“Putting the cart before the horse.” This is one of those idioms no one uses these days but is ultra-relevant in the case of resetting your career. It simply means doing things in the wrong order.
Most people don’t leap because they can’t see the end from the beginning. They’re not sure where they will land so they never launch. They overplan and overprepare and map out too much of the pathway. Their order of operations sounds like this: First, I’ll figure out where I’m going to land, then I’ll plan every step to get there, then I’ll prepare for the journey, then I might act.
You can’t plan your landing spot because it may look different once you arrive than you ever imagined it would. All you can control is what’s happening right now, right in front of you. The journey actually starts by acting.
I read recently about a woman who started a dog running business. She loved running and dogs, so she ran with her dogs. Then she offered to run with her friends’ dogs. Then she lost her job.
At this point she had two options: submit resumes, network, and land another conventional job or try something new. She learned about a man in another city getting paid to run with dogs. That was his job. So she called her friends and asked if they’d pay her to keep running with their dogs. They loved the idea, so much so that they referred their friends to her. Soon enough with 50 clients she was paying the bills and loving her work.
Had she decided not to start the business because she wasn’t sure it would ever take off she would likely be sitting in a typical desk job today. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Just follow the energy.
When I started my career journey in 2005 after leaving public relations, my current job didn’t exist. In fact, it didn’t exist until the beginning of last year. So aiming for it would have done me no good.
Instead, I looked right in front of me for opportunities to add value to peoples’ lives using my strengths and passions and followed the energy in my career path. This took me from grad school to Las Vegas to Houston and now to my current job which is super aligned with who I am and what I love to do.
Take it a step at a time. What are you excited about doing? Do it. Not sure it will make you any money? Do it anyway. Not sure it will work? Do it anyway. Not sure you will love it as much as you think you will? Do it anyway. If you get into it and don’t like you can always kill it and move on. That’s the beauty of career. It’s yours to choose.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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