We look to make a change without dealing with the discomfort that comes with it.
We want that dream job, that great business idea, that perfect partner to materialize in front of us, so we can make a safe leap to a better career.
That’s not how the world works. When we want something better, we have to step into the unknown. The professional world is not waiting for us to go and ask whenever we’re ready.
Whether we want to improve our careers, skills, relationships, or mindsets, we have to accept first that we are lacking those things. First, we need to make a decision and conscious effort to go out to the world to look for the missing pieces of the puzzle.
The solution: Increase the randomness in your life.
Randomness is the key behind serendipity. For serendipity to occur, and for new things (job opportunities, ideas, connections) to make their way into your life, you need to tune up the amount of random inputs
Imagine randomness as a dial that you turn up or down depending on how clear our next steps are. When things are clear, we need to lower the randomness so we can get to work and execute. If we have too many things going on during a time where we need to focus on getting something done (e.g.: getting a PhD), it’s easy to get distracted and our output suffers.
There’s a moment in life to “buckle up” and get to work.
However, and this is the key: when things are less clear, when we know something is not working but we don’t know where to start to fix it, we need to increase the randomness in our lives. We need to get as many inputs as possible so we can increase the odds of serendipity occurring.
The reality is we don’t know WHERE the answer is. We can’t know who has the job we really want, we can’t know who’s looking for a business partner just like us, we can’t even know what we should know that we don’t know!
In my experience, the best way to expose yourself to randomness, bar none, is meeting other people. Not people like you, but people from different fields, ages, nationalities, industries, etc. Talking to people in your circles is very limiting when you’re thinking of changing careers, for obvious reasons.
Put yourself in situations where you can maximize meeting more people, and you’ll slowly be increasing the new inputs in your life, that will eventually lead to serendipitous discoveries for your career.