If you read my last blog you know that I love silly movies. Whenever I think of ladders, I think of the scene from Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is hanging up holiday lights on his house. While standing at the top of an extending ladder, he haphazardly affixes the lights to his house with a staple gun.
Suddenly he loses his balance and the ladder veers away from the house into a tree. Fortunately he doesn’t fall to the ground; rather, he simply gives the ladder a push to get it to swing back to the house again, and continues hanging the lights.
Yes, it’s an inane reference, I know. I often think in pictures, so just stay with me for a moment and let me play through….
People come to me desiring a change but fearful that they will have to “start over at the bottom of the ladder.”
Honestly, I don’t buy it.
When you have experience, you have experience, plain and simple.
Yes, if you choose to make a career change, you are course correcting, going in a different direction than you were. If you are entering a new field or even just a new company, you have to learn the ropes of that profession or organization.
But you are not starting over.
Rather, you are bringing the gems of your past experience to bear in this new field.
You are, like Clark, bouncing your ladder from one surface to the other.
From what I’ve seen, skills are always transferable.
The trick is to figure out what you would rather use those skills, honed through your various professional and personal accomplishments, in service of. To discover the cause, business problem, environment, and context to which you would like to bring your formidable talents to bear.
So, if you are feeling nervous about having to climb down one ladder to mount the next, I invite you to leave that fear behind. Turn your focus instead to what you want most for your professional life. With clarity of purpose, you can swing that ladder any way you wish.
P.S. Christmas Vacation is a staple in my holiday tradition. Some people sing holiday carols; my husband and I watch this movie. If you think in pictures too, watch this clip of Clark on the ladder.
If this guy can do it, so can you.
I would love to hear your comments, please share.