explored areas I had not seen before, but my conclusion upon leaving was still that I would not spend longer periods of time there in the future. Helpful and easy when it comes to future planning, and the same goes for work related experiences.
- It helps us take the key learnings into account for the future. Once we’ve tried something on, we can ask ourselves what specifically worked well and what did not. It’s a learning experience and both of these areas can help us plan for the next step. For example, if the role was great, but the company values did not resonate with you, you would now have more clarity on what you need to find out about the company before you apply for/accept the role.
I used to be one of those people who took every single decision as a super serious one and that I had to see every opportunity through to the very end. In the end, I realised that it really wasn’t helpful.
A decision is only a guide until you make the next decision. It’s that simple. So regardless of your age – go out there and try a few things on. I guarantee you’ll have more fun that way!