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How is Career Planning Like Walking on a Tightrope?

There are many ways in which the journey of a tightrope walker is similar to the journey you will experience in your career development.

First, just as a tightrope walker needs to balance external influences so do you as a career planner. For example, an external influence that affects the tightrope walker would be the wind which can be compared to uncontrollable market trends that affect you as a career planner. The sound of the crowd is another external influence that affects the tightroper and can be compared to messages you receive from family, friends, society and media about the world of work.

What external influences are affecting your career planning?

Second, there are also internal factors that affect the tightrope walker's ability to stay focused and do well. These may include fear, excitement, nervousness, passion for their job, and their level of skill. The internal factors that can affect your career planning include your interests, values, skills, and personality traits. Finding a career that fits these internal factors such as work that is interesting and enjoyable, fulfills your values, uses your skills, and matches other preferences can result in meaningful life & career balance.

What activities are you most interested in having as a part of your career?

What are some value needs you want your career to fulfill?

What skills do you have or want to gain that you will use in your career?

Third, the tightrope walker must practice awareness, assessment, and adjustment to become a better tightroper over time just as you need to do as a career planner. Becoming more expert and focused in your career planning over time is based on…

Gathering information about the world of work (awareness)

Developing/clarifying your career preferences (assessment)

Adapting to internal and external forces overtime (adjustment)

Some “falls” are inevitable, but with the right planning and preparation, you can succeed.