I was working with a new client the other day in an all day intensive career coaching program. She flew in from Louisiana to work with me, and right off the bat I sensed that she was comparing herself to her friends. She told me point blank that she was frustrated with the fact that “all of her friends knew what they wanted to do next” and she didn’t. It was clear this was creating a lot of anxiety for her.

I see this often with my younger clients, especially those still in college or who’ve just graduated. They’re constantly comparing themselves to others. I did this too, I know how it is, but it’s important to not do this and focus instead on the process and the journey.

It is completely frustrating to get out of school and not know what you want to do for work. These feelings are common, like a woman recently quoted in this article wrote on Facebook after a career fair saying, “it’s official, my life after college sucks.” I remember standing there at my college graduation, starting to panic that I hadn’t visited the career center more than once, and the time that I did, I didn’t get much out of it. I remember staring off into space thinking, “oh crap, what AM I going to do?”

I knew my parents would help me a little bit, but that wouldn’t last forever. I didn’t want to mooch off of them anyway. I brushed it aside to focus on the ceremony, but six years and five jobs later, it caught up with me big time. I was depressed, living back at my mom’s house. One of the things you need to be mindful of when you’re in career transition is no matter what age, especially when you feel lost and you don’t know what to do next, don’t fall into that trap that many young people do. Stop comparing yourself to others. It does not help, and honestly it’s wasted energy. You need to spend your precious time and energy focusing on what you want, and where you’re going. Figuring this out takes effort, and you need all the attention you can give it.

I was listening to a law of attraction CD a while back and I love this analogy. Imagine you’re in your car with your GPS, and it’s giving you directions to your destination, step by step. It’s easy to follow, and it shows you the path to where you’re going. Now imagine that your GPS decides to put everyone else’s coordinates and journey onto your screen, how confusing would that be? This is basically what you’re doing when you focus on other people’s journeys. Get back to your own, stop comparing and mind your own business. Attend to your own journey and I promise you, you will move forward MUCH faster.

Here’s to having a career you love!

Hallie Crawford
Career Coach

P.S. If you would like some help finding your ideal career, join us for our free teleclass “How to Find Your Dream Job in 2011”. Register for the free teleclass here.