Monday, 16 June 2008

Breaking new ground

Not many of us get to feel like pioneers in our working lives but the irony is that most of us have the opportunity to break new ground every day.

I spoke with someone recently who was stuck with a dilemma. Should she move her family to a different part of the country and leave behind a career she enjoys or stay in a less attractive location and continue her preferred line of work? Before we settled on this problem as the critical one to address, a new question presented itself that gave us both renewed energy for our task. Why does changing location have to mean abandoning your career? In other words, could she move to a preferred location and continue a preferred line of work?

Instead of starting from a point that already feels like defeat, this new question allowed us to explore what an ideal solution might look like. We agreed that it was a far harder task, that compromise was likely but both of us also agreed that changing the question also changed the likelihood of an ideal solution from impossible (or incredibly lucky) to possible (or easier to influence).

Readers with high boredom thresholds might be asking how this is an example of breaking new ground in your working lives. One answer is that the individual with the above dilemma decided upon a new course of action. Once decided, it could be argued that every success on the road towards this newly clarified objective advances the cause or, if you prefer, breaks new ground.

Turning to work/life fusion for the last word. If the question you pose for yourself is "How can I achieve personal success?", working towards it can feel like breaking new ground, learning something new and adding to your knowledge with every step.

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