Are You a Driver of Your Career or a Passenger?

driver of your career
Be a driver of your career

We’ve all heard of back seat drivers. They sit in the car and criticize the driver. They tell the driver when to turn, when to slow down, and when to speed up.

Not all passengers are like that. Some just sit back, close their eyes and nap through the ride. It is indicative of how we manager our careers. A driver is one who takes control. The driver of a car has to monitor how fast traffic is moving and adjust accordingly A good driver will look ahead to see if there is a slow down or an obstacle in the distance to be able to adjust before there is a problem.

Someone who drives their career is in charge the same way. You can’t always control the obstacles, but you can be ready to adjust.

For more information see Career Management Tips for Project Managers

A passenger on the other hand, doesn’t anticipate things. He relys on someone else to navigate him through a rough area.

Some passengers will complain about how the driver got them into a bad situation. They may criticize about the situation the driver got them into, even though they did nothing to help.

Drivers don’t always do it alone

Everyone has to rely on others at different times. The driver of the car may ask a passenger if they know a different route. Passengers can be great navigators. On longer trips, a driver and passenger may even trade off their roles. Some may be better night-time drivers, while others drive better during the day.

People who drive their career should not be afraid to ask for help. Career navigation can be difficult and confusing. Turning to co-workers, mentors or even a professional career coach can help a driver navigate through his career.

A driver shouldn’t be afraid to let others drive. Sometimes it allows everyone to hone their driving skills. And it lets each driver learn from other drivers.

Some people seem satisfied to coast through their career as a passenger. They allow others to drive for them and actually prefer it that way. When they get lost, they can blame the drivers for the situation they are in.

They feel a sense of control by criticizing the decisions of others, but they never take the control to drive themselves.

Are you a driver or a passenger in your career?

If you would like to learn more about a career in Project Management, get Lew’s book Project Management 101: 101 Tips for Success in Project Management on Amazon.

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