Pick the path to job success

When I was 17 I bragged that I had gotten every job I applied for. That was 5 jobs at the time. I set my own expectations and hit them. I continued to get every job I applied for. Looking back, I was lucky and that luck kept me from doing better.

I always had enough money to survive and my desires weren’t huge. I was going to college by then and just wanted to graduate. That is why my luck hurt me so bad. 

After I left college I found out that my Geology Department would have gladly given me jobs while I was at school. I just never asked. I could have gone on to graduate school and jobs would have been lined up for me so I could afford it. I never asked. During the summer break there were jobs available for aspiring geologists, but I had already lined up something else selling books or working in the library. It was so easy to get the jobs I applied for that I never got the jobs that would advance my career.

Even when I graduated I applied for a job in geology that was being filled by high school graduates at the time. Of course I got the job. And I earned less than I could. And I didn’t look for another job until I was laid off.

It took me 3 years after that lay off to get a good job with a bright future. It took me that long to learn that if I accept every job I can get, I get jobs without a future.

I was a slow learner. I didn’t start failing until after I was laid off. I finally learned. Sometimes getting every job you apply for means you aren’t aiming high enough.

Something to do today

Do you have a real career plan? 

I have talked with programmers earning $50,000 per year and others earning $120,000 per year. They had the same basic talents. The better paid ones had chosen to work in SAP instead of Visual Basic. They really had to pay a price to get into SAP. Now they are reaping amazing rewards compared to the programmers who applied for jobs they knew they could get.

Do you really have a career plan? Or is it just a downhill career path?

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