The ongoing Journal of Journal Life

What does ‘your career’ mean to you?

What feelings and emotions come up for you when you hear the word ‘career’?

For some when you think about the word career there will be feelings of satisfaction, excitement and pride. For others it may be frustration, disappointment or uncertainty.

What comes up for you and what are those feelings telling you?

What are you hopes and fears with regards to your career?

It’s important that we listen to our feelings and emotions as they provide us with great insights and those insights can help you to identify the best way forward. What could this mean for you?

Your career strategy

Do you have a strategy for your career development? Is that something you’ve even considered? If you have, chances are your strategy has fallen into one of 3 categories – no desire to change,  happenstance or vertically climbing the career ladder. So, let’s look at each of those in more detail.

No desire to change

Kind of speaks for itself! For some, this is absolutely the right option. Sometimes life circumstances are such that your career may not be a top priority or your mindset and thinking isn’t in a place to consider career development. Often this is temporary until there are changes in your life and focus. I’m sure most of us have been in this place at some point!


Not a widely recognised term, but happenstance is when you don’t have a clearly defined plan or strategy for your career. You’ll look for opportunities as they come up and learn as much as possible in the role before looking out for or creating the next opportunity. You want to leave every opportunity on a positive note in terms of your attitude and quality of work. This approach works particularly well for people who are unsure what they want to do career-wise. It also helps with regards to the the anxiety of securing that ‘dream job’ when you enter the job market.  Check out this career blog article which talks about happenstance in more detail.

Career ladder

In contrast to the concept of happenstance, there is the option of vertically climbing the career ladder to reach a more senior role. This is obviously a more direct strategy and can work well for those who know what they want. However, it can also present its own challenges in that at times you have to wait patiently for vacancies and when they do come up you can face a lot of competition. Having said that, I truly believe that with the right focus, determination and belief you can achieve success, whatever that means for you.

So what career strategy might work best for you?

Times have changed as far as the job market is concerned. Joining a company for life is much more rare. Whilst lots of people do progress vertically up the career ladder, there is much more of an openness to the happenstance approach.

So what approach have you followed up until now?

How has the worked for you so far?

What might work best for you going forward?

We’d love to hear more about your career experiences and your preferred approach so come join us within our closed ‘Journal Life – Your Career’ Facebook group.



Journal Life: Career Journal
This is our career design journal and toolkit. We made it to cut across the bad advice, confusing tools and warped ideas of 'success' in the career landscape to provide a way of listening to yourself first. It's free and it works. Sign up below to get the first chapter, email course and community access for free and start transforming your career today.
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