Chalk illustration of person climbing up steps towards lightbulb, illustrating concept of feel and idea.

Did You Feel That?

Did you feel that?

We often don’t notice a change that unfolds right under our feet. Aging is a more extreme example. We notice the aging process in people when we look at photos from months or years past or when we see an acquaintance after months or years. We might observe water changing from liquid to vapor over a few minutes as we apply heat and bring it to a boil.

Seasonally, we might observe changes in weather or changes in foliage. We don’t notice the grass growing by the day, but we might see it after several days. Over the years, some notice that foliage changes in a different manner than it used to. It’s no secret that the change of colors in New England happens at a different time than in years past. Water in Miami Beach continues to challenge public works planners with streets flooding during thunderstorms. Miami Beach is not sinking; water levels are rising. We can argue the cause, but let’s look at the change in our workplace instead.

Do you do the same thing(s) you did five years ago in your immediate work environment? How about two years ago? Okay, how about six months ago? I encourage you to think more deeply about this. Look beyond whether you are simply in the same job with the same responsibilities. Are you solving the same problems and using the same tools as you have in the past?

When is the last time you made the conscious effort to learn something new? Have you attended meaningful training in the previous two years? I don’t mean mandatory HR or security training. I’m referring to training that helps you grow and do either better or do more. Have you: attended a course in person or online, achieved a new level of professional certification, or at least read books with intention?

In my latest book, Make Your Move: Charting Your Post-Military Career, I describe the sensation often recognized too late by people in the executive workforce. Specifically, we often fail to recognize the rate at which our work situation is changing. The failure to recognize the change exacerbates the failure to invest in ourselves to maintain relevance in our workplace and experience professional fulfillment.

Don’t believe me? Examine your situation closely. Has it changed substantially in the past two years, one year, or six months?

It is a very safe bet that your company has changed more than you recognize. The change manifests in multiple and sometimes cumulative ways: leadership changes, desk chairs move, org chart reviews, new customers, compensation metrics, “strategy,” an acquisition or merger, a technology that emerges or fails, or your benefits package undergoes modification.

Are you comfortable that what you are doing today will look the same in two years? You don't have to make significant changes, but you need to make regular changes if you intend to keep up. Click To Tweet

You may be ignoring that feeling under your feet, the change with which you may not be keeping up. Specifically, for the post-military person, we can be slow to recognize that the burden is on us to make the ongoing investment in ourselves, either with the company’s help or on our own. Post-military people come from an environment where training, sharpening our tools, and investing in us is fundamental to the organizational culture. It is not as essential a concept in your corporate position. We can argue the reason, but most often, it relates to cost. It costs money for your company to pay you to learn. The money has to come from somewhere.

Are you comfortable that what you are doing today will look the same in two years? You don’t have to make significant changes, but you need to make regular changes if you intend to keep up. You can learn more of my observations of working through transitions here.

On September 15th, I released my second book, Make Your Move – Charting Your Post-Military Career. This book shares the story of my career to date, and is written to support military professionals who are facing a career transition. All proceeds from the book will go to the Freedom Fighter Outdoors, a charitable organization supporting injured veterans. You can read more and order your copy of Make Your Move – Charting Your Post-Military Career here.

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