Trolling the Internet the other day, I came across a Pew Research study which found that 40% of the Millennial generation (ages 18-28) are currently enrolled in some type of higher education program. Pew’s study speaks to how many of us are still trying to figure out which pathway will serve us best in reaching our career goals. Baby Boomers reluctant to retire and a sluggish economy are contributing factors to extending the time we now have available to figure out all the details. How best to use this time? The Pew findings show that many of us are opting for additional education. But for those of us not in school and still not on the fast track, it’s important to remember that in many instances, trial and error can be an effective way to figure out what one does or does not want in life. It’s cliché, but very often there is something valuable to be gained from new experiences, no matter how disparate they may appear from one’s long-term goals.
Michelle Martin, author of the Bamboo Project, writes about career planning. She suggests focusing on the direction faced and the process taken rather than the final destinations; which is to say, ‘consider what one can accomplish today’. Martin champions the benefits of moving forward and taking the journey’s first step, urging her readers to rid themselves of their fixation on the right moment, the right time, or the right move when it comes to planning their career.
It seems that most of us are doing the right things, but still waiting for our turn in the limelight. As emerging leaders it is important that we continue to remind ourselves that when we are determined, we are able. So this month I challenge you to take the time to re-examine the directions in which you are facing and the valuable skills you are acquiring. Savor the process of becoming. After all, there isn’t much left once the journey ends. photo credit