Surprises are a key to your career.
That of course sounds like a shocking statement, doesn't it? Aren't we supposed to plan our careers and navigate them carefully? How is it that surprise can help you with your career? How can sheer randomness help you?
For that matter surprises are, well, surprising. How do you work those into your career?
Well first of all, let's clarify what kind of surprises I'm talking about. I'm not talking raises or promotions or things like that. I'm talking about the surprises like great career insights, new opportunities, and so on. I'm talking about the ones that change you.
You know, those surprises that make you go "wow that's a great idea" or "wow, I should take advantage of that." Those are the surprises that are vital to your career.
Best of all, you have a lot of control over the surprises. You can experience more of them, take advantage of more of them. How?
By expecting them.
You are surrounded, constantly, by potential surprising insights. That news article that tells you something that makes you go "wow, my career should go that way" can happen any time. That stranger you meet on your commute could be the person that networks you with a new employer. That book you glance at in the library could shock you by changing your life.
You won't see these things if you don't expect them. If you think the world is dull and gray, if you think there is nothing new to learn, if you think there's nothing to shock you into new insights, you'll never experience these moments. You won't have any surprises.
You won't see these things if you think you know it all. If you think that you have nothing new to learn and nothing new to try. If you think there's nothing that can surprise you and make you think different, you won't see it.
So get into the mindset of expecting surprises. Let yourself be shocked and intrigued. Let your mind wander and see insights. Be open to new ideas, new people and new news.
Let yourself be surprised. You'll find it helps your career – in a surprising manner.
– Steven Savage