Learning and development is a vital part of our careers. From laying the foundations of our skillsets and extending our abilities to work with different stakeholders, without learning we cannot grow.

In many cultures across the globe it is commonplace to compare life to a path, a road, or a journey. I’m sure many of us will have embarked on many long journeys in life, including our current job roles and careers. I’m certain too we can all understand why this idea of a journey makes it such a powerful metaphor. It helps us to see life with some purpose, meaning and direction. For me at least, it is important to feel that I am actually making some progress, that I’m really getting somewhere in my career — and not just anywhere, but toward a specific destination I want to reach.

Are you ready to walk with me?

The Good Times

The road for all of us in our career journeys is never entirely uneventful or effortless. Sometimes, whilst walking along our paths, the winds of success are behind us, pushing us along with gusto, beautiful sunny weather is overhead, by happen-chance we meet with some fellow travellers and a clear well-marked path ahead seems obvious. Other days we walk into the challenging winds, with a dark gloomy sky above, and like many of our UK roads covered with potholes, there are diversions and dead ends aplenty.

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And The Not So Good

Having been through some of those rough patches, it’s very easy to become discouraged, become isolated and lonely, especially when looking perhaps enviously at others whose personal career journey seems much gentler and less untroubled – or at least in that particular moment in time. How can that be? Periodically, I hear stories of people who achieve noteworthy things and wonder, how did they get such an easy path?

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Have you had those thoughts too? Or am I on my own?

The Brutal Truth

But the truth is, there are no shortcuts to success. We are, each of us, individuals. Each of our paths will meander its way through challenges and difficulties before culminating (I’m certain) at the very zenith of our personal journeys to our satisfaction and accomplishment. After 42 years of daily journal writing I know first-hand that there are many twists and turns in life, just like the monomyth, or the hero’s journey.

So, my helpful hint is simply this. Instead of comparing our road to someone else’s, it seems to me that it may be much, much more productive to see each other as fellow travellers along what ends up being pretty much the same road anyway! Indeed, none of us makes it very far without help…..Some of us may be here to compete with one another and others to walk side by side — to help each other when the road gets arduous and then enjoy the pleasant scenery (occasionally) together.

So, it is important to take the opportunity to learn and develop from other travellers on the career road. We can’t always rely on learning from our mistakes, but instead it is vital to ensure that we take regular breaks to develop our skillsets in areas such as self-leadership  and management of others, in the hope that we prepare ourselves to turn the winds in our favour.

I know that life is a long walk, on a long road. So, we might as well walk it together, sharing, building and creating some magic along the way.

Learning through  an Ontrack International programme is all about embarking upon a bespoke journey of growth tailored to you and your business’ needs, on one of the beautiful sunny days!