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The Real Challenges of a Career Path

When Reeder Consulting started 2 ½ years ago, I thought long and hard about a viewpoint which truly articulated the journey of finding a career. The “Path” resonated on so many different levels and on a challenging hike this month in Monteagle, Tennessee, I was brought back to how this truly defines the journey.

Career paths can be a breeze with no challenges, just a nice flat surface. There are those unique individuals who have known their whole lives what they wanted to do. I have incredible respect for these individuals when I meet them. I think it’s a blessing but then don’t we learn so much from the struggles?

For most, career paths are hard. They are full of uncertainty in questioning, “Have I made the right decisions?” I sure thought that as I was holding on to my entire family, trees, rocks and whatever else I could get my hands on to keep from “rolling” down the mountain. My young adults are doing that too. Reaching out to anyone who can help give them answers.

Even as adults, we seek out others who know us best to help direct us. Last week we were eating at Chuy’s and a man behind us was trying to help his wife determine her career path. Giving suggestions on starting her own design company, Googling certification’s and licensing, and lastly colleges where she could get her degree. She didn’t talk much and I couldn’t see them as my back was to their table but I could feel her confusion as he continued to brainstorm ideas to give her purpose. No, I didn’t introduce myself as you may be wondering but my heart felt for her.

The path to finding careers can be dangerous. One slip and you can get very hurt. Picking the wrong career can cost us so much more money than we want to spend, not to mention the danger of not finishing, which is my greatest fear for young adults. Being defined by if we completed the path or gave up midway and turned back. I hear from parents monthly about their concerns for their child. They have started college, dropped classes, or want to be X but can’t pass their math classes. There isn't just one perfect career path for people, thank goodness! But having a map and being prepared can keep you confident you are capable of the climb.

As we hiked down the path, which we were the only ones on to an incredible waterfall, often times I got so caught up in trying to “survive” I would forget to “look up” and see the incredible beauty all around me. The trees where people had carved their names and walked the same path leaving their mark. The swinging wooden bridge over the running stream that shook so hard I had to focus on my breathing to make it across. And the climb back up after enjoying the crystal clear cold water, where often times, my daughter held my hand to pull me up on to the next rock.

I do believe this is what our young adults are facing. They feel they are on a path all by themselves. They just want to survive. They don’t want people to know their legs are shaking from uncertainty and they need to know when they pick the wrong career, they can overcome it and someone is there to take their hand and help.

I know our services have a cost that is at the high end for many of our clients. I take what I do very seriously which is why I feel a 1-hour review session, like other companies in our field in other cities, is not enough. We have found that even 2 hours isn’t enough which is why beginning in September we will be adding an additional 30 minutes to our high school through adult career exploration sessions. In addition as always, we promise to continue to be part of the conversation with our clients. When I see a client doesn’t have a secure footing on their path, I ask to see them again in a month after their homework is complete. This is too important of a conversation and we are committed to our clients.

Career Paths, like in the beautiful outdoors, don't need to be challenging. With the right people helping you along the way, you can look up and enjoy the journey. We truly believe with interest and personality assessments, coupled with aptitude testing, our clients can have a smooth path. But you must first reach out for someone to help you make the climb with a current road map and an experienced guide so you Proceed with Confidence and enjoy the journey.

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