Most careers don’t travel a straight path. No matter how clear your goals are, you should be prepared for unexpected detours along the way.
Follow this advice to keep them from taking you in the wrong direction:
- Start with a vision. Decide where you want to be in 10 or 20 years. When you know where you want to go, you’ll be able to evaluate today’s offerings on their likelihood of taking you closer to your goal. If an inviting opportunity promises to push you off track, you may want to make another choice—or rethink your long-term objective.
- Take risks with care. The dot-com bust of the 1990s was a lesson for those inclined to make long-range assumptions about short-term booms. Be ready to take chances, but avoid gambling everything on what may be a temporary set of circumstances.
- Educate yourself. Stay up to date about what’s going on in your industry. Try to anticipate negative events so you’ll be in a position to sidestep them when they occur. Network with others to provide a cushion of protection against the sudden downturns and other harsh realities of the workplace.