Working for years to discover your career path is common. Certainly pursuing meaningful work, continuing your education, and even taking some risk is important, but most career paths are not known, they are discovered.
Spirit of Career Paths
SharkTank is in its ninth season. Its popularity represents something that many believe is part of chasing the American dream. Entrepreneurs of all ages, backgrounds, and interests pitch a panel of venture capitalists in an attempt to continue building their dream.
People who care deeply about their career are working towards a dream. It may be doing something they love, trying to build financial freedom, or sometimes it is the final stretch of preparing for retirement. Many will tell you that they didn’t see the path until they started walking it.
Perhaps the most important news for career seekers is that there aren’t any shortcuts. What looks like a shortcut is probably a path that is already taken, saturated, overused, abused, or headed for decline.
Navigating the Pivot
The business climate is shifting. Technology has created opportunities that no one knew existed ten or twenty years ago. The people who are on their own journey will shape what is next. It is the path not yet discovered but one that is unfolding over time.
When your career is important to you, you’ll take the appropriate steps. You’ll do the work, put in the time, learn the skills, analyze the market, and jump in. All of that is good because standing still won’t make much happen.
Will it go exactly as you planned? Probably not and for a really good reason.
That reason is that your best work develops from your talent. It develops from your interests, the things others have suggested you do well, and from doing the things that feel natural.
That isn’t all though, your talent also develops from the twists and turns, the in’s and out’s, and how you performed and endured when things turned upside down.
It seldom is how others described it, how someone forecasted it, or what the text book suggested it would look like.
Most Career Paths
Your best work, the work that shapes your career, will come from your heart. It’s where the best work occurs, it creates luck throughout your journey.
There is a good chance that most career paths are unknown because you don’t really train for it, you become it.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.