“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Oh, the Places You’ll Go
– Dr. Seuss
Ambitions. Plans. Dreams. Most of us have various career goals that we at least hope will come to true. For some it will be a better job or a raise, while others hope for a better boss. Some may be doubtful about their aspirations, while others feel their dreams are almost within reach. Is there a point where we should just sit back and accept ‘this is it, this is my job’? Or should we always keep on setting and moving towards the goals that will help us improve upon our quality of life?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.”
After college, I accepted one of the first jobs offered to me, and unfortunately, it made me miserable. It didn’t correspond with what I’d studied in college, and I ended up referring to it as my ‘dead end job.’ I had plans and goals, but those around me doubted my dreams. They thought I’d always be too fearful to actually take action. Eventually I became very disgruntled about working in an environment that lacked the stimulation I needed though. I wanted a career and I wanted to work for a company that would recognize and value my talents. So, I was presented with the ultimate choice of settling for convenient and comfortable, or to start planning for my upgrade.
Reaching a make or break point can ultimately help you achieve your goals. I came to realize that my dead end job was a ‘filler’. It kept me busy, but barely paid the bills. However, it’s often not easy to accept that you made a mistake, or that your current position isn’t going to be the fulfilling, or long-term job solution you had envisioned.
“You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know.”
After visiting my family in Arizona, I had an overwhelming desire to move there. Suddenly I knew that staying in my current employment was simply not an option. So, with knowing I had the brains and the feet to move, I did just that. I planned my escape to AZ!
I felt I was taking a large gamble by moving states and leaving a stable job, but focusing on my long-term goals definitely helped me through the rough patches. In order to believe I was doing the right thing, I convinced myself that all the interviews would be worth it. I knew I’d done the right thing when I realized I’d actually taken ACTION in working towards my goals. People thought I’d never make it, but I stuck it out. I’m not saying it was a breeze and that I didn’t need a shoulder to cry on at times (my dad definitely got a few tearful calls), but my goal out-ran my fears because my permanent address is now Arizona.
“And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
I did decide where I would go. I moved, found a career and a company that I LOVE. I have been given new and exciting opportunities. I have an enthusiastic and vibrant boss who appreciates what I do. I no longer dread the workplace!
Back in Iowa, my job made me miserable because it wasn’t a great fit. However, it was a stepping-stone and it helped shape me into the person and employee I am today. My dreams required me to step way beyond my comfort zone, and I’m so glad I took the leap! We might not see every job as a great career step, but all our employment experiences help us to learn – even if it’s just to recognize what we don’t like.
Make some plans, set some goals and consider Dr. Seuss’ wise words. They might just help you see what you want out of your career, and how to follow through with it.