Why We Should be Change Makers

by placers on June 23, 2023 in Outside Insights



Over the last 50 years, Placers and the Burkhards have coached, interviewed, and listened to thousands of job seekers who want to make a change. They want to follow a new career path or just want something to change in their day to day. Yet, when it comes time to say yes to a new job or give notice to the current one, the pain of change is so strong they would rather stick with the status quo. Why is this? Well, simply, change is hard—and very few strive to study and exploit change for their benefit.


Yet, if we practice relishing in the unknown, we can train ourselves to become great at understanding change. We can learn to exploit change and position ourselves to thrive in the uncertainty. This goes for life at home and in business. 


The pandemic was a time of accelerated change.  Despite the obvious horrors of the pandemic, many of us were able to find some silver linings in the changes that were quickly brought upon us. We saw technology, social constructs, and work norms evolve overnight. This was much more than working in PJs at the kitchen table, but overnight employees were expected to manage their own careers and to be loyal to themselves. The way of work was impacted irrevocably. It was not that long ago that education, rank, and grade point average mattered most when employers made hiring decisions. Today, it’s so much more. Who are you? What have you learned? What skills do you have?  What experiences do you bring to the role?


Change is such a constant in life it doesn’t matter what we call it. Change is center stage. It’s a big difference from when it was not center stage—when change was slow. 


Why is change so difficult even though, in many cases, we know we should change?


We don’t change when times are good. We wait until it’s obvious and we are forced to change. We know we should change. Change at work has been a role.  A project manager implementing a new product or an HR person changing a policy or process that impacts many.


In chapter six of our book, Opposite the Crowd, Alan Burkhard explores how people can exploit change for their benefit. Alan asks readers: Where are you in your life and career? Are you behind change, are you even with it, or are you ahead of it?”  


You’re a real asset today if you can master being a changemaker. Understanding, acknowledging, and taking action on change is the most valued commodity you can offer your company, your customers, and your family.   If you’re ahead of change. Make your change mindset your asset and your advantage.


It’s pretty hard to grow if you don’t evolve through change.  In many cases, change equals bad now and good later. Status quo is comfortable. When we are out of our comfort zone, it doesn’t feel good. 


To start, ask yourself the questions below:

  • Am I behind? 
  • Is my team behind?
  • Am I even with it anymore?
  • Am I earning to get ahead of change? 

I like to think of change by grade level:

  • As a Freshman you learn to cope with change.
  • As a Sophomore you learn to push through the uncomfortable feelings, even if you don’t like it. 
  • As a Junior you keep changing and you learn to like it because you’re seeing the positive impact. 
  • As a Senior you graduate to the role of change agent and it becomes a habit that you use to grow in all facets of your life.

Depending on the role, or what you’re being called on to change, you may find yourself at any grade level at any point in time. That’s ok. This is not a lateral journey. What’s important is you keep chasing change, even when it doesn’t feel good.


If you want more information on how to become a change agent, check out our book Opposite the Crowd,


Until next time,



If you enjoyed this article, I recommend reading these past Outside Insights posts:

The Power of Knowledge is Based in “See, Think, Act.” Philosophy

Ten Ways To Empower People

Cut The Strings On Puppeteer Leadership

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