It was early Monday morning when my friend and I arrived at the convention centre in Toronto. Along with 8,500 of our closest friends, we were lucky enough to have tickets to Oprah’s Lifeclass Tour.
Maybe it was because I had made a conscious decision to be open to learn new things, or because I tend to notice things that I can apply directly to career development I was fortunate to enjoy my very own “aha” moment.
After a long wait in line, we found our seats, somewhere in the middle of the audience. After a few moments to get ourselves settled, we started to chat up the people around us. That is when it happened:
The people beside us were commenting about our seats.
“When you look back, you’re really happy…”
said one woman about our seats. We were ahead of so many people…they were great seats with a view of the stage. I was thrilled! Then, another woman said
“…yes, but when you look forward, all you see are the people who have better seats than you.”
Wow, I thought; there is a lesson here that can be applied to career development.
When you look back at your career – Make note of what you have accomplished, all the obstacles you’ve overcome, all the success you have achieved – you’re happy to have succeeded, to have progressed further than those that are coming up behind you. Feel good about what you have accomplished.
When you look forward in your career – It can be overwhelming and frustrating. How do you move forward without the right ticket? How much time do you have to invest at a shot for a better “seat”? What if there are no more seats available and you are stuck where you are (even worse, if you do not like where you are). What if you love where you are, but don’t like the people around you? Moving towards the best seats takes timing, determination, and motivation.
While many career professionals advise that you focus on moving forward (and I am one of them), it is equally important that you celebrate where you have been. You can get to where you want to go but often the best first step is to take stock of where you are and where you have come from. You need the momentum, the empowerment, and the confidence of experiences, accomplishments, and successes to propel you towards your future ambitions.
Focus on moving forward, absolutely, but remember, recognize and celebrate what got you to where you are!
There will always be better seats. Be grateful because there are those who wanted to be there but did not even get into the building.
Related Categories: Career Clarity
About The Author
Maureen McCann is an award-winning career coach, master resume writer, and master certified interview, employment, and career strategist whose clients include C-level executives, managers, and professionals in all industries including the Canadian banking, oil and gas, healthcare, IT, and government sectors.