If you don't know where you're going you'll end up somewhere else...

At one time or another we've all dreamed of just getting in the car and driving with no particular destination in mind. There's a certain romance to the freedom that idea represents and we embellish it with a set of golf clubs, fishing gear, cameras or other equipment in the trunk. We revel in the joy of approaching a fork in the road and the Yogi Bera inspired choice of taking it. Sadly, most of us treat our careers the same way.

Without the help of a mentor or the discipline and knowledge to understand the difference between a career and a job, we become our own worst enemies. The romance of just getting in the career car and driving becomes the equivalent of a trip down The Information Stupid Highway in a brown '65 Chevy Corvair. Your career gets rear-ended and goes up in flames like a 42nd Street drag queen on Halloween. Seemingly overnight you become jobless and your career is making decisions for you instead of you making decisions for your career.

You're the defendant in the case of reaction vs. action and you're wondering if Johnny Cochran is available. Your choices (or lack there of…) force you to become a paradigm of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The joy of taking the fork in the road gets 86'd off the map. Like most humans you find yourself moving away from pain more than you're moving toward pleasure. Doesn't that sound silly? When all is right with the world and you're thinking clearly, the choice of pleasure or pain becomes a no-brainer. Agreed?

So…just a minute. Hit the rewind button of the media player on the hard drive between your ears. Get back in that car. You can keep those clubs in the trunk but don't forget a laptop with wireless access so you can download the directions to your choice of destinations. Yeah, destinations - plural, more than one. A career is best when it's a crafted over time. Your final destination may change as you travel down the path. Just how far off the path you choose to go may effect the time it takes to get where you want to be - that's the romance of the first paragraph you were wallowing in to start with. Now you know where you're going; and if you're homework is thorough and complete you're more likely to arrive.

Your career and the jobs that comprise it aren't a vacation, but they don't have to be work either. You can still enjoy the ride but why end up in Fargo when you'd rather be in Fiji?

Of course this is only my opinion, but itís one I value highly.

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