Career Plot Twists Are All Part of The Ride
You might have heard that there is a new Harry Potter play in London. It is pretty unlikely that you will have seen it just yet, but there also is a book with the script that someone you know will almost certainly have devoured as soon as it was bought. You expect Harry Potter to be dramatic, and by all accounts, the play (and book) don’t disappoint the Muggle fans.
I have not read it myself (yet, ahem), but my understanding is that at the ends of act two and three there are particularly big plot twists. They are the sort of things that leave a theatre audience gasping in disbelief, spellbound if you will. These theatrical devices are to be expected from a master storyteller such as J.K. Rowling, but these twists are not confined purely to the theatre.
If we were to dramatise our lives up to now, I’m sure that there would be a few moments worthy of making other people gasp and wondering how we got through. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but when we are living right in the middle of these twists, the future is far from clear. The twists can take the form of opportunities or threats, but the key is that your life can take a radically different direction depending on how you react to them….
The first thing to consider is that these twists should be expected. No one life follows a perfectly smooth trajectory – your boss resigning could mean multiple outcomes – you could get their job, your colleague could get their job, a new boss from outside might not like you, the company might collapse now your boss has gone, etc. Now, if you had expected your boss to stay there for ever, you might have put all your efforts into building a relationship with them, to the detriment of all the other influencers in the company. When they go, you are left high and dry, and the plot twist claims you as a partial victim. If, however, you are open to the possibility that they might leave one day, you will ensure that your field of influence is that little bit more diverse.
Hoping that things won’t change is not a strategy. Well, I suppose that it is a strategy, but it is a very bad strategy. Plot twists have to be expected. They can’t be predicted, but you can be sure that they are on the way.
It is, however, possible to predict the timing of these twists, even if you can’t see exactly what will happen. Just as you reach the end of an act in the theatre, there are certain indicators in the workplace that something will happen. If you lose a big client and a huge amount of revenue, you can be certain that something will change. If the economy is tanking, people will react in various ways, and this will impact on you. If, on the other hand, you have just aced a few projects, get ready to be given more responsibility.
If you are at least a little bit ready for these twists, you will be able to make the best of them. They may not be the scale of the twists in the new Harry Potter, but they always have the potential to weave their own bit of magic in your life.
It all depends on how you react to them.