One of the most frequent questions I get nowadays is… How did you know? How did you know it was time to make a career change?
And then there’s usually a pause. “…during a global pandemic?”
The reason I get this question is because so many people seem to be contemplating their own career change. And the daunting problem with change is that it often travels with its cousin – risk. You can’t make changes in life without there being some sort of risk, especially career changes.
Trust me. I know all about it.
I’ve made my share of career changes that could be described as risky –
none bigger perhaps than when I left the corporate marketing department at Chick-fil-A 18 years ago to join a small team launching a video church called Buckhead Church.
I remember Wendy and I trying to explain this to my parents. “I’m leaving a multi billion-dollar company to help launch a church where the preacher’s on video.”
The reality is you can’t eliminate risk but you can manage it. And you manage risk by shrinking it. Think of it this way: A career change doesn’t have to be a leap over the Grand Canyon. It can be managed to be more like a leap over a mud puddle. Sure, you might not make it and you’ll get wet and muddy in the process, but you won’t plunge thousands of feet below.
There was a strong possibility that Buckhead Church wouldn’t work. After all, video church? Really? So, I decided to shrink the gap of the risk. And I did the same when I left Buckhead Church years later to help start Gwinnett Church. And I did the same thing when I left Gwinnett Church nine years later to launch the FOR Company.
And I want to help those of you considering a career change to do the same.
It’s why I’ve created a free career assessment called the Career Risk Calculator. It’s part of my brand new website at www.jeffhenderson.com. This assessment will give you a red light, yellow light or green light in terms of where you are, as well as giving you practical next steps on how to manage the risk of each stage.
Most of all, it will help you avoid being stuck in a place where your season has come to an end. Because, sometimes, the riskiest decision isn’t to leave.
Sometimes the riskiest decision is to stay.