Finding your own pace and taking stock of your CV
Most runners, whether amateur or professional, will tell you that finding your own pace is key to success; if they compete and want to win they know they have to push themselves but that initial motivation and sense of well being comes from first understanding what makes them tick. Anyway, not all runners want to be Olympians. And so it is with much of life, including pursuing a career. Of course these words of wisdom are mitigated by all manner of circumstances and the inevitability of life throwing us curve balls when we least expect it, but ultimately discovering what we enjoy, what we’re good at, and at what level we wish to operate, is really at the core of a successful career.
Most of us seek a sense of progression and consistency with our job decision making. After some form of tertiary education there’s that first entry level role, or roles, where we hone some basic skills. This may be in-house or agency and invariably is a stage where we can be experimental. The beauty of youth is that no one expects you to have figured out who you are, let alone what you want to be. And then, at some point, by default or design, there is a defining role where we find our feet. This could be because it’s a great role or a terrible one, but whether we realise it or not, it’s invariably the building block on which we base our decision making moving forward. And this is where CV’s can go a bit pear-shaped.
The thing to remember is that there will be mistakes; everyone has them at some point. Some roles just don’t pan out as per the initial job remit, or the friendly line manager who interviewed you turns into a paranoid psychotic out of Doctor Who. Or, perhaps you were hired above your ability to grow into the role (over promotion can be as dangerous as under promotion) or were deluding yourself about the job, starry- eyed by salary, benefits package and canteen cappuccino maker. No one but you knows what’s going to make you happy and it really doesn’t matter what others think anyway. So long as you can explain the odd blip on your CV, whether a change of heart, or pace or re-evaluation, it’s not a problem; better to stop and get back on track sooner, than stay unhappy longer.
As for progression it can be a double-edged sword. Generally speaking it’s a good thing and something to be pursued as it equates with more financial gain and a greater sense of responsibility. But that’s not always the case and not for everyone. Some roles may take you further away from the ‘hands on’ practicalities of the job and into a broader strategic environment which is brilliant for some and disastrous for others, as well as the company. So if you find yourself staring at your CV, wondering who that person is and why there’s a list of duties and responsibilities that you loathe, you might want to take stock and re-evaluate.
We all make decisions based on what others think or expect of us and this is often a positive stimulus in our lives, encouraging us to make decisions that we may have avoided. However, it’s your life and you should live it at your pace, so if the role fits and you’re happy doing it, then it’s right for you.
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