EDITORIAL: UNCERTAINTY BRINGS ITS OPPORTUNITIES

EDITORIAL: UNCERTAINTY BRINGS ITS OPPORTUNITIES - Did you make any resolutions amid the alcoholic haze on New Year's Eve this year? (And could you even remember them in the morning?) If so, how many of them were work-related? It would be fascinating to kn

by By RUFUS OLINS editor-in-chief, MATTHEW GWYTHER editor
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Did you make any resolutions amid the alcoholic haze on New Year's Eve this year? (And could you even remember them in the morning?) If so, how many of them were work-related? It would be fascinating to know the answer. It is a sure bet that every workplace in Britain contains managers who have promised themselves that in 12 months' time things won't be as they are now - another reflection that the world is more unsettled and anxious than it was this time last year.

Some people will want to get promoted. Some would like to see more of their family or spend time in the gym. But we suspect that what distinguishes this year's resolutions is the unprecedented number trying to come to terms with something far more radical. Some will have decided they just want out.

We hope that our feature 'How to Reinvent Yourself' will help some of you to make the right decision. From the dozens of examples of career-changers that we have encountered, we have spoken to four individuals who, with a remarkable combination of imagination and courage, abandoned the comfort of well-established positions to explore undeveloped parts of themselves. The result is a heartening tale of metamorphosis, which none of them regrets having gone through.

Radical change will not suit everyone. The upheaval and uncertainty that results from it can sometimes be just too much. But this year some people are having it thrust upon them, forced into a reappraisal by redundancy. Many will find areas of interest that are surprising even themselves. Not many of us are destined solely for one career, and what may seem an unwelcome change in circumstance can lead to a much improved work life.

It's little wonder that so many are disillusioned. A recent Institute of Management study showed widespread disappointment with leadership at work. More than a third of all executives and nearly half of junior managers said the quality of leadership in their organisations was poor. This leads to a marked restlessness and in turn contributes to an acknowledgment that sometimes, as in marriage, our values and interests change over the years, and that there maybe a need to move on.

One could do no better than follow the advice of John McLaren, a banker-turned-novelist and one of our self-reinventors: 'I think a great test of whether you're doing the right job is how you feel when asked the 'What do you do?' question. I found that, from initially feeling neutral, I started to hate saying that I worked in the City. If you feel like that -move.'

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