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People Have 3-4 Careers Inside of Them

Gone are the days when people had one career, and I am all for it.

Imagine doing the same thing for 40 years? There is no such motivating theory in the academic world or motivating tool in HR's toolbox that would work on that person. People get bored, and that's a problem nobody wants to address.

Life is all about movement and creation however, after a while, when you do the same job, even if you have changed the workplace, there is no more movement or creation.

Imagine being a Finance person or a hotel GM for decades. You must really love that job to enjoy it still.

But we are scared to change and are not being taught or guided for such transitions. And if anything could make it worse, companies push you to stay in your lane or take up positions you are good at so they can benefit from it.

How many times I heard, 'Szilvia, you should do....." My ex-GM kept pushing me to be a hotel GM, so I resigned.

I have seen people, though, who were brave enough to make that change, and suddenly, they came alive again! I remember a senior leader being miserable for years despite being good at his job. The misery of feeling bored, lost about "What's next?" and scared about "I am too old for a change" impacted his marriage. We were chatting in the lunch area as he told me the story that his wife wanted a divorce. I just listened and said not much, really. At the end of the lunch, he closed it with a "I don't want to lose my wife", so I said, then don't.

Three months later, he resigned, and I went to see him. He wasn't sure what was next in his career, but he needed a change. His marriage needed a change. Two weeks ago I heard that he is running a bakery in France (he was a Sales and Marketing leader) with his wife together and is happy. They must have figured it out. I am happy for him!

I also remember our Executive Housekeeper in London. She was very good at it and had been in the role for a few years. She hated it, though. But she was also confused about what else she could do instead. She left and took a break. During the break, she didn't really figure it out, so she ended up taking another Executive HK role. The rest took her mind off work, and she forgot how she felt doing the job. She was excited to start again. Guess what? She knew on her first day at work that it was a mistake. She called my friend that day, telling him, "I hate that job why did I do this?"

I have watched my other friend doing this for over a decade now: quit, take a break and return to the same job he cannot stand.

Change is difficult, but you come alive again when you manage to do it. Moving companies but doing the same job will not solve the problem.

We all have 3-4 careers within us, so don't let the standard practice of riding the same career wave for four decades. Waves die, so do you with them, and you will just float by.

The reason entrepreneurs feel alive despite their difficulties is because they move. They know that every wave will take them only so far, and when one dies, they jump on to the next wave and create something different.

Know when to jump the wave.

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