Entries in Newness (2)


Stay the Course or Try Something New

I’m writing this newsletter on the eve of Election Day.  Like most national elections, the current one is being presented by many as a referendum on the party in power and what they have been doing in recent years – if you are happy with the way things are going, you are urged to stay the course, while if you are unhappy, you are told you should throw the bums out.

That may or may not be good political advice, but deciding whether you are happy with the way things have been going can be a good idea if you are looking for a new job or new clients.  If you look back on how you have found jobs or clients in the past, you may find that there is a common theme or pattern.  For example, one client of mine found all of his jobs through classified ads in the Boston Globe, and another had only taken jobs that fell into her lap without effort on her part.  And a colleague found almost all his clients through personal referrals. 

Find the pattern in your past job or client searches, and decide whether to stick to the pattern or break it.

Once you’ve found your pattern, you can decide whether it is working for you or if you need to change course.  If your method has always been effective for you, or you just can’t see yourself changing, then you should put your energy into making your usual approach to finding a job even more effective. 

Waiting for a job to just fall into your lap is not a terribly effective search strategy, but I could tell that my client who used that approach simply wasn’t going to change – her personality was simply too resistant to more conventional search strategies.  So rather than attempting to change her, I helped her find ways to increase the chance that her usual pattern would be successful.  By improving her networking skills, joining professional organizations, and making sure that all her friends and acquaintances knew precisely the kind of job she was looking for, she made it more likely that information about a job would come to her.  And sure enough, she soon had two strong leads on jobs, one through a professional organization, and the other through a friend of a friend.

On the other hand, my colleague who found his clients through personal referrals was unhappy with his pattern.  Although they brought in a steady trickle of new clients for his business, referrals weren’t generating the volume he needed to meet his goals.  So he realized that he needed to break his pattern and try something new.  After considering various approaches to marketing his business, he decided to start giving speeches and workshops, and the increased exposure markedly increased the rate at which he found new clients.


Seek Newness and Change?

I love and need newness and change.  That may be why I've had over 40 different jobs in my life.  I enjoy fresh challenges and mastering new skills, but when I have to do the same thing over and over I grow bored and get ready to move on.  So I always started my newest job with enthusiasm, but before long would be updating my resume and polishing my cover letter.

Which is why it is a real accomplishment that I have been running Core Allies, LLC for over ten years now, and have no plans or inclinations to do anything else.  Why the transformation in my need for change?  Have I finally outgrown my need for constant change?  Or was my continual job shifting simply a reflection of flaws in my previous jobs, and now that I have found the perfect job, I am happy without change?

In fact, I still need variation as much as ever, and running Core Allies, LLC provides no more inherent change than any other job I have held.  What is new is that I am now consciously aware of my need for creativity and newness, and I actively ensure I have innovation in my life and my work.

"If you need change, actively seek it out in your life and your work."


Several years ago, around the same time I started Core Allies, LLC, I realized that a major reason I constantly switched jobs was this need for new challenges and novel experiences, and decided to find a way to have them without changing jobs.  Part of my realization was that the change didn't all have to come at work; changes in the rest of my life could also satisfy my need for variation.  In the last few years I met my future husband, got married, and had our first child, all of which were certainly major changes in my life.

But it was also important to keep my work fresh with new challenges.  So while my main work at Core Allies, LLC of positioning people for success has remained the same, I have tried to add at least two new facets to my business every year.  I started by working with individual private clients, and then expanded to also work with students at major business schools.  In my desire to understand the unconscious repetitive patterns of clients, I embarked on a doctorate in psychoanalysis.  To reach more people, I started a newsletter, and last year I began giving speeches to various organizations.  Recently, I started working with small groups in addition to individuals.  And now I am creating a podcast version of this newsletter.

All these changes enhance my main business, and provide enough additional challenges that they satisfy my need for newness without finding a new job.  As long as I keep finding imaginative ways to challenge myself in my life and my career, I may never need to find a new job again.  And if you also thrive on change, you should seek it out in your own job, by tackling innovative projects or finding original and better ways to do your job.

On the other hand, you may be like my husband, who is resistant to change and typically stays at the same job for many years.  If you are like him, you will have no need to seek out change – you will probably encounter more change in work than you want, without looking for more.


Everyone gets their job satisfaction in different ways, and in some future posts, I will examine other ways to improve your current situation.