Are you lost in the wilderness when it comes to choosing a career? Once, we knew the way. As children, we played at different roles, but some became our favorites. Those favorites hinted at our gifts. They pointed the way to our exciting futures as entrepreneurs, dancers or astronauts. We did what was fun, and, in the process, we began to find and follow our paths.
As young adults, however, our paths began to fade under thickets of obstacles: other people's expectations, poor self-esteem and /or lack of faith. But, the good news is that, for each of us, the path is still out there. A cover of tangled weeds may hide its course, but it's still there.
A few tracking lessons can put you back in the hunt. An expert tracker can follow a trail that's been cold for days, months, or even years. Trackers like this can track over any terrain, under all kinds of weather, and even in the dark of night. Tracking, however, is not just about following a set of prints in the dirt.
The physical skill of observation constitutes only about 10% of what it takes to be a good tracker. The other 90% consists of awareness and intuition.
Here's how you can apply tracking techniques to your career hunt.
The first step a would-be tracker takes is to develop his or her powers of observation to a razor-sharp edge. Called the "eye of the tracker," it's the ability to discern a large amount of information from the environment with a glance.
Students spend years engaged in study and first - hand observation, or "dirt time" as it's called, to gain an intimate knowledge of the natural environment and habits of animals. For instance, when trackers wants to see animals, they know where to look for them. They'll look in areas such as on the edges of forests and fields, at times of transition like twilight, or right before or after a storm.
In the process of mastering the facts, the tracker cultivates "the eye of the tracker," a questioning awareness that sees beyond the obvious. They constantly ask themselves, "What happened here?" and "What does this mean?"
Transition For Careers
After you find a career that excites you, do some "dirt time." Educate yourself about the skills you'll need, where the industry congregates, and the mental states of the people who work in the field.
Next, get some practical experience. Take a class, find a mentor, or work in the field on a part-time basis. Find out what you're getting into before you commit.
If you're still interested in the field after you've done your research, you'll find the time it takes to build a new career. Maybe you'll have to go back to school and survive on less money for awhile. You might have to make that sacrifice, but you'll feel excited and have a sense of accomplishment.
Once you have clarity, you're halfway there. After that, your mind starts looking for ways to help you reach your goals, so watch for the signs.
Trackers often find themselves in dangerous environments, and when they do, they use everything they have in order to survive. To enhance their chances for survival, they continually develop their powers of observation, which leads them to ever-deeper levels of awareness of their environment.
In practice, they'll focus on details like tracks, but they stay aware of the sounds, colors, shapes, and smells of the environment at the same time. This technique is known by many names such as "peak awareness," "soft-focus" and "splatter vision." It's like looking through a camera with a wide-angle lens attached.
As trackers manage this balancing act between focusing on everything and nothing, they fall into meditative states where they become part of the environment. When something does attract their attention, they focus on it to see what it is. A master tracker can sense the presence of other animals and danger.
Transition For Careers
The key to life is paying attention to the little moments without losing touch with what's going on around you. You have to become aware of whether you are happy in your career or not; and if you are not, you must make the sacrifices needed in order for you to get out. At the same time, consider what's the most important contribution you would like to make.
So, find the time to relax, and think about a new direction. Ask yourself two questions: "what am I good at doing, and "what do I enjoy doing?" You may be good at doing something that you don't like. You need to combine both to make the perfect job.
Play with the possibilities, mentally mixing and matching your talents and interests. Stir it all in a pot, and let it simmer. Then, notice the insights, ideas and coincidences that percolate into your consciousness as a result. Act on the suggestions that feel right.
The best trackers have keen senses of intuition that alert them to the presence of other animals and danger. At Tom Brown's Wilderness and Survival School in Pine Barrens, New Jersey, they've developed a training method called the "blindfold technique" to teach students how to tune into their intuition.
Students' cross a sixty yard field, blindfolded, guided only by their feelings and the sound of a drum. To succeed in this exercise, you have to let go of your logical mind --the part that's telling you this is crazy. You have to trust yourself and let your feeling guide you across the field. People stumble and fall at first, but if they stick with it, they'll get it.
The blindfold technique forces you to pay attention to your other senses and intuition. Visually, we're overdeveloped. People go blind and develop other skills that we all have, but don't usually bother to develop. The blindfold technique forces you to focus on what you hear, touch, smell and feel.
You can access your inner knowing in ways less stressful than taking part in the blindfold technique. You can visit a natural area one afternoon and sit by a stream and watch the animals. Repetitive motions such as knitting or woodworking can also clear the mind, making room for new insights.
Transition For Careers
There are two basic career strategies. Do what's practical, or follow your dream. Following your dream may not be the most financially rewarding path, but in the long run, the people who make the most money are passionate about what they do. There are CEO's out there who don't have degrees, but they do have passion for their work.
To find your right career, you have to think with your heart. Although it may be hard to identify your inner voice in the beginning, you just have to do the best you can. Move ahead cautiously at first. Take a small step. Then, if everything looks good, take another step. Trackers call it "stealth walking."
Trackers develop their powers of observation, awareness and intuition so they can tune-in to their environment and make out its message. You can begin to apply the same techniques to your career hunt. It's not about trying to find your path using the intellect, but by looking for what feels right.
By Jody Gothard and Cardell Phillips
Jody Gothard is the owner of CareerPro, a resume and career development service located in Atlanta, Georgia. Jody is also an expert tracker. He may be reached at 404-252-8777 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
About The Author
Cardell Phillips is a freelance writer specializing in articles and features about success and personal development. His articles have appeared in magazines, newspapers and webzines. He can be reached at Phillips@sounderco.com or http://www.sounderco.com.