By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
This year, July is a big month for the realm of the planets and the stars. Even without a telescope or binoculars, you can catch sight of five different planets in the sky throughout each day: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Of these, Venus stands out as the brightest.
Venus, named after the powerful Roman Goddess, is not only connected with love, it is also linked to what we value most in our personal and professional lives. So how do you determine the path that’s right for you?
You find your North Star.
For thousands of years, travelers have used the stars to navigate the wilderness, on land and on sea, without getting lost. At the center of such navigation lies Polaris, commonly known as the North Star, which holds a stable position at the celestial north pole. This constancy has served as a guiding beacon for those who wander, physically or otherwise, inspiring hope amid the unknown.
The rocky terrain of the past few years has left many feeling lost, and finding and following our path can sometimes feel impossible. But let’s explore some concrete steps for determining the values that make up your North Star and how they can guide you toward happiness and success within the New Work World.
1. Study the Map of Your Inner Self
The first phase of any form of navigation is determining one’s current location. With regards to the New Work World, this involves assessing not only the current facts of your career—employment status, career field, position level, pay, benefits, and more—but also its emotional impact. Does an individual day leave you feeling satisfied, drained, angry, or apathetic? What about a week? A month? Longer?
Once you have a sense of where you currently reside in the New Work World, the next course of action is to consider the destination you want to aim for. For example, what dreams light up your soul? What sparks a fire within you, invigorating you and making you feel alive despite months of struggle, challenge, alienation, and change? If you’re not sure, it might help to eliminate possibilities by considering the opposite: what, in particular, makes you feel deflated and lifeless? For more in-depth exploration, consider completing assessment tests, such as those in my second book, Revolutionary Reinvention, or reaching out to a trusted advisor.
2. Take the Time to Plan Your Journey
These days, with satellites, GPS, and similar technology, physical navigation is often only a click away. Spur-of-the-moment travel is more likely to result in the enjoyment of fun destinations than the despair of getting lost.
Navigation by the stars, however, was not a quick process, especially for long journeys. Ancient travelers had to study the sky and make calculations, keeping in mind the time of year and other such details. Similarly, finding your North Star and using it to navigate your personal and professional journeys takes time and careful planning.
As you work to pinpoint your North Star within the sky of possibilities, remember that Polaris symbolizes constancy. It neither shifts its position nor fluctuates in brightness. Likewise, the values you claim as your North Star should be deep-seated and steady,
unlikely to shift on a whim or disappear at the first provocation. Such a North Star can guide you along an unwavering path toward constancy and long-term retention in your career. Yet distinguishing what it is and how to let it guide your career requires planning and skillful determination, preparation that can yield a long and fulfilling career journey.
3. Take the First Step
No matter how thorough your plans, you will never achieve them if you cannot take the initiative to implement them. Though your destination might seem distant and the path to get there daunting, remember what Lao Tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching: “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
If you’re having trouble taking that first step, align your mindset with your North Star. Allow its constancy to buoy your own so you can undertake your new career journey with unshakable determination. And when obstacles cross your path and you find yourself faltering and falling into negative thoughts, return your focus to your North Star and recognize that, no matter how far into the journey you may be, the next step is simply the first step from where you are.
Navigating unfamiliar terrain can be daunting, but identifying your North Star—the values you hold constant—can provide a steady light to guide your journey. Study the map of your inner self to discover the values that make up your North Star, take the time to plan your journey around your guiding values, then own your values by taking the first step. Never lose sight of your North Star, and your own light will shine bright in the New Work World.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.