Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Do People Plan Their Vacations Better Than Their Careers?

Well spring is in the air here in Iowa. Temperatures in the low 60s. Nice gentle rain has turned the grass green overnight. When I arrived to the office this morning the parking lot was covered with earth worms. Wait….is that spring I smell? Or the literally hundreds of earth worms! Well, here in Iowa I guess it is one in the same. I don’t mean to dwell on these earth worms, but it was a like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, except worms instead of birds. Should we be fearful?  Will they attack?  Our parking lot was a fisherman’s dream come true. Or some entrepreneurial kid with a dream of setting up a bait stand.

Spring is also a time when I’m printing off local community summer recreational program offerings to fill in my two teenagers’ days with activities to keep them busy during their summer break. I create a calendar for each child with their respective activities clearly documented for each day of the week. Coordinating & planning.

Someone once said that people plan their vacations better than their careers. While not true of everyone, naturally there is certainly truth to that. In fact I was just speaking with a candidate the other day and we were discussing why they were exploring the market. They had recognized that previously they had not put a lot of thought into their career. And now they wanted to do a better job with that going forward.

So as you make your plans for your summer, whether it be what your kids will be doing or your family vacation, take some time to do some planning for yourself. Set short and long range goals. Make them realistic but goals that will keep you on track. Some of what happens to us in our careers is no doubt about timing and circumstances. However, there is something to be said about having an active involvement in how you plan things out as well. Maybe it’s about positioning yourself. Perhaps take a course or two that would be relevant to where you want your career to head. But the key is to carving out the time to make the plan. And then follow through with it.

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