If you had a choice which path would you choose? It is a question that many of us ponder each day. Not always consciously, but we’re working on it in the background. There are at least two career paths, which one are you on?
Sometimes the problem is that there is a goal in mind, but the path, plan, or process remains elusive.
Become the manager of the department.
Get the advanced degree in my field and pivot.
Find a job doing the work I love.
Two Career Paths
The first path is simple. Put in some effort, land a job, do the work, and see where things go. Sometimes this is a career. It is easy to go through the motions each day.
Good effort at work. Enjoy a little free time here and there. Spend time with the kids. Have a hobby or take a vacation.
It isn’t your dream job, but it is work. It doesn’t pay what you want, but you are surviving. Suddenly weeks turn into months and months to years.
It’s a job and you’re doing alright. Life rolls on.
The second path is different. It has purpose. It may include a journey down the first path, but there is a different kind of objective. The objective is to use the first path to get to the second path.
If you have a goal, you need a plan. When you have a goal and a plan, you need to execute. As you execute you must compare outcomes to timelines and milestones. Adjust, and move forward. Failure to do any of this puts you back on the first path.
Many will suggest it all depends on how bad you want it.
I would suggest that the recipe for success also includes commitment, discipline, and self-confidence. You’ll need to add in accountability and belief to get the best flavor.
You can let your career happen to you, or you can make your career work for you. Neither choice is wrong. Just remember, it is a choice.
What path are you on?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.