Finding Your Career Happily Ever After

767b05e020641f928e4b_onceuponatime.jpg
767b05e020641f928e4b_onceuponatime.jpg

The best stories of our lives generally start with “once upon a time” and end with “they lived happily ever after” – at least the best stories I can remember from my formative years.

These days, the master narrative has shifted somewhat from those halcyon days of youth as we’ve moved into the “it was a dark and stormy night” phase of our lives  thanks to the shaky economy resulting from the recession and the country’s slow climb back to economic stability. Job loss and the threat of job loss has left many of us living out dramas that we would have never considered back in the fairy tale days of our youth.

Our older son is off to college this fall and like many university freshmen he is confused about his education and career path, so as good parents we’ve put a lot of angst into the sort of advice that we should be giving our 18-year-old. Finally, after countless reiterations of the “follow your passion” speech, I’ve come across the notion of writing a master narrative for his or any other person’s career.

Sign Up for E-News

You start with your own version of once upon a time and end with your vision of what happily ever after looks like. For example, once upon a time there was a photographer who was also a pretty good writer, so he set out on a career as a journalist. Over time he became dissatisfied with the path his career as a photographer was taking, so he bundled up his belongings and trundled off to graduate school in quest of new and greater knowledge.

Over the years he moved from newspaper to newspaper while rising in the ranks of responsibility. That was until a series of media layoffs left him scrambling to redefine himself.

Now your narrative doesn’t have to be long. In fact, I’d suggest it only last about four paragraphs. The important thing is that you spend the last paragraph or two looking forward. Whether you’re a recent layoff victim or a college student seeking a path for his or her life, it’s important to think what your ideal career and personal situation might look like.

So the final paragraph might look something like this: So the young man moved forward not knowing what his future might bring. But amid all the uncertainty, he was sure that a quality education would be important as would a rewarding career that would secure the financial well-being of himself and his family, so they could live happily ever after.

Now I know what you’re thinking, this story-telling approach a just sounds silly and oversimplified. But by putting your thoughts and dreams down in story form you’ve done a number of things including creating the first draft of a 90-second elevator speech if you ever get asked by a hiring manager who you are and what do you want to do.

Second, it allows you to think back on the important parts of your career and lets you stroke a possibly bruised ego. Say you just got laid off from a job through no fault of your own, you probably need to remind yourself of all the good you have done since those college days, which will help you to focus on what might lie ahead.

Finally, happily ever after lets you set goals for your future, only you’re doing it on more human terms. Modern career counseling usually couches this more as goal-setting than as dream building, but for most of us telling a story is much more personal than putting a list of one-, two- and five-year goals on note cards and filing them away in a desk drawer.

So today while the snow is blowing and the winds are chilling outside, sit down at your keyboard and start with once upon a time, and don’t forget that the story ends with they lived happily ever after.

AnnMarie Quintaglie McIlwain is a former marketing executive with Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson and consultant to several Fortune 100 companies.  Now, as Founder and CEO of CareerFuel.net, she is a social entrepreneur who connects people with the information and inspiration they need in order to get jobs and start businesses. CareerFuel is the only site that gives people what they need to know to find jobs or start businesses plus blogs and short films about real people who made it happen. 

A recipient of numerous civic and leadership awards, AnnMarie is a Board member of CFIRA.org, was a participant in the first White House Entrepreneurial Session, the recent WeOwnIt Summit, and the first Alley to the Valley Event.  She is also a member of 85Broads and Startup America.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_92eaadab4fea5d764092_edc2dcd4802a1c409d7c_screen_shot_2018-04-03_at_1.15.57_pm

Sun, May 27, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_0c63dc6a6331d69b33d0_1d29717c7da85f620ea1_17903707_159818264543586_8956059855279803140_n

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Carousel_image_118c5e0cd5e374752d3b_4781cf968b524bd38b2e_cm1-300x285

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness

Summit Police Blotter

May 17, 2018

4/24 - At 0728 hours a report was taken for a theft of two (2) sandwiches from a business on Morris Avenue. The manager reported that at approximately 0330 hours a male entered the business and removed two sandwiches from a refrigerated case. After doing so, he exited the store without paying for them. The male suspect was described as Hispanic, approximately 6’0”wearing a blue/gray ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Looks at Trade Truce Sector Beneficiaries, Opportunities

May 24, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, on CNBC's Nightly Business Report (interview starts at 5:05 mark) discussing stocks to buy based on easing trade tensions with China.

ptview.com/medias/tv-radio

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Reviews Investment Strategies as Trade Tensions with China Calm

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on FOX Business on investment strategies in the wake of the thawing of Chinese trade tensions.

ptview.com/medias/tv-radio

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...