I’m a planner by nature. It serves me well as a career consultant. Hundreds and hundred of people have come to me over the years seeking help with planning their next career move. In my book “Navigating Through Now What?” I liken approaching career decisions without a plan to floating down the river in a boat without a paddle. So to say it’s not a problem to go without a career plan seem contrary to the very core of my business.
Over the past few months I have interviewed dozens of successful people who at one point in their career were recognized as high potential by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 Under 40”. I wanted to see how their careers have unfolded since being acknowledged and how they have navigated various career crossroads.
In the recently published interview http://www.bizjournals.com/search/results?q=pam+wheelock, despite a career that transverses many different yet equally impressive roles Pam Wheelock from the University of Minnesota told me she really didn’t have a career plan. What she had instead was a heightened awareness to pay attention to and open to opportunities that unfolded around her. She also had a clear sense of what was important to her which acted as a compass when evaluating the various opportunities.
So the valuable take away is that not all career plans are linear and some of the best career plans don’t follow a map but follow an internal compass which acts as a general guide so that when opportunities present themselves, you know you are heading in the right direction.