Your career is like a road. You’re moving from one street to another, making turns and short stops, and heading towards your final destination. There will be a moment when you see yourself stuck in a traffic jam. You’ll be tracking the situation with some neighbor cars and then you will admit that it’s time to be patient and it will take a while…
In the beginning of your career journey, the pace of growth can be really fast. Each 1-2 years you can acquire a new position and it seems like this pace will always stay the same. But it won’t. Eventually, your speed will drop to almost zero. It’s the nature of life – so accept this. You will try to convince yourself that in a few moments the traffic will disappear, you’ll put the pedal to the metal and reach your goal in no time – but it’s all lies, lies, lies..
Here are a few things you need to consider when you’ve entered the Jam.
1. The majority of people seek the redemption by finding a new job/employer. Avoid the choices when you’re switching companies but your work functions remain relatively the same (e.g. identical position). If so, then this move makes little or zero sense. Have you ever considered leaving your car/taxi and get into another car on the same road? It’s truly a bad idea, so why do you believe that such a move will work in a different way for your career?
2. Always aim for big leaps using bold decisions. Diversify, for God’s sake. Your bag of soft skills is already full enough as you’ve been acquiring them for quite a long time. Make a move from Sales to Marketing or Production, etc. Nobody forbids you to do that. This switch will make your experience wider and will develop some new skills that you’ll combine for the next move. When you’re on the road, you can skip the traffic jam by using a subway, a bicycle, etc.
3. You have two feet – use them. Definitely starting your own business is hard and tough. In fact, right now you are working for a company that years ago was someone’s dream – and then hard work, talent and luck brought it to reality. So are you not talented or self-confident enough?
50 years from now you will probably be already dead. What’s the point of being afraid, if you are already aware that it will happen? Overcome the fear and seize the opportunity.