Each summer we watch a falcon’s nest a dozen floors above the train station in Harrisburg. See it here. Five falcons fledged our first year. That means they finally got the maturity and confidence to jump off the ledge and fly. Fledging is learning to fly.
When falcons fledge, they are prepared. They spend time exercising their wings. You see them watching the open sky for days. When they finally jump off the ledge it is still scarey. Sometimes they spend the night on a building they didn’t plan to be at. But, by the next day they have built up enough strength to return to their previous heights. In a few days they are soaring.
Some people decided to fledge the same week as the falcons. They gave me a call.
One was working at a company that was morally bankrupt. He put off fledging for a year and built up his financial reserves. As he felt more secure, he objected more to the blatant discrimination, mean spiritedness, and rough nature of his office. He stopped being a “team player” because he knew the team was being awful. He was fired for being true to himself. He is finally flying again.
A fledgling job holder came out of the military two years ago. His specialty didn’t translate into the civilian world. He has been building up his non-military credibility. He is ready to move into a second career. It is something he has been willing to prepare for.
A salesman moved to a new company two months before. During that two months the company changed direction three times. She knows she cannot sell in that environment. She has no faith in the leadership. She will fledged a month after the falcons. Her skills have been honed for five years. It’s just a matter of finding the right place to settle.
Prepare to leave your job. You may stay at your company or leave your company. You need to prepare to leave your job anyway. You may even keep the same title you had in the same company, but make your job change. There is new software to learn, tricks to improve your productivity, and better ways to help your team. Learn them. You may also need to spend time watching the open sky, observing business and your industry. You need to see where companies and careers are going so you can fly in the changing world we are in.
Fledge. Prepare, then jump off a ledge and fly.
Something to do today
Spend some time staring off into space. How will your company, your job and industry change in the next five years. What can you do to be ahead of the change curve?
Later: Start a salary bidding war
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