A Linear Mindset Leads to a Linear Career

If someone had told me when I graduated that I would own my own business in 10 years, have a successful blog (they didn’t even exist then), become a professional speaker and be a sought-after authority on all things having to do with the world of work – I would have probably smiled and thought that person was a little looney. When I graduated, I had one focus and that was to become the CHRO in one of the big hospitals, Pharmaceutical or Clinical Research Organizations I was so fascinated with at the time.

Pretty quickly into my first job, I realized there were some things going on that I wasn’t prepared for:

  • Human Resources wasn’t puppies, sunshine and doing the greater good everyday as I had conjured up in my head.
  • The world of Staffing-while challenging sucked.
  • Being a leader of a large organization wasn’t just a position of prestige and power- it inherently carried burdens and headaches I wasn’t sure I wanted.
  • Instead of getting too far ahead of myself, I continued to work hard in the roles I pursued. I worked to and above standards and made exits and pivots when situations no longer served me. I have moved up the org chart and down the org chart and now completely off anyone’s org chart to progress my career. If you’re dizzy thinking about what I just said, you should be- but in a good way.

    Approaching your career with a sentiment of rigidity, haughtiness and helplessness is no longer…

    The traditional expectation of a career is to land a role, work hard and move in one perfect line up the ladder. This may have worked in the past, but I can tell you that approaching your career in this manner is the surest way to become complacent, disengaged and even unhappy with your career trajectory. Sometimes you have to move two steps back to take two steps forward. Other times, you are thrown into an ecosystem and circumstances that are beyond your comfort level. Both instances seem like unreasonable and fruitless options; but nevertheless they are still options.

    In my last PIC article of 2014, I mention that if you really want to achieve-you have to opt for the slightest bit of discomfort to be great. Along with discomfort, change your linear mindset and grab the opportunities available to you. If your boss isn’t developing you, create your own development opportunities. If your career has plateaued, consider the steps you can take whether lateral, backwards or completely out of the company to give it a lift.

    Our careers are less about the people who manage us day-to-day and more about how we choose to manage ourselves and our lives. Break free from the linear mindset and I promise you when you do- you will start to see possibilities and opportunities everywhere.