Managing Your Career Path: Use The Bridge Job to Take You Where You Really Want to Go

The Real Career Path

It’s so motivating to see yourself making it to your dream job—having that vision that propels you forward; it’s that inspiration that keeps driving you even when you have a bad day or week. But sometimes the path to get you where you want to go isn’t as straightforward as you might have thought. Maybe you think that path has a straight line trajectory, but reality tells you that things aren’t quite so simple. My experience with thousands of career transition and executive clients makes me certain that the uninterrupted upward, straight line to success isn’t what most people experience.

Once you have a vision, think backwards.

Life often doesn’t go as planned so I want you to think as flexibly and creatively as possible. If you become too fixated on what you expect the next job needs to be you may end up frustrated at a dead end. I’ve seen that happen to people. They were certain they were in line for the job that would take them to the top…and they weren’t. They needed to open their minds to rethink, re-imagine, their strategy to get what they wanted. There are plenty of ways to get what you want!

This is where the bridge job comes in.

The good news I want to share here is that I’ve seen a lot of clients move into jobs that put them closer to their dream job. So maybe you’re not there in just one job change, maybe it takes several job shifts to get there. When you’re looking for your next job I want you to be thinking about the next one, AND the next one after that! This is what strategic career planning is all about. Let the next job not be that major leap, but rather let it be a step in the direction that eases your transition to your goal. This means you trust the process of your career path. As you move forward, you develop genuine confidence and opportunities can more easily appear.

Career success depends upon your network. Period.

Maybe there’s a competing company or an adjacent industry that, if you gain more experience with them, you’ll reach your goal more swiftly. While you may be confident, right now, that you have what it takes for that ambitious job of your dreams, others still may want more proof. Frustrating…I know. But consider: what will help others know you’re the right person for the job? What skills can you acquire at a bridge job? What new network can you build at your next job that will bring you that much closer to the job you want? What valuable skills can you gain, or tweak, that will set you above others so you’re the obvious choice for the role you want?

Vision. Strategy. Patience that comes with confidence. There are so many routes that can take you to the places you aren’t even aware of yet. See where you want to go, but be open to the alternative routes that will support your goals, that will fill you with genuine confidence and the knowledge to be who you want to be when you arrive.