Friday, June 08, 2007

risk taking

A friend of mine told me yesterday that she was changing her career - after having been in the lighting industry forever - at least 20 years if not more....and changing it to do something quite different; something she's not tried on a business scale before but something she loves doing anyway. I was shocked. I was also filled with some kind of envious admiration. Way to go!

To be able to shrug it all off and try something new, after all these years on one kind of a career path - wow! So many of us get attached to the idea of being in a particular career and we keep moving along in the career path - joining associations, aiming for professional development, making contacts and trying to stay ahead in the field. The career becomes closely tied with our ego and our very sense of self. How do you introduce yourself? I know that in my case 'I am a lighting consultant' is the sentence that follows 'Hello, I am ...". And this does not even have to be a business meeting.

Not that there is anything wrong with all of this. We presumably entered the field because we liked it. But how many of us question it after 10 years, after 20 years? Even if we did, would we have the courage to start all over again in something completely different? What if we sucked at this new thing? At least we had the previous thing in a solidly established way... and what after doing this for a while we discovered that we didn't quite like this either? I know these very questions would make me hesitate and probably not take the risk.

But then I was never much of a gambler anyway...Everytime I watch 'Deal or no deal' on TV, I am always encouraging the person to walk away with whatever money they made in the first round. But I do admire the ones who persist round after round despite losses and then come out with a million dollars in the end. I would never do that, but I admire them nevertheless. Just like I admire my friend I suppose.

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