Do You Control Your Change?

Remember the song, “Changes” by David Bowie?  Great lyrics — give it a listen the next time you’re browsing YouTube.

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet

In July 2010 when I wrote a post for Women of HR on character building, I reflected on the changes going on in my life and how I wasn’t appreciating the value coming from them.  We see change everywhere. We have experts on change management and we tell leaders and employees to embrace change.

It’s BS.  Yes, it really is.

Not that change doesn’t build character – it certainly does!  But it’s easy to be passionate about the value of change when it’s our idea, our choice.  When it’s not, we’re forced to accept change (“turn and face the strain”) because it’s placed upon us by others or by events that occur in our lives.  I heard someone once say,

“The level of peoples’ happiness is based only on the extent that they feel in control of their lives.”

Do you agree with that?  When things are going great in our lives — whether professional or personal, we’re happy, right?  When things aren’t going well, we can get bummed out or grumpy at the world around us.

Back when I wrote that post, I moved away from my boyfriend and the beach to accept a new gig.  The job market was unchanged from today and there were no professional jobs at the beach, let alone a corporate HR gig!  I was gainfully employed but not so thrilled that I had to accept a part time relationship on the personal side.  Yes, I made the decision to move but it wasn’t my ideal choice. Can you see the difference?

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same

I was recently downsized from the job and I’m relieved – truly.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking this lightly and being out of work is stressful on so many levels.  But I’m back at the beach full time with my (now) fiancé and have decided to stay here and start a consulting business.

The risks, new challenges and everything else associated with entering entrepreneurship is overwhelming and will bring on more change. The difference?  I’m controlling this change.

Photo credit:  stock.xchng

About the Author

Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly Patterson is the founder of Unconventional HR. An HR pro turned consultant, she has 25 years of progressive experience as a strategic HR and business leader in a variety of industries. Her hands-on and innovative approach allows her to create and deliver HR solutions to meet business challenges and needs by managing human capital, talent acquisition and technology. Connect with her on Twitter at, or at



WOW! What a thought provoking article. When you are involved in making the difficult decisions (choices), it usually helps to get your head and heart involved. Trust your instincts. Whenever I think I’m in control, something happens to make me realize maybe I should just try to manage, not control change.

It sounds like you are in a good spot now and I’m sure on the right track to success. I also admire and appreciate your greatest accomplishment in your short bio.



Hello Kimberly,
Your post hit very close to home 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Change is good but it’s not always palatable or easy to accept at least not in the short run.
It does however, help a great deal when the change you are making is on your own terms, even if it involves a great risk .
All the best with your new consulting business, hopefully, one day you will look by at this transition period in your life and not just smile , but laugh out loud!


Kimberly Roden

Hi Tamkara, thanks for your comments. You’re correct in that we definitely have a time period of absorption and acceptance when certain changes come our way.
There is also something very empowering about risk-taking changes!
I appreciate your well wishes and yes, I truly hope that I can look back, recall these feelings of trepidation and laugh!
Thanks again and be well!


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