Finding a Path…
Everyone takes a path in life. Paths are lined with stories, experiences, lessons, choices, and of course… distractions. Some paths may be easy to find and simple to follow. Other paths may be harder to find and pose obstacles along the way. Some may have a dead end prompting the search for a new path.
For some, this is day to day. For others, it may be week to week or minute by minute. But this path is yours. You are ultimately accountable for your decisions and there’s nobody you should trust more, than yourself.
So whether you’re on a path, trying to find a path or confronted with an obstacle on your path, are you in the right headspace to take the next step?
I graduated from Emory University in the mid 90’s, and after 4 years away from home, I had quite an experience. I played NCAA collegiate soccer, got an outstanding education and made amazing friends.
Like most recent grads, many will go to law school, medical school, or some other graduate program. I fell in the category that isn’t mentioned: The “no plan”.
Having no plan is certainly normal for a recent graduate, but my mine seemed to be governed by a lack of self awareness. I was too caught up in “who I should be and where I should be” on this path when I should have been focusing on “who I am and what is my path”.
This misalignment eventually forced me to slow down and look in the mirror. I drew upon early athletic successes, relationships, accomplishments and childhood lessons. From there, I began to embrace my story, started to develop confidence, and blazed a path forward.
The First 5 years…Confusion & Misalignment
The first 5 years on this path, I moved at a fast pace which unbeknown to me, was fueled by fear and insecurities. Whether the misalignment was based on money/compensation, titles or the career/industry in itself, I always felt as if everyone was so far ahead of me.
In my mid 20’s, I tripped and fell into the recruiting business. At first, since the industry didn’t produce 2 or 3 letter initials after someone’s name, for example CPA, MBA, PhD, JD, I still had this inferior feeling. But as I slowly began to integrate into the recruiting industry, things changed rather quickly for me. Something just clicked. I started to realize that my successes were not being fueled by insecurities, but are now being fueled by who I am, how I was raised and what I naturally do well.
Getting Into the Right Headspace…
Like many professional services businesses, the recruiting business is a sales driven, client (or candidate) service based effort. But the recruiting business not only sells a “service”, it sells a service where the end user, client or candidate, is faced with a great deal of personal/emotional interaction to arrive at critical decisions.
When I think about all of the reasons I love this business, the #1 reason has always been the ability to enrich the lives of the people we are advising, guiding or counseling. And when I look back at my first day in this business, I relied on my ability to gain trust, empathize with others, and provide a certain level of emotional stability.
25 years later & One Piece of Advice…
As I fast forward 25 years later, the same foundation is in place and the satisfaction I have gained from making this type of impact on people continues to drive me everyday.
As you go on your personal career journey, the first step is getting to know the real “you”. From there, be natural, trust your instincts, compete and create your value.
We live in a competitive world. There’s obstacles at every corner. Embrace your strengths, regardless of what anyone thinks, and leverage them for greater efficiencies. Be mindful of your weaknesses and work towards improvement. There’s plenty of space out there for all of us to be successful. We just need to look in the mirror, harness our talents and push forward every day on the path of life.