Making Your Own Path

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut.   Always doing the same type of things.  Getting bored with what we are doing and wanting something different.  Too often we wait for someone to give us a new challenge or a new project or a new job assignment.  This usually becomes very frustrating because no one else notices or can’t help right away with providing a new opportunity for us.

We can’t wait anymore for anyone else!  We must take things into our own hands and carve out our own path.

It’s not easy making your own path.  It means extra work or venturing into a space we haven’t been before.  This can make us feel uneasy and can stop us from taking the initiative.  The only way to grow and take on new challenges is to overcome that fear and start making your own path.

Below I have listed a few things that have worked for me over the years.

  • Create a Proposal – Determine what you want to do.  What is the next challenge you want to take on?  What experience do you want to gain?  Then create a proposal to gain the experience or take on a new challenge and present it to your manager.  Sell them on what your group would get out of it as well as what you gain.  The risk is your manager saying no.
  • Just Do It – Go out and take on a new challenge without asking your manager.  Volunteer to be on a work team or to do a project.  Don’t discuss it with your boss.  Just take it on.  The risk is managing your time for that work in with your other duties.  You still have to meet all your normal obligations.  I have done this several times and so far it has worked out very well for me.  In the end, my manager is appreciative that I did the work and I gain the experience.
  • Start Something New – Pick something new to start that would give you the challenge you are looking for or gain the experience you want.  Two personal examples are starting a lean consortium in Texas and this blog.  It has helped me achieve many objectives I have had.

With all three ways, you have to do some self reflection and understand what it is you want to do.  What is it that you want to accomplish or develop?  This self reflection is what can make it so hard to make our own path.  Sometimes that answers aren’t easy, but if we are true to ourselves we will definitely benefit by making our own path to something better.

Posted on February 15, 2012, in Development, Learning and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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