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Creating a Road Map To A Successful Career

Creating a Road Map To A Successful Career

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I just heard from a client I worked with about a year ago.

Amy graduated from college in Meteorology and worked for a weather department with the state in a job that had nothing to do with her passion. She quickly realized that the “perks” of this job were her golden handcuffs, and she was fairly miserable.

She was not exactly loving the idea of getting up and spending the day with people she did not relate to, or a boss who had no clue how to manage people. She just knew she didn’t want to end up like some of the older employees who watched the clock and counted the days before “retirement.”

Amy came to career counseling determined to change her direction, but since she was young, she was still tied to what other people thought was the “best” thing for her to do in her career. She completed her road map with great enthusiasm.

She knew without a doubt she wanted to work in a field that allowed her to use what she learned in her college major meteorology, and that her biggest passion was to be involved in some way with… hurricanes.

I can’t relate to this, but passion is passion.

Amy determined that in order to really get deeply involved in the work she wanted to do, she would likely have to complete a Master of Science program. There happened to be one in Florida that offered a $25K stipend.

She was excited and relieved (as is the case with everyone who completes this work) to know without a doubt what direction she wanted to take.

So, the vision was complete. All she had to do was take the next step.

But… not so fast. What do you suppose happened? Amy let “the birds get her” (one of Jim Rohn’s wonderful phrases for allowing dream stealers to take the reins).

In this case, it was the fear of losing her parents favor or of damaging her relationship with them because she left a job that was seemingly secure, no matter what the cost to her happiness.

Clearly, she was not yet willing to move forward with the plan to fulfill her dreams. This is where good mental health counseling can come into play.

The Road Map To A Successful Career Contains…

Fast forward to a few months ago, Amy was offered a job in Washington DC that encompassed every element of what made up her ideal job  – took the leap of faith and made the move, although she still considered it a gamble. She stated that she learned more about meteorology in one month than she did in two years of her work with the state. Her new company even has an office on the campus where she will eventually earn her Master of Science degree! She is also enjoying life in DC and meeting great people.

Here’s the key – Amy had the vision.

She held on even with doubts and fear. She did the work and knew what she wanted to do down to the last detail. It may have taken her a bit more time to overcome her old limiting beliefs, but now she is on the road to living her dream and doing what she loves.

The lessons:

  1. When you have your road map, you can now see in your mind’s eye where you want to go and envision the end result. If thoughts become things, you are half way there.
  2. Always keep your eye on the prize and look for opportunities that may help get you there – an organization, a professional(s) with connections, work opportunities that may encompass a portion of your goal and help get you there.
  3. Be aware of excuses to not move forward. Get committed and take action – one small step at a time. Remember, folks with ADD or who are prone to distractions can get easily overwhelmed
  4. Get the help and support you need to create your road map!

Shell Mendelson, founder of NB Careers, specializes in guiding individuals with Career ADD and Career Paralysis to define an authentic career direction. Click to download a FREE “Six Minute Quick Goal Setting” exercise and take the first step on your job search journey.


Career road map image from Shutterstock

Shell Mendelson

Founder of NB Careers. Specializes in guiding individuals with Career ADD and Career Paralysis to define career direction.