When In Doubt, Take The Scenic Route
If you’re one of the millions of workers quitting their jobs or travelers on the road this summer, planning your next move should offer more than just a final destination. Instead of simply navigating, or following a clear path to resolution, wayfinding will allow you to see multiple pathways that offer richer lessons and experiences, and a much more enjoyable ride.
Wayfinding is the idea of getting comfortable with the idea of multiple destinations, where there might be more than one right answer.
Adopting this lens will not only broaden the way that you look at yourself professionally, but it will force you to try new things and maybe event find a better path forward. If you’ve signed up for wayfinding, be sure to forgive yourself if it takes a little (or a lot) longer. Because if you had the right answer, you would have pursued it already. Patience is the hard part.
Start With Where You Are
Dave Evans, the co-creator of Stanford University’s most popular class, “Designing Your Life,” notes that “before you do problem solving, you have to do some problem finding. You have to decide what’s the right thing to be working on.”
Assess where your gauges in life are full, and where they’re running on empty. For instance, you can start by assessing your state of health and performing an inventory on your life as it pertains to work, play, and relationships. How full are these various tanks in your life? Knowing what’s presenting itself on your work-life dashboard is the first step to knowing the next step to take. You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you are. Are you happy with where your gauges stand in each area of your life? For those gauges that are dissatisfying, identify a problem that you can address that is actionable.
Ask The Right Questions
So many jobseekers will ask me where they should be looking when searching for a new job. In order to know where to look for a role, you need to first discover what work means to you in relationship to your life. Why work? What’s work for? What makes good work good? What does money have to do with it? What kind of footprint do you want to leave on this Earth, after your journey here is done? Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of using someone else’s blueprint to live your life. The best way to build your own unique compass is to clearly articulate your own respective work and life manifestos and then set out on your quest.
Not all those who wander are lost; the winding road is full of life, love, challenges, and surprises, all there for the taking.