While many young adults are settling into their first semester of college, recent grads are getting acquainted with the real world and finding a place among the workforce. The experiences are similar – new environment, challenges to tackle and people to meet. But, the most notable similarity is undergoing the process of shaping a plan, or career path, and pondering answers to the questions, “Where do I see myself in a year? In five? Or even in ten?”
I recently came across this Talent Zoo piece that raised an interesting point – today’s successes don’t guarantee tomorrow’s. I found the writer’s analogy comparing a brand to a student with straight A’s particular interesting:
“A successful brand today does not equal a successful brand in the future. Just like a student with straight A’s doesn’t equate to a successful future without a plan. Brands that are riding a success wave currently and even those that aren’t should identify how the brand plans to see improvement in years to come.”
Good point. A student can’t sustain straight A’s if they stop putting forth the effort. And, the same is true for any brand. To apply the concept with a business mindset, start with these three basic career pathing tips:
There’s always room for improvement: While it’s easy to place the majority of your brand’s focus on the positives, the negatives can actually teach us more about how to gain more positives in the future – by turning threats into opportunities – and serve as a learning experience. According to this Forbes piece, it’s important to “Embrace and enjoy problems because wherever there is a problem, there is a solution close behind.”
Slow and steady wins the race: When it comes for planning for future success, think in terms of baby steps. A company can just as quickly fail as it can grow. To get started, first break down your business goals into small, manageable and realistic steps. You’ll be less likely to become overwhelmed and ready to take on bigger steps with time.
Stay focused during the bumps in the road: We’ve all experienced the sense of disappointment when things don’t go according to plan. Consider this tip, “short-term Band-Aids don’t solve long-term problems: they simply let them become bigger.” Cope with the disappointment, let your brand heal from the blow and then vow to stay focused and forward thinking. Adapt when necessary – you never know, something better might come along.
Celebrate today’s successes, but take care of your brand along the way. Nurture, adapt, grow… repeat.
Lisa Tilt is Founder and President of Full Tilt Consulting (www.FullTiltConsulting.com), a national brand development and content strategy firm. Contact her at lisa(at)fulltiltconsulting(dot)com.