Monday, March 01, 2004

Got Change?

Much as I enjoy technology and relish new toys, I find buying a new computer to be a bit of a hassle. First, there's the matter of immediate obsolescence. I'll wait and wait for the latest technology to be available only to have some other new technological wonder announced the week after I've finally made a purchase. Once or twice I've even found myself paralyzed into making no purchase at all because of this phenomenon.

Even when I steel myself to actually go through the process of spending money on a computer, I find the effort of weighing all the choices dizzying. I want a computer that does the work I want it to do AND can support the playing I want to do on it too - beer recipes, video editing & playback, music, maybe a few games, etc. On top of that, I want it for less than $2000.

On the flip side of all these issues that tend to slow me down in getting a new computer is this sense that, whatever it is I'm struggling with on the old one, life will be so much easier once I get a nice new clean computer and can start over from scratch. This notion is, of course, not entirely wrong. If I want to make the new computer last for a while, though, and not turn it into a race to see how quickly I can trash the thing, it helps to have learned something along the way about what went wrong on the old computer.

See, the thing is this - most of the difficulties I run into on computers are the result of all the applications I try to run on them. As soon as I migrate these to the new computer and introduce all my same old (bad) habits into the new environment, then my troubles simply tag along too. Like a car that stays pristine only if no one eats (or even rides) in it, a computer really only stays factory perfect as long as you don't use it.

There is a certain similarity between these matters and jobs. So many people figure it's easier to continue to try to forcefit themselves into make their existing jobs work than to risk any difficulty or unhappiness finding something that suits them better. Others are convinced that changing to a new job is the only thing that will make their lives better, only to find that they bring with them some form of baggage or troubles that immediately infect their new environment too.

How do you know when making a change is the right thing to do? What preparations do you make that help you be more successful in a new position? Send your thoughts to - I'm interested in what you have to say.

Change can be a good thing - so long as it's thoughtfully planned with the right criteria in mind and old mistakes are learned from and addressed.