Guiding Your Future

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Many people tell me that they cannot plan their future because there are too many variables.  And yes, variables do abound.  Guiding your future, though, is using those variables to your benefit and making good choices that help you to reach your goal. I’m willing to bet you do things like this now, on a much smaller scale. All you need to do is use the skills you already have with a slight widening of choices and lengthening of the timeline.

I can see the skeptics from here, so I’d like to give you a little demonstration. Let’s say that you went to work this morning, and your team invited you to go with them to see the new movie that was premiering tonight. Everyone’s going to meet at one person’s house near the movie theater to share some munchies and then go from there to watch the movie. You agree to go. And will bring some chips and dip. Now, there are things you need to do to get yourself organized and ready for the night’s festivities.

You’ll need to change from your work clothes into something more comfortable. By planning what you’re going to wear ahead of time, you’ll avoid having to make that decision when you get home. You’ll need to pick up some chips and dip. And you can save time by calling the grocery store that is on your way home and asking them to have a seven-layer dip in a large bag of tortilla chips ready for you so you can just run into the deli and get them on your way home.

Next, you want to have a little information about the movie. On your morning break, you look the film up online to see comments from the director, who stars in it, and exciting stories of what happened during the filming. That way you have some good things to talk about. These actions are ones you would probably do anyway. By getting organized, and planning them up front, you were able to make all the individual efforts easier on yourself.

The same is true for planning your future. You are going to want to do something, so start by figuring out what that something is. You may not know everything you want to know about it, so you start by looking it up online. Finding out about the career field and talking to others to understand what the career is really all about.

You’re going to need to test the waters. This includes taking some courses, talking with people who are in the career field and trying it out for yourself in small doses. Maybe you volunteer to help out to learn more things firsthand. The more of a social interchange which you can have with people who are where you want to be, the more you can learn. Remember there two sides to every coin. The front side says that everything’s okay. And the other side often telling the truth. A good mentor will ensure that you see both sides of that coin.

You really want to know if your desired profession is needed or will be needed when you are there. You want to know if your chosen profession will provide a living wage or will you have to modify the way you live to be able to work within the business. And you want to know if all the work and additional duties that go with such a profession will fit within your temperament.

You won’t have any of these answers until you really start planning and organizing your adventure. Until then, it’s just a pretty good pipedream. But you are smart, and you can learn. Do your best for you.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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