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A Secret to Making a Career Change

When I started The Winding Road in the spring of 2019, it was really more a way to dip my toes into the water of podcasting. I didn’t know where it would go and certainly didn’t know that it would lead me to providing advice around making a career change.

Podcasting was blowing up. Everyone said that you ‘had to do it’ if you were a marketer- or anyone breathing for that matter. So, I went all in. Like I usually do with anything I’m learning or want to figure out.

But then, I realized that I like writing much more, which is why I tend to produce and publish more written content than podcasts.

Before creating The Winding Road, I was terrified of being in front of a camera. At least with podcasting, I could hide behind a mic.

Since building the podcast and website was about learning and growth, I decided to challenge myself to get more comfortable and better at being in front of a camera. Late last year, I decided to create one short video per day and share it with the world on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

It was terrifying, and I sucked at it. Imposter syndrome and the lizard brain (aka the voice in my head) were in hyperdrive. But I kept doing it. Day after day, for 30 days.

At the end of that time, I want to think that I created better videos. I can say that Day 30 felt much better than Day 1.

The whole point of why I’m telling you this is because I feel like this is a microcosm of what we experience at a much different scale when we’re trying to make a career change.

We become interested and curious about a different career path. We begin to explore it, and it’s fun to learn about it. We begin to think we have a decent grasp of everything. Then, as we dig deeper, we realize how much more there is to know.

That’s when doubt and the imposter syndrome start to take hold. This is when most people give up and stick with the status quo because they’ve begun to creep outside of the boundaries of their comfort zone.

This is “The Dip” that Seth Godin talks about. It’s something I encounter frequently and also talk about.

But it’s this initial exploration that we need to discover what Cal Newport describes as the “adjacent possible” in his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates affiliate program and receive a commission from purchases I link to).

This adjacent possible is why my career has been a winding road and likely why yours has been too.

We need to take the first step to find out what’s next. When we discover what’s next, we begin to bump into adjacent ideas, roles, or paths. These are things we would not have known about from the very beginning. We needed another conduit to bring us close to them.

It’s how our careers evolve. It’s how our lives evolve.

This is how we discover possibility. This is how we uncover opportunity. This is how we begin to make our own luck. This is how we change our careers and our futures.

Take the first step. Then, when it feels uncomfortable, take the next step. And then the next, and the next. Soon, you’ll be presented with options and different paths. You’ll be presented with possibility and opportunity.