Every career decision is meant to be life-changing. And it is. The decision either kills you or defines you, but only if you allow it to. A lot of times money speaks, after all it pays the bills. But the rest of the journey is up to you.
You’ll probably have 20 years or more of your life invested in a career of your choice or one that’s driven by your unique circumstance. Embrace the changing themes, but stick to your strengths. Decide your differentiators. Know what you want–your brand–and then keep telling others your own brand story. Own it.
Understand that every road, detour, mishap and even pit stop makes up that one grand tale leading towards your becoming—a sudden shift in discipline, thirst for additional knowledge, need to re-tool, sabbatical, change of environment, search for career-life integration. They all shaped your career. Your career life was never meant to exist in a vacuum.
Even your interviewers and hiring managers are only humans, they all falter at some point in their careers. Old-world prejudices and mindsets belong to the past. Recessions, bad bosses, faulty business models are even beyond your control. Career surprises, good or bad, are inevitable. But what matters is how you got up a more positive person from each struggle, and how you have made a difference while still on-board.
Remember: An outline of your experiences can only say so much on paper; you are your walking resume. You are the best presenter of your curriculum vitae, and only you know your motivations. So speak up, defend your career journey, and be your own storyteller before others take control of your own planned destination.
While some people are not bound to share your view all the time, learn to respect their opinion of you. In the end, what matters is your story and how you fought for it to the end. You are probably better off with companies that honestly and mutually believe in your dreams and embrace the same magic that you have weaved throughout your career life.
But today ask yourself these: What is your career story so far? What did you really want? Are you headed where you planned to be? Why and why not? Revisit your journey and form your own tale. Finally, surprise yourself and enthrall others with your own work life story.