Insight News

Feb 11th

Arrived! Career paths are not always easy to see

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career"It was a dark and stormy night." Many stories start out with a line like that. Unoriginal, and, if you choose to read on, you might hope for a more interesting, satisfying ending. I thought of the line while driving across Wisconsin for a kids' dance competition. We started the road trip on a bright and cloudless afternoon. A stop at Target slowed us down, as did a midday traffic jam downtown. Snow, ice and a closed highway loomed ahead and pretty soon our bright and clear day had become a dangerously snowstormy night. We wrapped up the four hour drive... eight hours later. Relieved, I texted a friend to say, "Made it."

Does your career path look a little like my road trip? They often do. Starting out, the future looks bright and clear. You stop to pick up a few supplies: some education or training, an internship, a vehicle, a family. You're slowed down by these things, but still on track toward where you want to end up.

Then the clouds roll in: things become more complicated. Maybe there's a layoff or you get some bad directions and take a wrong turn. Someone cuts you off. Snow covers the road and you wonder if you're going to end up in a ditch like all those unlucky others. Maybe there's a road closed sign up ahead, and you have to find a new route altogether.

Don't let poor conditions get in your way. If you can keep the destination in mind: a satisfying, more interesting life to look back on, then you'll see that the detours and the flashing lights are just part of the dark and stormy road trip. And who knows what incredible opportunities are waiting for you on the back roads? One of our delays involved watching a string of seven deer run cross the country road we were detoured onto. Incredibly cool.

It might take time, but one day you will be able to look back on where you've been, on your interesting, satisfying career, and you will be able to say, "I made it!"

Julie Desmond is IT and Software Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. and on twitter @MNCareerPlanner

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