With graduation quickly approaching for so many soon-to-be young professionals, thoughts about transition and life direction are becoming more and more pressing.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

 

Knowing in which direction one wishes to go is a really important part of taking the first step in getting there.  A career counselor coached me on my personal career direction by drawing me the following picture:

PieChart

You are the dot in the middle. The circle represents all the possible career options (from the arts, to technology, to medical, to athletics, and beyond). The goal is to have awareness about the area of the circle you want to reach (the pie piece). It could be a large area (knowing you have an interest in working with people, or knowing you want to do something in the non-profit sector) or it can be more specific (an interest in being a history professor or knowing you want to be a doctor). Your pie piece, then, encompasses the experiences you need to gain in order to move closer and closer to that end goal.

As you take steps that fall within your pie piece, you will slowly close the space to shape your ideal career journey. Stephen Covey gives a strong visual to understand what happens if that proactive thought process is not in place:

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall,

every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

Knowing where on that outer circle you are looking to end helps you begin to choose the experiences you need to get there and gives you the confidence that as long as the experience falls within the pie piece, you are moving in the right direction.

So if Alice had known where her ultimate goal was, the Cheshire Cat would have been able to give her stronger direction to help Alice begin to get there.

If someone asked you, “Where do you wan to go?”, what would be your answer? 

 

 

Author

Danielle Aaronson

Danielle Aaronson

Danielle’s mission is to inspire leaders to make intentional choices that move them to positive action. She speaks at conferences, management summits, and leadership programs as well as facilitates efforts with executives and senior leaders at organizations seeking to influence their culture. Her mantra, “be the change you wish to see in the world” has allowed her to strive every day to be the best she can be and help others recognize the potential they have to make a positive difference. @deaaronson

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