Career Advice by Daniel C. Simmons, CPC
The secret to forging a successful career is not really that complicated, in fact it’s quite simple, so basic that people usually miss it, unable to see the significance. Helping people set a career path that can lead to success is a very satisfying part of my job. In guiding people who seem a bit confused about where they’re headed and in helping them set clear-cut goals to achieve their career objectives, I am changing lives.
The most valuable piece of career advice I can give is this: “You must know where you’re headed before you can forge a path.”
What’s readily apparent is that this advice applies to all kinds of endeavors, not just to one’s job or career path. The wisdom expressed in this statement is very simple; yet fundamentally true in almost everything we set out to do in life. My favorite question to ask in an interview, whether the person is 21 or 61 is, what do you want to do now that you’re all grown up?
The problem many people run into during their job search is that they usually discount that step or completely disregard it. What they do is look ahead before examining their starting point, which should be determined by where they want to go.
To forge a successful career there must be a clearly defined path to follow leading to a specific end point. Once you reach your first destination you can always plot a new course. In figuring all of this out you can also look ahead and decide on one major end point or destination, with a whole lot of little destinations along the way, which would be considered stepping stones.
The main point I’m making is that if you have no clear idea of where you’re going, there is no way you’re ever going to get there, wherever “there” is. You wouldn’t even have any idea of HOW to get there or know if you’re “there” when you arrive.
Wherever you are along your career path, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of your achievements and to look ahead to see what mountains you’d still like to climb. Determine where you’d like to end up, where your ultimate destination is. Once that’s done you would want to decide on a path to follow that will take you there. This is the only way you can realistically reach your destination.
There are so many directions you can go and a lot of different paths to take, but if you haven’t yet decided where you’re going, then what’s the point of starting out?