On change, vulnerability and humility

Last weekend, an article by Hanna Rosin, co-host of the NPR podcast Invisibilia, caught my eye on Twitter. In “Screw Mastery,” a piece published this summer in the Lenny newsletter, she described making the leap from established writer to novice broadcaster – in her 40s.

Her story about the awkward transition from master to newbie resonated with my own experience. At nearly 30, when my peers were settling into their careers, I left my job as a newspaper copy editor to become a CPA. I remember the sheer terror of walking away from a full-time job with benefits to go back to college life, complete with a roommate and a $10 an hour job as a part-time church secretary. More than once, I asked myself: “What have I done?”

In hindsight, a midlife career change taught me much of the same things it taught Rosin. Fear of the unknown is manageable; occasional discomfort breaks up monotony. It’s OK to have questions, as long as you’re driven to find the answers. Be humble and ask for advice from experts. Listen to and learn from colleagues.

I still draw on these lessons. Whether I’m adapting to the latest twist in social media needs, branching out to scripting videos, or figuring out the IT and security needs for our new building, I know I’m prepared for the one constant of the modern work world: Change.

I successfully changed careers because I was willing to work toward a goal, to ask questions and learn from others, and think about things in a new way. Maybe that’s the reason I feel so connected to our clients – every single one of them are doing the same thing: seeking C2’s guidance and assistance to learn more about how strategic communications can help them meet their goals. Helping them do that changes “what have I done” to “look what we can do together!”

— Lisa Jessie

C2 Business Strategist

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