When Career Path seems blurry, re-align your Focus

Meet Jasmine, a 28 year old bright young consultant at a top law firm in the country. If she had told her story three years ago then it would have been a lackluster tale of a bespectacled girl lost between the pages of books. Jasmine has been reading since she can remember and her whole life revolved around studying -first through school and then through the rigors of law school and then finally at her job as well. Before she knew it she had spent 25 years and never really lived much so on her 25th birthday she got up in the morning and walked in to her office and quit her job in her pajamas. What followed was a whirlwind tale of travel, fun, friends, parties, sunsets and sunrises. She really lived those three years more than most of us live in a lifetime.

Then came a reality check, a moment of clarity when everything else was a blur, where she realized that the chaos was fun but it was order she loved. She needed to get back home where everything was proper and there was a schedule, a job and yes even the clients. 6 months back and not only did she pick up a job but got lined up for a promotion.

How? The question on everyone’s mind is just how she did it. She obviously needed to play catch up but how did she do it so fast. The secret ingredient is adult learning. Rather than immediately start learning all over again, Jasmine did prep work and looked for methods that are best for learning for adults. This helped her choose methods that worked for her and helped her choose a course best suited to push her career forward instead of picking up from where she left.

Some of her realizations on this matter were as such: For starters, she needed to know her course was going to help her and only when she got an answer was she motivated to go ahead with it. Likewise, she required a result oriented course and hence needed to apply our new found knowledge instantly.

Now as opposed to children who can be guided in a structured formal environment, adults seldom excel in such places. We need our freedom to learn at our convenience and we need guides not teachers. We need to be shown the end point of the route that needs to be taken, but we don’t need our hands held and walked down the path. Jasmine had a taste of that freedom and she knew she couldn’t perform her optimum best in a classroom as before hence she would also need a flexible schedule.

Also, she realized that unless there was motivation, learning at this point of time in her life would become difficult. But, she did not have to worry about that. She had enough motivation — her aim was to win the Legal Era Young Achiever award this year, and nothing was going to stop her. Because of the flexibility of her course, she was able to fit it around her busy work schedule and within no time, she had completed her course, which helped her double her salary and get a promotion in no time.

Now, all that awaits her is the award, which she is sure she will win!