23053737This year is indeed a year of change. Whether you were prepared for change or not, it’s happened. Whether good, bad or indifferent, it’s happened. Change is the one constant we can rely on to always rear its head. And no matter what, you better be prepared to meet it head on or at least position yourself to manage it. Sometimes change is subtle, requiring not much from you. Sometimes it’s dramatic, requiring you to make some adjustments. And sometimes it’s defining, requiring you to throw all conventional wisdom out the window to adapt to the winds of change.

I think of change as a way to reinvent myself. In the last ten years, I’ve had to adapt to change in ways I would have never imagined. I’ve found myself getting back into the business of recruiting, after I swore I was done. I have had to deal with the change in my son as he went from a child, to a teen and now to a young man. I’ve had to adjust to not having a Dad any more when he passed way in 2002. I had to adjust from apartment living to becoming a home owner. I’ve even had to adjust each time I decided to take my business and career in different directions. I’m not saying these changes were a cakewalk. Far from it. Some changes in my life were smaller than some, but the one constant was the way in which I’ve dealt with change. As a child, I was a little afraid of change. I preferred things to be comfortable. As I got older, I learned that change was consistent and if I wanted to succeed, I would have to learn how to deal with it, manage it and embrace it…good, bad or indifferent.

With the economy going through constant change, you must be prepared to take adversity and turn it into your competitive advantage. Someone once said that challenges are merely forms of opportunities in the making. I strongly believe in that. But the caveat is you must be willing to accept it and keep it moving. People who assumed their jobs were secure have found themselves on the unemployment line for the first time in years (and in some cases, first time ever). People say that now is a scary time and that nobody should take dramatic chances with their lives. I say bull. This is the perfect time. I dare you to step out on faith and do something you’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t because a job held you back. I dare you to challenge yourself to define who you are, then develop a plan to take your career and/or business to the next level. I dare you to take a chance on yourself and your passions. Now is the perfect time to just start doing.

Now is the perfect time to lay the ground work on that new career you’ve always wanted to try. Now is the perfect time to start that business you always dreamed about (even if only part time or on the side). Now is the time to go back to school and get the training/education/degree/certification/diploma you need to take your career to the next level. Opportunities are all around you. Don’t pay attention to the news and reports of massive layoffs and career destruction going on. Focus only on yourself and what you bring to the table. I dare you to pull together your own personal advisory board and start bouncing ideas of them. But only allow positive people on your board. Don’t confuse this with yes men/women. Only people who have your best interest at heart will tell you the truth. I dare you to get out and start making contacts to build your network. People like to hire/do business with people they know. I dare you to put together a presentation outlining your key attributes, interests and successes, then go to your boss and ask for more responsibility (or projects or a shot at higher level work). I dare you!

Don’t let fear paralyze you and keep you from all of the potential opportunities in your midst. Get out of your own way and dare to grow. Figure out what you want out of this life, then make it happen. I DARE YOU. What do I dare do for myself? I dare to step out on faith, expand my recruiting business, build my media company, and be the best Me I can be. I dare to learn new languages, complete my education, travel, expand my network and not accept anything less than the best for myself. I dare to continue writing and sharing my knowledge and gifts with the world. I dare.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham