KMbeing

Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

Change & Uncertainty For Gaining Knowledge

question mark

If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles of gaining knowledge, we can face the future with the understanding that we do not know enough but can make a difference by being open to learning something new, taking chances, sharing our knowledge – and in due course create new knowledge to pass on to someone else.

Currently, I’m wondering about my future career direction in my life. I currently have a great job as Knowledge Exchange Events and Resources Planner with an amazing team in the Knowledge Exchange Unit at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) – but it’s a contract position, funding is coming to an end, and so is my employment. I left a long career in hospitality (over 15 years), making a big jump and decision to take a chance, make a change and face some uncertainty to take a temporary job. I left the security of a guest service career, with the full knowledge that my new job was only a three-month contract. In so doing I enabled a new, but unknown future outside the hospitality industry.

I faced change and uncertainty, yet gained new knowledge. I’m contributing my own knowledge to the job at CAMH, while also meeting and working with some great professionals as we exchange further knowledge. And I am thankful to those who gave me that chance.

A few years ago, I couldn’t kick the feeling that the former 15 year career path I was on was just an extended detour for the path I should really be on. While still working as a flight attendant, I went back to school, graduated with a B.A. in Psychology – got on the Dean’s Honour Roll – did a lot of volunteer work, increased my skills, networked with a bunch of people in knowledge mobilization (KMb), started writing this KMbeing blog, was named among the top ten knowledge mobilization influencers in Canada in 2011 and 2012 – and changed the direction of my life and my resume.

For those of you who have been long-time readers of my KMbeing blog, you’ll remember when I made my first jump out of the hospitality pond to work at Kobo, learning valuable skills as an Executive Assistant, and the difficult challenges I encountered when I had to work supporting someone (think of Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada) who is no longer working for Kobo (too late for me).

Devil Wears Prada

I loved the job and the chance to support others in this environment – and I gained some incredible knowledge (perhaps the hard way). The personality of the person I was supporting wasn’t the big problem for me. I can deal with different personality types. The problem was that this person kept expecting me to do some personal, non-work related things that interfered with what I was expected to do in the job, and because of this person’s position in the company there was little recourse. I still have friends from Kobo who recognized the situation and supported the reason I decided to leave.  I was disappointed, but, had I not taken that chance, I would not have gained that valuable knowledge to deal differently with such a challenge in the future.

I was fortunate to land on my feet and find a job working for a great hotel as a guest service agent at The King Edward Hotelback in the hospitality industry. You have to pay the bills somehow – and hospitality is what I know, not necessarily what I wanted to do. I started getting that detour feeling again, and wondered if all of the effort I had put into moving out of hospitality had gone to waste.

Don’t get me wrong. The dedicated hotel staff and my ability to provide excellent customer service along with some sincerely caring, and hard working people (some who have since become friends) made me feel so much at home. With my love of history and writing, the King Edward Hotel was an ideal subject for another interesting blog that I started writing while working there, trying to get management to recognize some of my further skills. I tried to see about transitional opportunities within the hotel from hospitality to administration or communications; unfortunately, no opportunities presented themselves.

Then the CAMH temporary contract position came along, working back in an academic/research environment. More change and uncertainty, but I took the chance. And now more change and uncertainty, but an opportunity to gain more knowledge and contribute some of my own.

resume

So now, I’ve started sending out my resume again, and when I don’t receive an acknowledgement of it, I don’t take it personally. I don’t think there must be something wrong with me that will prevent someone from even wanting to interview me for a position. I don’t start second-guessing myself and my valuable skills, or wonder if I made a mistake to leave the security of hospitality and guest services behind. Fortunately, I also have a connection with an employment placement agency to ease some of the insecurity.

I know, it’s the deep feeling of confidence in me and the passion I feel about my choice in wanting to change my career path that assures me – I haven’t made a mistake. I recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles of gaining knowledge.

The paradox is that gaining knowledge takes time but gaining knowledge also happens in every second.

I really don’t know enough about a potential employer’s situation to allow myself to be negative or depressed after I’ve sent my resume off.  I don’t know if an internal candidate was chosen before all others, or if someone with more specific experience or education was chosen.  I don’t know if there was a lot of discussion about me, or if others thought I should be interviewed, or if, ultimately, the boss wanted someone else for reasons that have nothing to do with my own skills and experience. And besides, it’s a great, big world out there with plenty of other people with valued skills and knowledge. I just need to continue to have confidence and show my passion, continue to put it out there, and when given a chance – be thankful when that chance finally happens.

crystal ball

I don’t believe in crystal balls to see into the future. I don’t know what lies ahead in a few weeks or months from now (perhaps I’ll write about it in a future blog to let you know) – but I do know there will be more change and uncertainty. I also know that had I not jumped into taking this temporary job – and changed my career path – I would not have had this chance to gain more knowledge that will make it possible for me to accept another longer-lasting position that’s much more suited to me and for me in the future.

We must recognize that we always face change and uncertainty and that our knowledge should never be scripted, for our knowledge scripts are always altered everyday. If we can relax and let life take its course, we can get much more out of life and living, and we can be optimistic enough to know that we can gain knowledge from change and uncertainty if we take a chance. As Dale Carnegie once said…

Take a chance! All life is a chance. The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.

One response to “Change & Uncertainty For Gaining Knowledge

  1. Pingback: A Thank You For Knowledge Exchange On The Job | KMbeing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: