The Magic Sauce To A Successful Career

 In Career Tips

iStock_000005685623Small-222x300Career managers take note: I’ll be the first to admit it: “My name is Dawn Rasmussen, and I am a recovering career control freak.”

In my 20s, I had set ideas and goals that I was going to achieve by the time I hit 30. I came very close to achieving them, so of course, like most people, I set new, even more aggressive career objectives.

((Cue “Highway to Hell” music… ))

Then life happened.

Sometimes, I am convinced, that despite our better intentions, life throws us that curve ball that is a game-changer.  Maybe life has a different plan for us… after all. And sometimes, when we stick to what WE plan to do, it turns out that we end up chaining ourselves to something we didn’t want to begin with.

No, I am not going to get all “woo-woo” in this post about fate and other things unscientific, but I am going to share an observation that I’ve verified time and again ever since I started to let go of the proverbial steering wheel.

And therein lies the nugget: You’ve gotta let go of the steering wheel.  That’s where the fun begins!

We all need to get onto the highway that gets us pointed in the right career direction, but the more you try to furiously speed towards your destination, the less control you actually have because you are so focused on the final end point, you are missing some very interesting side trips along the way that could flip your map upside down.

Not that we all need to spend our work life puttering down back roads, but the more you can relax and enjoy the ride… the more you will get out of the journey.

And isn’t this what it is all about, anyway???

Let’s face it: Who we are now is not who we were before, and just like us, opportunities shift and change in a kaleidoscope of door openings and closings.  Timing, of course, is everything.

But if you at least get yourself on the right trajectory, you can find yourself in the right place at the right time… if you let it.  Being rigid has quite the adverse effect because the more control you strive to have, the less things turn out the way you wanted them to.

Another thing that I have found is that if you allow it, life will provide you with the right opportunities at the right time.  And the right people.

My point with this post is that you do need to have some career destinations in mind, but where the magic sauce really happens is when you stop trying to be in such total control to drive the end results, and let life take over for a while.  The most amazing things can happen if you are open and receptive to them.

And if you let go once in awhile, I’ll bet that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.

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