Perhaps like some of you out there, I’m something of a board game fanatic, especially when it comes to games like Boggle, Scrabble, and Taboo that revolve around language and the written word. This being said, one of my favorite games of all time is a version of Scrabble some friends and I invented (we think; although others might have had the same inspiration) when we were sitting around bored one day.
This game — which we cleverly titled “Speed Scrabble” — forgoes the game board entirely and starts by scattering all the tiles out, face down. At the point, each player grabs eight tiles and the game begins. The goal? Try to arrange all of your tiles in front of you, crossword-style, until they all are used up in some formation of legitimate words. Then, the moment somebody accomplishes this feat, they call out “go” and every player then has to grab two more tiles and work THOSE tiles into their growing word jungle. Play continues, at a fast and furious pace, until the last tiles have been grabbed and somebody has managed to use all their pieces to form an interconnected series of legitimate words. It’s really a rush — and infinitely more entertaining, we believe, than traditional Scrabble!
The reason this oddball anecdote comes to mind? If you try playing this game, you’ll find that a very stressful moment often comes near the end of the game, when you simply can’t find a way to work your remaining few tiles into the words you’ve laid out so far — and have to decide either to keep your existing word configurations “as is” and risk losing, if somebody else finishes first, or break your entire word set up entirely in the hopes that a brand-new arrangement of words will lead to victorious possibilities.
Career change, I’ve found, is a lot like this. Many people are a stage right now, in their professional lives, when they feel they’ve hit a “brick wall” and are not having much success landing positions in an occupation where they’ve often worked successfully for 10 years, or 20, or even 30. On one hand, they are tempted to “break everything up” and start over in a new career path, hoping that a total change of scenery will invigorate them and lead to greater stability and work satisfaction. On the other hand, like the stressed-out Speed Scrabble player above, they also sense that if they gamble and suddenly start over again, from scratch, they risk falling even farther behind in their career journey and income potential.
It’s one heck of a pickle, I assure you, and one of the toughest situations to sort out — even with the help a career coach. There are definitely cases when people decide to take the plunge, however, and wind down one career chapter in order to start another. If you click here, you’ll find a recent article from NWJobs.com that shares some great case studies to this effect. In fact, the main person featured in the story just happens to be a fellow named Chris Pesce who is a close friend of the family! As you’ll read, Chris consciously engineered a major change in his own career a few years back that has worked out heroically, to date, and I think his story might serve as an inspiration to many of you out there who might be contemplating making a clean break with your own career past.
Hope you enjoy the article — and while this particular decision may not be the right one for everybody, successful “career transplants” can definitely still be realized when somebody makes this type of choice with eyes wide open, willing to make the sacrifices necessary in order to follow their passion to a new paycheck!