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The antifragility argument for changing jobs – Nerdful Mind #94

October 31, 2021 by Simon Mannes

Changing jobs is a scary thought.

You're losing access to everything you know so well, and you have to re-learn so much to get back up to speed.

You're venturing into the unknown.

Who knows, maybe you don't like your new job. Maybe you'll get boring tasks or don't connect with your coworkers.

I believe the reward for changing jobs is much greater than the risk.

By changing jobs, you increase your antifragility.

  • A fragile system breaks when it is disturbed (or attacked)
  • A robust system resists failure
  • A resilient system recovers from failure
  • An antifragile system becomes stronger under disturbance

The biggest possible career disturbance is getting laid off. Right before organizational changes that make you want to leave.

If you've never changed jobs before, this can feel like a disaster.

But if you've already changed jobs often, you instantly see this as an opportunity to grow.

Every time you change jobs, you gain so much:

  • you learn how to apply for jobs
  • you have a much greater potential for higher pay
  • your network (= people who have a favorable impression of you) grows much faster
  • you're seeing more problem domains, so you become a better problem-solver
  • you're working on different solutions and on more systems, so you're becoming a better developer

So, you not only become more resilient, but you also grow stronger every time you change companies.

Of course, leaving a place you like with people you know well seems daunting. But applying for jobs when you don't need to change is a tiny investment compared to the benefit of antifragility.

“The challenge of the unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of the accomplished past.” — Simon Sinek

Reading Recommendations

Dissolve Your Fixation On Yourself

“To begin with, just give up any expectations of yourself. That's a simple good instruction for how to do Buddhist meditation.”

Spending Time in Nature Promotes Early Childhood Development - Neuroscience News

“Children who live in areas with easy access to greenspaces and natural vegetation showed better overall development than their peers who lived closer to fewer greenspaces.”

What my biggest mistake as a junior engineer taught me about taking ownership

“The biggest mistakes can often be the biggest learning curves. Here's how one junior engineer turned a negative into a positive. […]. Lessons learned: Take ownership; Raise issues early and clearly; Follow instructions and documentation, but within reason; Don't try to hide things that are broken (or suboptimal).”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Sit upright.

Imagine a steady stream of warm, liquid sunlight passing from the top of your head through your body.

It fills your whole body over 2-3 minutes, starting with your feet. Then it fills your legs, lower body, upper body, arms, and head.

The liquid sunlight feels warm and releases all tensions.

When your body is filled, enjoy the feeling for a few moments before finishing the exercise.

End Note

I know this topic is different from my past newsletters. But I believe this topic is important, too. And it can help you live the life you want while enjoying it more. I promise the next issue will be deep into mindfulness again!

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Have a great week


PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!