The importance of embracing change in any area of our lives is so high that if we can’t do it, we risk falling behind; no matter how far ahead we start. Studies have found that a commonality in people with successful careers is that they embrace change and even when uncomfortable, they find a way to make it work. Change is inevitable and it is in fact our progress, that is optional.
There will be things from the past that you don’t want to let go of and it’s your job to work out wether you’re holding onto it for the benefit of only yourself or the benefit of the future of the industry. Here’s an example of something to hold onto, something to let go of and the way to work this out.
Example 1: Something to hold onto - this will be something that has and always will benefit the industry and a really good example of this is the duration and difficulty of an apprenticeship. Old school apprenticeships have and always will be the best way to prepare anyone to be apart of this industry. You DO NOT want to hold onto it just because you had to go through a long and hard apprenticeship yourself (this would be something to let go of as it’s a personal reason).
The reason to hold onto something is what it gives back to the industry. In this case, doing a real apprenticeship then produces a tattooer who respects the people around them and deserves to be respected by those same people. Working their way from the ground up, knowing all the ins and outs of what they’re doing and all about the people that paved the way for them, gives the tattooer a huge respect for the industry IN ITS ENTIRETY; not just the things they want to know or the skills they think they’ll use. The fact that you know there would have been times they felt like they were treated like shit, lost sleep, made mistakes and wanted to quit but kept going is a HUGE reason to be respected and that’s the sort of people who deserve the job of a tattooer and the culture that surrounds this job. Gaining more tattooers who deserve this respect is a benefit to the industry as whole, and that’s how you know this is something you should hold onto.
Example 2: Something to let go of - this is going to be something that only benefits you and most of the time it only actually benefits parts of you anyway. The comfortable and stubborn parts. Not wanting to use tools or technology that weren’t available to you in the past is an awesome example of this. You may think you’re being sentimental, but not wanting to even try any of these new things is actually closing you off to potentially furthering yourself in what you’re doing. Its resistance in its finest form. 90% of the time the reason you won’t even try these new things isn’t because the old way is better. It’s because you are comfortable, you have developed habits and tricks of the trade that you know work. The problem with this is that you’re not growing. When you don’t grow it doesn’t stop the people around you from growing therefore you’re leaving it open to people ultimately having an advantage over you, and this is when you get left behind.
Trying something new when you are already comfortable does feel strange and it does take work, but remind yourself that’s how you got to where you are today. Taking full advantage of what is now offered to you in this amazing industry, which grows in leaps and bounds everyday, should be something to feel grateful for. The world moves forward with or without you. Make sure you move forward with it. Not only are you learning and advancing in your chosen field but you’ll find these things have been developed to save you time, make your life easier or in many cases give you and EVEN BETTER result to what you are currently getting. No matter how great you are there is ALWAYS room for progression.
Dont sell yourself short by not trying new things because you're resisting change. Be one of the tattooists who stands the test of time and who gets full fulfilment through knowing they're constantly moving forward and not only keeping up but setting a new standard for the others. Go out and start embracing change in your career now. Save yourself time, add a new skill set and try those new tools. We guarantee you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including a long and successful career doing what you love.