Trusting Your Career GPS

Trusting Your Career GPS

Travel has become easier since the availability of GPS systems. No longer do you have to spend time figuring out directions or trying to actually read a map. Just put in the address and away you go.

When you begin a trip, you know the desired destination. It might be as simple as the closest drugstore or a cabin ten states away. Your GPS assesses traffic flow and fairly accurately determines your arrival time. You also are given step-by-step instructions and plenty of advanced warning when you need to make a turn or take an exit. Sometimes, however, you decide to circumvent the GPS instructions, and you end up going for miles before realizing it was not a shortcut. Or you find yourself sitting in a massive traffic jam because you disregarded a GPS warning.

If only your career map came with a special GPS to help you manage the twists and turns. You could stay on the right road, avoid wrong turns, and speed to career success. You started out with fairly clear career aspirations. You thought you knew what you were going to do, where you wanted to end up, and what you were going to achieve.

Life, however, is unpredictable. It can cause you to deviate from your set course. For example, for expediency (meaning you needed a job—any job), you accepted a position in another field. Or you decide to take a job based on location, or because of family responsibilities. These can be simple twists and turns and temporary deviations, or your decisions can become roadblocks.

If this is the case, your career GPS may send repeated signals like your hating to go to work each day. Or you are irritable with coworkers, or have frequent headaches or other unexplained physical symptoms. Or you feel anxious or angry all the time. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it might be time to reexamine your location and decide if you are still pointed in the right direction. You may need to recalculate the route or plan a different destination altogether.

Just like a road trip, once you are traveling in a certain direction, turning around, backtracking, or starting over may seem daunting. But, like that GPS in your car, disregarding the suggestions and warnings of your career GPS can also have a negative impact.

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