Everyone takes a path in life. These paths are lined with stories, experiences, lessons, choices, and of course… distractions.
Some paths, for example, may be easy to find and simple to follow. Others may be harder to find and pose obstacles along the way. Some paths may all of a sudden have a dead end and, therefore, a new path needs to be found.
However this path is found or navigated along the way, it is your path. No one will know your path better than yourself. And it will serve as a roadmap guiding you forward on your personal and professional journey in life.
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 make good decisions?
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 “no plan” 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 hindrance eventually forced me to slow down and look in the mirror. I drew upon early athletic successes, relationships, accomplishments and childhood lessons. From this state, I began to embrace my story, started to develop confidence, and blazed a path forward.
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 comparison 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.
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.
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.