Take the Long and Winding Road

Recently I read an interview with Michael Houston, CEO of Grey North America, an innovative and well regarded ad agency in New York.  One of his points stood out for me…

“Circuitous career routes are not necessarily bad.”

I agree – and go one step further.  I believe that circuitous career routes often are the best way to lasting success.

I sat in on a presentation about what employers are looking for the other day.  Here is a list of the most common traits that employers say they want and need.

  • Analytical Thinking Skills
  • The Ability to Work Collaboratively
  • Communication Skills
  • Creative Problem Solving Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Ability to Think and Act Strategically

While you can probably develop all of these characteristics by staying in a narrow niche with one company, you are more likely to develop them working in a wide variety of occupations in different companies and industries – in other words by taking a circuitous career route.

You learn more that way.  You become a more well-rounded professional.  This has worked very well for me in my career.  I often joke that, “If the old saying, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is true, I’m one of the most dangerous people in this world, because I know a little bit about a whole lot of things.”

I got this way because I’ve had diverse work, volunteer and life experiences.  I know I am a better coach for it.  Members of my career mentoring site often tell me that they appreciate the breadth of my knowledge and experience.

While it can be comfortable to find a niche– in a field, a company or an industry –and stick with it, I urge you to be willing to try new things.  The road to success isn’t straight and narrow, it long and winding (a nod to the Beatles).  I’ve found that long and winding roads are much more fun and rewarding than the straight and narrow.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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