The Agile Manifesto states “Responding to change over following a plan”. There’s also a life lesson in there.
When I was a developer, I was forever learning both new programming languages (almost every contract was with another language) and new technologies. It was a full time job just to stay current. Now I’m an agile coach and trainer I find that coping with change is even more important.
Make change a habit and you will lead change.
I can see that it’s not so much the case these days. As an example, not since COBOL in the 80’s and 90’s has a programmer been able to stick with a single language for ten or more years. There’s a certain security in staying within your comfort zone, and that security is false. Things change and if you are unprepared for change you may not be able to keep up. Make change a habit and you will lead change.
A few years ago a wonderful couple moved from Auckland to a very nice house next door as a retirement move. They were around the same age but he somehow looked 30 years older. I was to learn why. This wonderful couple took pity on my take-away and beer diet when my wife was away for a while and so invited me to dinner.
During dinner I complemented them on being able to retire at such a young age but soon got the full story. Having worked for the same company, in pretty much the same job, for his entire life, his role had been made redundant during a recent merger.
The decision to move to this town and retire came because he could no longer find a new job. He was obviously both depressed and extremely angry. No-one had a need for his experience any longer and he could see no way out. After all, that was all he knew.
We talked at length on ideas and suggestions as he expressed that he needed to work. We spoke of everything from taking on a small lawn mowing round, to importing and selling goods, but he could not seem to grasp the idea that he could no longer make a living with the skill that had kept him comfortable for so many years.
You don’t need to quit your job or move towns, you just need to continually up-skill and evolve.
Step outside your comfort zone. It’s scary as hell, but you will be better for it. You don’t need to quit your job or move towns, you just need to continually up-skill and evolve.
Remember: Julia Child, the famous cooking author, only learned to cook when she reached 40; Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China when he was 56, changing one of the largest countries in the world; Colonel Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) when he was 66; Barbara Hillary reached the north pole when she was 75 years old; John Glenn was just 77 years old the first time he flew into space and then went on to fly both the Mercury and the Space Shuttle programs. Michelangelo created the plans for the Church of Santa Maria Degli Angeli when he was 88.
John Glenn was just 77 years old the first time he flew into space ..
Don’t just accept change; BE the change.