Careers don’t go according to plan

One thing I’ve learned from talking to successful executives and entrepreneurs is that things don’t go according to plan. You can plan your future, make smart decisions, and work hard, but life won’t turn out the way you expected.

One executive told me that when he started his career he was in the operations side of a large company. Over the years, he advanced up the ranks of that company to become a Vice President but eventually hit a ceiling. The company valued marketing more than operations and promoted employees from marketing to become executives.

Then he decided he’d go to a different company and joined their marketing division so he could get a shot at being an executive. Unfortunately, his new company valued operations more than marketing! Oops, that didn’t work out as planned…

After a few more years and using the opportunity to learn marketing, he moved companies again. Here he got his chance to become an executive and later became a Fortune 500 CEO.

Dealing with uncertainty is a key skill in managing your career. Things might not work out as planned, but you can still make progress in your career over time by learning from others, helping others, being patient, and taking calculated risks.

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