Life's About Change

Change (n) The act, process or result of a transformation.

As humans, we find ourselves surrounded by change.

From the moment we are born to the moment we die, our bodies are in a constant state of change.

As babies, we develop and learn to crawl, walk and talk. Soon, we start school and learn social skills and interact more readily with others.

As we get older, we take interest in activities such as sports and extracurricular activities.

Before long, we graduate from high school and start to find our way in the world as adults. Some of us go on to college, some of us find jobs and some of us settle down to start a family.

Eventually, our kids grow up and start lives and families of their own, and our lives change again.

Early last week, I accepted a position with a new firm here in Phoenix. After working for four and half years at the firm I was with, I was very nervous to give notice and move on.

I wasn’t unhappy working for my previous company, but the opportunities presented by the new firm were too good to pass up.

I had enjoyed the job, the projects and the people I worked with very much. To be completely honest, I dreaded talking to my supervisor and telling him that I was going to be leaving.

After talking to a few friends, I know that I am not the only one who has ever struggled with this. Leaving a job is a drastic change and is even more difficult when you are not unhappy in your current situation.

As I sat across from my former boss and willed my voice not to shake, I was surprised by how easy it was to explain my reasons for leaving and seeking a new opportunity to better my career.

He was very supportive and sad to hear of my leaving, but he also understood that my reasons had nothing to do with the lack of or quality of project work, and that I was not unhappy in my current situation.

It was such a relief to know that he was genuinely happy for me, and I felt a great sense of peace after I submitted my resignation.

The firm that made me the new offer was one that I had wanted to work at for awhile, but up until now I didn’t think I had the experience to be successful in the position they were looking to fill.

But now that I have some project management experience, I know that with the proper training to learn their system, I will be successful.

One of the things that I’ve learned over the last four years is that in our profession, flexibility is key to being successful.

Having weathered one of the biggest economic downturns that our country has ever seen, it is apparent, now more than ever, that change is inevitable.

Last week I wrote about alternative careers for landscape architects, and I am fortunate that I had the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to become an environmental planner.

By diversifying my skills, I have been able to stay flexible and adapt to change as it comes my way.

Have you had to face any recent change as a result of the economy in the last few years? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on Twitter at @CDGLA or email: