“Change is the only constant in life.”
This quote comes from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived 500 years before Jesus Christ. Think of the amount of change that has occurred in our world in over 25-hundred years! The earth has changed, wars fought, empires and governments have risen and fallen. In the time of Heraclitus, many people wrote on tablets. That meant carving words and images into stone. Today, writing on, or using a tablet, likely means that you are utilizing the technology of an IPad or other similar device. You may be reading this on a tablet right now.
Everything changes, whether it is to our likings or not. Our planet is a living, breathing entity that is in a constant state of transformation.
In our American culture, we can look back on our lifetimes and see constant changes. Styles of music and clothing are in a continuous cycle of metamorphosis. You wouldn’t dare walk into your office tomorrow, wearing a polyester jumpsuit from 1977. If you did, your co-workers would think that you are going out to a themed party. So, if you wouldn’t go to work in out-dated bell-bottoms and platform boots, shouldn’t your work attitudes, or more drastically, what you do in your work life, change along with your fashion sense?
Back in 1994, I was working at a radio station in Las Vegas. Our program director called for a meeting of all of the on-air talent. We were informed that the station operations were going to be computerized. What?!?! Say that again? Computerized?!? The overall look in the room was one of terror. The change meant that we could no longer play music on carts. Some of the (radio) jocks in the room were still getting over no longer spinning tracks on vinyl.
We were still recording and splicing audio, such as commercials and interviews on reel-to-reel tape. Some of you reading this may not even be familiar with reel-to-reel, but on radio, it was how most of the production was accomplished. So, as a crew of on-air talent, we had no option but to convert our ways of working to a computer screen. Honestly, it took some of the fun away of cueing up and sorting the music to play. The playlists were all preloaded in the system. You were able to make changes or omit a song for the sake of timing, but it wasn’t quite the same. As a radio personality, you now had two choices: you could quit and find a new job at a station that was using out-dated technology, or you could learn how to operate the dreaded computer and do your job with the new-fangled system. I am happy to say that no one quit. Everyone was just in a position to learn and transform into a new way of operations. On the flip-side, later that year, one very talented on-air talent was terminated. He did nothing wrong and had excellent ratings. He was simply replaced by a syndicated program that mirrored his same programming. Transformations in technology were creating changes in business and entertainment too.
In the ’90s, I was also noticing a shift in other areas of life that would affect peoples’ jobs. As a resident of Las Vegas, many slot machines were being converted to no longer accept coins. The jingle-jangle of falling metal when someone hits the jackpot was soon going to be a thing of the past. You may think that this is no big deal, but it is if you are working as a change person in a casino. Today, the “change girls” (yes, they were mainly all women) – who would walk the casino floor with coin holsters around their waists are now a thing of the past. Just to be sure, I did an online search for “Change girl jobs.” What came up were jobs with non-profit organizations that worked towards positive changes for girls. There were some jobs to teach girls about computer coding, but no posts for someone hoping to make change on a casino floor.
We are in a time of reinvention
As I write this in the Spring of 2020, our world is in a time of change; or reinvention if you will. Most people in our country are following quarantine orders. The Latin root of the word quarantine is forty. Many theologians believe that the number 40 represents change. We are in the year 2020 and 20 + 20 = 40. In the Bible, the flood lasted 40 days, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai for 40 days to receive the Commandments, Jesus fasted for 40 days, Lent is 40 days, and Exodus lasted for 40 years.
Additionally, the numbers 20/20 represent perfect vision. During this time of quarantine, it may be the ideal time to envision positive changes in your life and your career. Perhaps, you may not make drastic transformations, but this could be the time to examine how you accomplish tasks and reach your goals. This may be the time to learn a new skill or take up a former hobby that had been forgotten.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five or Ten Years?
Do you think that your current line of work will still exist? In my family ancestry, I learned that I had a great-grandfather that worked as an Ice-man. That meant that he would deliver large blocks of ice to your home to put in your icebox. The icebox is what a refrigerator was called before the use of electricity to cool your food. As we know, there are no more Ice-man jobs available. Even the way we find and apply for work has changed from just a mere decade ago. Today, it is more likely that you will fill out an online application before ever shaking the hand of a potential employer. So, if your line of work is on the endangered position list, it may be the time for reinvention.