ARE YOU STUCK IN CAREER TRANSIT?
I’ve been doing a lot of travelling recently, and when you’ve got 10 hours to kill in Beijing airport, there’s only so much coffee and duty-free shopping you can stand! What being in transit did give me was a LOT of time to think. While I was waiting – and waiting – it occurred to me that there are a lot of similarities between travelling and our careers. Well, as a professional career coach, it’s hard not to let my mind wander in that direction!
When travelling, you’re in transit from one place to another. You’ve planned your journey, bought your ticket, and packed your bags. You know when you’re boarding and where you’re going. You also know why you’re going there. And here’s the thing: I see people’s careers as a form of travel too. We want to go places. We want to enjoy the journey. But when it comes to mapping out a path that will take us there, so many people are just sitting in transit. They’re waiting, but what for? For something to come along that might be better? For more money to fall from the sky? For greater fulfilment?
Unless you have a plan, unless you’ve done your research and know where you’re heading, the career you want probably (sadly) isn’t going to land in your lap. Sure, you might get an offer or spot a role you think might get you where you want to go, but then you take it and realise it’s not the answer. And how disappointing is that?! Worse, you’re right back where you started; stuck in transit all over again.
I speak to a lot of people who are in jobs they don’t like or aren’t truly satisfied with, and they say it’s just a stepping stone. When I ask, ‘A stepping stone to where?’ they say, ‘Until the next role comes along.’ There’s no plan, they aren’t giving much thought to what they want, or even talking to people about their goals. They’re stuck in the boarding lounge without a ticket.
Just like having a plan for your holiday, a career plan is critical. You need to work out where you’re going, why you want to go there, when you want to arrive, and exactly how you’ll do it! Career coaching can help. In fact, a career coach is a bit like a travel agent for your career. We’re the ones with the tips, advice and guidance you need to make the most of your life. Far from being stressful or laborious, it can actually be energising, inspiring – and a lot of fun – knowing you’re on the right track and having something you can really look forward to. I see it all the time!
So what will you do? Sit in transit for the rest of your career or experience the world – the way you want it to be?
If you’d like to know more, drop me a line. I’m here to help! Or ask any questions in the comments below.
I look forward to hearing from you.