Go West, Go East
This is the time of year when many clients come to us for advice about their next career move. New year on the horizon, new technologies to master, new startups to comprehend, new bosses / mentors to learn from. There’s a restlessness about both the Gregorian and the Chinese New Years that seems to transcend the mere celebration of achievement, to overwhelm the simple prospect of newness. When the sun sets on 2018 it must be to rise purposefully on 2019.
Every person is different. Each of us has a purpose, an ambition to be fulfilled. We all know the rules of growth – learn, develop, live, enjoy. Unless the mixture is right it is no life worth living. There are many considerations when deciding whether to Grow in the West or Grow in the East. These thoughts may help you sort your ideas logically. The emphasis is yours, of course. There will be great markets in both East and West but where will the markets be that allow for the fastest development of technology and volume?  Eastern Scientists learnt a lot from the West and still do. Do both East and West have equal understanding of Yin and Yang? A world discovering the importance of balance needs to grow its knowledge of what that balance really means and of how it works. This applies way beyond the issues of health, stretching into politics, reasoning, prioritising, science.  Historical background is the foundation of good science. Who has the best to offer in your own areas of expertise and intended learning?  Fishes out of water struggle to learn to walk. They can certainly do so, but is the achievement worth the effort? ‘Smart’ beats ‘effort’ every time. ‘Go with the flow’ is sometimes better expressed as ‘go with the know’.  Fresh fields are great ways to move forward as long as they are not just greener grass on the other side of the fence. That’s where the grass is always greener. Remember the ‘always’.  Sunset industries can be very profitable. They lack the vibrance of sunrise jobs and markets. Different stages in life suggest different assessments of both.  If you have a plan try seeing it in both a Western and an Eastern context. The one that it fits most neatly has an edge over the less orderly, notwithstanding that disruption is a great creator.
Your value is first to yourself and those you must support. Doing the right thing may appear selfish or unselfish – it doesn’t matter either way. What matters is that what you do is right for your career. It’s called a short road; believe me, it isn’t. It is quite a long road that often seems to go by quickly.
Your choice at every junction is critical but never fatal. Your decision will most likely be right for you.
If I was under 50 I’d go East.
It’s what I did.