Career Calling

May 12, 2014

Choose Your Direction

Filed under: Career Management — claycerny @ 11:24 pm
Tags: , , , ,


Have you ever quit a job or declined to take a promotion because you felt you were going in the wrong direction? A few of my clients have. Most, however, follow a path set for them by their employer. They are passive in following a path that is meant to do what is best for the company.

I met a client today, we’ll call her Jane, who didn’t follow her employer’s path. She achieved a high level of success in technical sales, and her employer wanted to assign her to a key account. The good news would be that her salary would have $100,000. However, Jane had just gotten married and wanted to have a family. She declined the promotion, quit her job, and started a business she has run for the last 8 years.

Now Jane is looking to return to corporate America. A few employers will not hire her because she has not worked in a corporate role. Others will look at her career and see someone who has corporate experience and entrepreneurial success. Jane took charge of her career and now is making another change that serves her goals, not simply doing what is best for her employer.

I often cite the writer Seth Godin. One of his favorite mottoes is to “draw your own map.” I can’t think of better advice for career success. There will be obstacles and diversions as we plan where we want to go. The alternative is to do what someone else wants to you do. That can be the path to a good income and a fancy title, but it’s just as often a road to frustration. Do what makes you happy and lets you live the life you want. Do it thoughtfully and strategically. Make the map you own.


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