In speaking to an Executive MBA class, I chose to do a career walk for them. I walked them through my career from first job out of college to today, highlighting not the jobs and positions I held, but the lessons I learned, the perspective I gained, the decisions I made and didn’t make, the opportunities I grabbed and didn’t grab.
In preparing for the class, this career walk allowed me to look back, “connect the dots” as Steve Jobs said. My brother Tim told me the other day that life is not a straight line, no matter how clear we are on our goals; life is just like that. As such, there is tremendous value in reflecting back at how we got here and take that learning forward. We have to teach ourselves to see opportunities, before we can decide to grab them.
The key message to my class was about lessons learned along the way; but more than that, it was about understanding that we own our path; we own our choices; we own whether we see an opportunity when it stares us in the face and whether we choose to take that opportunity or let it go.
Because we are presented with opportunities every day; and we make choices.
And when you take your career walk, you will find it is so much more than that. It is your life walk. Our careers do not exist beyond ourselves. They are part of our journey. It is not about work/life balance; it is about life. It is not a career walk; it is a life walk.