Why do many career change dreams fail to see the light of day? I think two major factors are the effort and cost required to earn new qualifications and skills. At times, these can represent almost insurmountable hurdles.
However, a new book by the psychologist and journalist, Daniel Goleman, might just help in reframing a career changer’s options.
Nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Goleman’s bestseller – Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ – made him internationally famous and has sold over 5,000,000 copies.
His latest offering, ‘Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence‘, describes focus in three modes and how successful people from athletes to rappers to executives are able to pay attention despite the distractions and demands all around them.
(Alas, since I haven’t yet read the book, I can’t say much more about it.)
Nonetheless, what did attract my attention were a number of reviews by bloggers (see below for one of them) curious to see how the ‘the 10,000 hour rule’ – written about by Malcolm Gladwell in his bestseller, Outliers – was handled in this one.
I’ve always taken those 10,000 hours to be a guideline, and not a cast-iron rule. The who, how, what, where and when of over 5 years ‘practice’ (assuming 5 hours per day, every day. Big assumption!) are going to be more influential than the actual time spent.
For IT career changers many (hundreds of) hours can be shaved off the excellence timeline when attention is guided by experienced mentors and coaches. These two are by themselves, of course, external attention influencers but when their input is aligned with the ‘attention fascination’ of the inner sensei, much becomes possible.
Maria Popova’s post on the ‘10,000 hour myth’ – in the context of Daniel Goleman’s new book – is also well worth reading.
Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence