According to a recent column in Forbes Magazine written by Nathan Bennet, a management professor at Georgia Tech, and Stephen A. Miles, vice chairman of Heidrick & Struggles, making big career decisions can be explained through a well-thought maritime metaphor: don't tack to cover.
Because you only have one chance to achieve your life dream, it makes sense that there is a desire to make each career choice the "best one," the authors write. But maximizing the return on a decision as ambiguous as "which college is best for me" is impossible.
Questions like this one have too many unknowns. "Such efforts only provide comfort to the degree you let yourself be fooled about your ability to know the unknowable risks associated with each choice," the authors write, proposing an approach to career decision making that balances over-analysis and leaving things to chance.
If you find yourself basing your career decisions on those around you, or perhaps those that have gone before you, that means you are playing it safe, as sailors in a race who stick with the pack, who tack to cover, are guaranteed good winds and currents. The sailors who decide to break from the pack could be rewarded with even stronger currents and more favorable winds, according to the authors.
People who tack to cover in their career choices do so when they justify a decision based on standards, such as a student who goes for an internship because that is simply what he has seen is the next step.
Bennet and Miles suggest that when you are confident that your boat and crew (your resume and talent) are ready to surpass others, go for it. Tacking to cover may be safe, but it may stifle the personal change that can be necessary in the pursuit of one's life dream.
The late director John Hughes is typically known for his films depicting high school students, like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club." Yet he took a departure from that subject matter with "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and in the process delivered a poignant film about personal change.
Steve Martin plays Neal Page, a businessman who is caught in a snowstorm just before Thanksgiving. Trying to make it home in time to see his family, he partners with the bumbling salesman Del Griffith (the late John Candy) as they attempt to navigate the country's highways and byways and find a way back to Chicago in time.
The straight-laced and no-nonsense Page is contrasted with Griffith, who talks to just about everyone and always seems to have a smile on his face. Despite Griffith's affable nature, the viewer gets the feeling that he's actually quite lonely and simply looking for a friend – something that Page gradually warms up to as the film goes on. Slowly, Page's icy exterior melts and the two bond over their travel experience.
Beyond the positive lessons in the film, it's simply hilarious. Candy and Martin make a truly legendary comedic duo, and the trials and tribulations that they undergo while trying to get back home resonate with anybody who has spent time on the road.
According to Ilchi Lee, it is important to always be striving for a goal in life. One should always work towards improving themselves and instituting personal change. A fantastic way to challenge yourself is to sign up for a very difficult physical challenge, one that is possibly the hardest event on the planet. It is called Tough Mudder.
Tough Mudder is described on its website as Ironman meets Burning Man. It includes a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces and challenges individuals’ stamina, strength, mental toughness and teamwork. This event is not for the faint of heart and is certainly not your mother’s road race. For individuals who are serious about pushing their limits, however, it is a fantastic goal to set.
There are many different locations all through the US and Canada where one can participate in a Tough Mudder event. Depending on your calendar and whether you wish to travel to compete, individuals should have no trouble finding a challenge that works for them.
Ilchi Lee tells us that it is important to never stop growing. As such, we should continuously set goals for ourselves and then work on reaching them. Something that many individuals seem to want to do is climb a mountain. This is a very arduous task, but it can be completed with a little hard work and a lot of dedication
National Geographic has published a list of the 10 Best Climbs. Individuals who are very serious about personal growth may wish to make it their goal to tackle the entire list. However, Ilchi Lee does remind us that we should always start small and slow, so as to not get discouraged and abandon our efforts. Following that advice, a good climb to start with may be Mount Khuiten in Mongolia.
Mount Khuiten soars 14,350 feet high and straddles three different countries. Hikers must traverse a vast and barren landscape in order to reach the climb site, though many have reported that the trek to the mountain is as beautiful and inspiring as the mountain itself.
A personal change can mean a number of different things for people. While some may attribute it to mental clarity, others may think of the change as their future path.
Those who are looking to continue their education with a higher degree may be able to do so through Christendom College, as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Accrediting agency has approved the school’s new master’s of arts (MA) in theological studies degree. The program is available online, which provides the perfect opportunity for distance learners.
The school had previously offered the program, but only a few courses were available online, making it impossible for distance learners to earn more than 49 percent of their degree.
“Students have mentioned that they chose Christendom over other online MA programs because of the responsiveness and attention they received from us when they were inquiring and applying, and we strive to continue that practice all through the program,” said Kristen Burns, the graduate school dean.
A person who has just been fired or laid off from a job is forced to undergo an unexpected personal change that can have significant ramifications for the future.
According to a recent article on AZCentral.com, while this change can be extremely difficult, it is important for people to move on to try to forget the painful, emotional experiences they endured during their previous employment.
Michelle Reina, co-founder of the Reina Trust Building Institute, told the news source that when an employee’s trust is broken, it can have lasting effects on all facets of the person’s life. However, she says that the key is learning to cope and move on from the frustrating situation.
“If you choose the pathway of healing and renewal, then you acknowledge your loss and the impact it has had on you,” she told the news source. “If you fail to do that, then you have the posture of a victim. You get hung up on what was done to you, what role others have played. And you don’t look at what you can do to rebuild. You become stuck.”
While the economy is still struggling, a number of industries added jobs last month including healthcare and business services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For college students and recent graduates, the job market may seem a bit intimidating as they move forward toward personal change in their professional life.
Couple that with all of last year’s news of increasing unemployment rates around the country and various job cuts from big companies, and it can be understandable why a job seeker may not be optimistic.
However, one advantage young job candidates have are internships, which can provide much-needed experience on their resume as well as a possible foot in the door of a company.
From an employer’s perspective, if someone excels at an internship, it may increase the chance of that person getting hired for a full-time position at the company. Training isn’t an issue and the intern already has an idea of how to handle the workload.
Even as Ilchi Lee experienced his spiritual growth towards enlightenment, he went through various challenges. This can be comparable to a job candidate experiencing the challenges of an internship, and finding peace, or a new job, on the other side.
There are countless opportunities in one’s life and sometimes it takes losing one’s job to be able to recognize the potential for personal change.
Last year saw some major job cuts across multiple industries. In response, many unemployed workers dug their heels in and looked to jump start a new career through a new online degree.
Taking online classes allowed students to get their degree on their time schedule, as opposed to being locked to a classroom schedule. For many, this was a way to take on a new career path and possibly a new life.
Recently, U.S. News & World Report found that more institutions in the country were developing online MBA programs because of the increased popularity. One motivation may be the fact that the business sector continues to grow and that average salary rates increase when an applicant has an MBA.
But in essence, changing one’s career is all about knowing oneself and finding their true path in life. Ilchi Lee finds meditation can be the key for people unlocking their boundless potential.