Career ups and downs

Life is full of surprises. The path through life is like a labyrinth and outcomes of moves you make are uncertain. The best way to go about making choices in life, and more particular in your career, is to maximize opportunities and open as many doors as you can. You may have seen the funny graphic on social media………………………………..10435842_774100925968043_2023390020280490512_n

There is a lot of truth in it. The most successful entrepreneurs have had their ups and downs in their careers. Many of the most successful people I have met in my life have made career moves, up, down, and sideways and came out stronger and better in the end.

Some of the career moves you will make by choosing a different path, switching careers, getting into a different larger location that will allow you better growth over time. Other career choices will be made for you; demotion, lay off, or getting stuck in a job that you really didn’t want.

The old saying goes: “The best is the enemy of the good”. Indeed if you always continue to strive for the best position, you may forego opportunities that may not be enticing now but will eventually open up a better career path in the future. Stay flexible, go for opening doors and not closing doors. Create your own future by creating opportunities and finding a balance between the uncertainty and anxiety that any career move will bring and the prospect and value of new opportunities in the future.

Sometimes the best option is to stay where you are. Even if promotions in other departments or companies could be available. Chances are that your company at this moment really needs you in this role and once the situation has changed, you will be viewed as a team player who has shown understanding for the long term needs of the company and thus is a good candidate for more senior positions.

Sometimes you will have to accept that the job goes away, the company goes under, you get demoted due to issues in your performance. Do not worry too much about these things and look at the bright side. There are always opportunities. Ask yourself what the impact is on your long term career path. A set back of a few years over a 40+ career is insignificant.

Remember that being in a job is usually very limiting as you will be asked to contribute in the role you were hired into and all the other skills, talents, knowledge and experience that you have, but does not necessarily fit that role, remains unused. As soon as your career path leaves you without a company role, you need to remember all these points and reconsider what your next move will be. Will you stay in the same field, will you re-train for a different career path, do you want to try something completely different?

It all goes back to our discussion about maximizing results in your situation. Results are the product of Quality times Acceptance. This also goes for your career, the best results are a balance between the best quality career and your personal acceptance of the path. If you continue to accept all positions offered and not strive for better quality at all you will not reach your full potential, if you continue to try and maximize the quality of your individual career moves you will not easily be satisfied or happy and may wait your whole career for a fulfilling career path that may never come.

In summary:

  • Focus on your long term goals
  • Don’t let the best be the enemy of the good
  • Open doors, create opportunities
  • Use your network, don’t go it alone
  • Remember the balance between quality and acceptance to maximize results
  • Your path will go up, down and sideways
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