“Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”
Consequences. When we hear that word, often times we associate it with negative repercussions. However, through its basic definition, a consequence is “(dictionary.reference.com)”.
This is how our lives work. We think. We act. We accept consequences. We reflect. And the cycle continues. This can be applied to everything from ordering a dish at a restaurant, choosing a potential significant other, or applying for new places of employment.
During my graduate program, we stressed that “Job One is not Job Only”. This mantra came from the book Job One edited by Peter Magolda and Jill Ellen Carnaghi. (For any grad students out there who do not have this already as required reading I would highly recommend it!) This thought was scary. Leaving “Job One” after grad school was entirely my choice. It would be the first time I would be leaving a position on my own rather than having it dictated by a graduation ceremony. I was told there would be a feeling. I would know when it would be time to move on, move up, or move out.
After spending two years in my first full time position, I knew that I needed to leave.
Was I professionally unhappy? No.
Did I have great coworkers that I called my friends and still do? Yes.
Did I think I was ready to move up in the ranks of residence life? No, not quite yet.
Destiny, and seeing the bigger picture in life, is something I believe in on a daily basis. My life is a series of dominoes. One part needs to be completed, learned, or processed before it can knock down the next piece in my life. This is where Job One is useful. Countless case studies, personal anecdotes, and tips on the signals to look out for when reaching potential in a given position fill the pages of that text. It was a great text to guide how I wanted to create a professional and personal identity that I believed in. Its pages helped answer questions about how to have conversations with supervisors, supervisees, and with myself.
Where did I see myself in 5 years? Cliche question, but it needed to be asked. I looked up job positions of where I wanted to be. Did I meet their requirements? What skills was I missing? Was there anything in particular I wanted to build on? Were there places that personally made sense for me to move as well?
I needed to know that my next position would strengthen what I had while giving me new experiences that would set me up to be completely capable for my next position. This made me reflect on that inner anxiety that I wasn’t ready to pursue higher level positions. Why was that voice in the back of my head, when I had grown as a professional and was feeling more confident in my mid to long term goals?
You’ve probably heard the following statistic: Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. (Tara Sophia Mohr on the Hewlett Packard internal report).
This made me question my inner thought process a lot during my job search. . As a self-described feminist, I want to push past the glass ceiling and pursue my long term goals. But my goals are still my own and I get to choose how I get there.
At the end of the day that choice led me to a lateral move. That lateral move has led to new opportunities, a different school structure for me to learn from, and led me back to a city I love living in personally. That “lateral” movement has led to an upward trajectory in ways I didn’t think possible.
Everyone’s map is different. Success is the end point. Our potential is the path. Destiny is the compass. So far, that compass has not gotten me lost yet. Trust that everything happens for a reason and learn from each experience and institution you are at. If you are open to the learning, you are at least going in the right direction.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Mallory Bower on Career Services and Job Search Tips