Contemplating Career Moves? Be the Captain of Your Own Ship.

Published: February 27, 2013 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Job Hunting, Working and Workplaces

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Throughout my recruiting career, I have been fortunate to meet a diverse array of people who are at varying stepping stones along their career path.

On an almost weekly basis, I am approached by individuals looking to go a new direction with their occupation, but they have no inkling of what they want, which is actually the FIRST step. Multiple times I've been asked, "Can you take a look at my resume and experience and tell me what YOU think I should do?"

Um, no, not really.

What someone has done and what he/she wants to do moving forward can be vastly different.  As a recruiter, I try to take a step back and not make the assumption that what someone has always done is what they want to continue to do½we are ever-changing beings, blessed with the ability to invent ourselves over and over again throughout our lifetimes.

First, you have to ask yourself why you aren't happy with your job. On the flip side, are there aspects of your job that you love? (i.e. duties, boss, environment, industry, compensation)  Answering these questions HONESTLY can help you determine quite a bit about what your next step should be.

Next, consider if it is possible to reinvent yourself within the same company.  Heck, they already hired you! They may be the employer most likely to help you grow in a new direction, especially if that's what it takes to keep you. If it's not possible to move within your current company, try to avoid getting stuck in the rut of looking for an identical role somewhere else. As the saying goes, the grass is not always - and is rarely - greener on the other side.

As children, many of us explored extravagant career goals - astronaut, president, rock star, prima ballerina, Nobel prize winner - because we were "allowed" and encouraged to dream.  How long has it been since you LET yourself consider new aspirations?

I have always loved this quote by Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Remember that where you are today is not a destination but simply a part of the journey.  Dream big.  You are the captain, so stand confidently at the helm knowing that you have the ability to create new adventures and explore uncharted waters.

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