Since we were little, we’ve been taught to think about our future, to think about what we want to be when we grow up. As adults, the questions continue to be asked by family, friends, teachers and employers. These questions about the future are one of the reasons we spend time planning our lives and careers. However, no matter how much we plan or how well we plan, there are always unexpected curveballs thrown our way.
While a curveball is one of the most commonly used pitches in baseball, it is one of the most difficult to hit because right when you are about to swing, the ball changes direction. This last year threw us unarguably one of the hardest curveballs that it could pitch. However, as offensive players in the game of life, we still must be prepared to adapt to those unexpected changes in our plans and continue the game, in spite of curveballs.
We may have initially devised a plan intended to meet our career goals, but now that plan might be on hold. Still, that’s just it. The plan itself may be on hold, but that doesn’t mean that our career goals have to. Instead, this is the time to take a moment to reevaluate the situation in which we find ourselves and get ready for the next pitch.
Let’s say that your career goal is to become a Client Service Manager and your position as part of the concierge team for a hotel was getting you closer to that goal. Yet, because of the pandemic, that once feasible plan has been altered and you now find yourself working as a food delivery driver. At a glance, a food delivery driver position may not seem a likely stepping stone toward your goal of becoming a Client Service Manager. In this position, however, not only do you have opportunities to apply your customer service skills, but there is a good chance you will also have the ability to track your performance through a digital rating system. These experiences and accomplishments will now become part of your new plan and will help you demonstrate to future employers that you do not allow an unconventional setting to stop you from delivering exceptional results.
Considering everything that happened last year, and the incidents of this year so far, the fear of the unknown and of what the future may bring is understandable. It’s okay to take some time to reevaluate your next move and, in fact, it’s encouraged. There is no one true path that will result in your ultimate career goal. The new career plan that you decide to follow might look different than your original plan, but it can still lead to your goal. The important thing is that you continue to move forward.
Life is going to continue to pitch curveballs. And when it does, remember the words of Babe Ruth, a baseball home run hitting legend, who said, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”