In my career in technology, I have helped many customers create wayfinding systems—the touchscreen-enabled systems that allow people to chart where they are and where they are going as they navigate a shopping center or college campus. Wayfinding is a lot like the lifelong effort of shaping a career.
The first step is to identify where the “You Are Here” pin might be and to determine what direction might be a good next step. Unlike the touchscreen map in the shopping mall, however, one’s entire career landscape typically isn’t visible. This is because people create their careers as they go, and the total career map is only available in hindsight.
Wayfinding your career is more like this sign (below) I saw posted at a hotel in which I recently stayed which mistakenly read "You are Her." I liked the misspelling. It isn't about being "here". Wayfinding is about self-discovery. About being "her."
As my own career extends two decades (and spans two millennia), I have been reflecting on the things I wish I better understood in the early years of my career. My article entitled "Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew in the First 5 Years of My Career" was just published with Women on Business. Read article.