Fearing Boredom More Than Change

I'm about to make a career change at work that is unlike anything I have tried before.  I am leaving the side of the business where I have established myself for ten years, where I have made connections and learned functions and developed different skills, and I am moving into a sales role.

Ten years ago, it would have been mind boggling to me to even consider such a change. I have always felt that I was far too wired for internal business, learning and working inside of operations. However, in the last few years I have worked more and more closely with our sales team, built relationships with them and seen how they work, and I began to speculate if this was something I could enjoy. Where hard work could result in personal reward, where I could be, in a small way, the master of my own fate.  I see my sister do this and excel and I became curious and very open to the idea.

I have recently had some change within the function I have been working within in my current role and it had freed up some time.  I had requested some additional projects.  My ask: I have worked hard and proven myself to worthy of meaningful and challenging work.  I want work that makes a difference.  I want work that utilizes and challenges my ability to have direct conversations and fix and organize processes.

The result of this ask put me into some project that while meaningful and important were monotonous.  Administrative in nature and not challenging. Tasks that other people might be better geared for, quieter people, wallflowers who just want to complete the task at hand, people with no inclination to make a difference. That isn't me.

Then the opportunity came up for this change. Am I nervous? I will admit that yes, I have apprehension mixed in with my excitement. It is new, and I will be measured against people, including my sister, who have been very successful and have excellent reputations. I visualize what it will take for me to have that as well.

As I told my current boss, who has been very supportive of my change in direction, when I have those lingering moments of uncertainty, wondering if I have the courage to take on this new challenge, I think about the monotony I was facing. And in that, I find the courage.

I would rather be scared, overworked and shaken up than be bored. I would rather have to scramble to learn than be left stuck in a corner entering data and not making impactful change and building relationships. In all of my change management courses in university they discussed the natural tendency of humans to fear change. I fear boredom far more.

I have sought out and requested meaningful work, I have made a case that I have earned this right. I feel that some leaders have squandered an opportunity to make me an asset to them, but I have found a new role that I will soon start, with new challenges and new leadership. And I am confident that in this role, despite initial doubts and knowledge gaps, that I can truly make a difference to our clients and our organization in this new role.

It is a lesson: do not ignore the folks in your teams who ask for meaningful work. It is probably not a common request, and if you pass up the chance, those folks might just pass on by and find a challenge worthy of their ambition!

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