Time and again, in the classroom as well as in one-on-one meetings, I urge them to “dive into the deep end and see what happens” when we’re talking about careers and opportunities available to them.
They’re unsure about what next steps to take, but they know they need/want to do something. Just what that something is, though, they’re unclear.
I assure them that life is like that. There rarely are clear-cut directions on what to do.
Sure, you might have an idea…or have a friend who did “X.” But what should you do?
So I tell them about my own career path and how much of it was based on taking chances…a desire to do something new or different and an acceptance that staying in one place job-wise or geographically wasn’t going to make it happen.
You just dive in and, if you don’t know how to swim, you figure it out on the way down.
Granted this won’t work for everyone. Not everyone is comfortable with the unknown. Lots of people prefer a clearly-laid-out roadmap that they follow diligently.
I have a couple of Curry friends, though, who (whether consciously or not) have taken the dive…Alea Gilhuly-Mandel and Jaimee Geoffrey-White. One is wrapping up a master’s program in London; the other is embarking on a summer internship down in North Carolina. Both jumped merrily out of their respective comfort zones into the “deep end.”
If you think about it, that’s how civilization got where it is today. If the early caveman had been satisfied gnawing on freshly-killed raw meat…if Christopher Columbus hadn’t had the urge to find out what lay over the horizon…if John Glenn (and others) hadn’t wanted to see what really was out there…just think about it!
The path to success isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a commitment to taking a chance on your being able to accomplish something that, at the time, might seem impossible but, in your heart, you know you want.
So take a deep breath. Step out onto the end of the diving board. Bend your knees. And dive into the deep end!