Quality Progress - March 2018 - 14

Advice to advance your career

C AR EER D E VELO P M ENT

The Long and
Winding Road
When navigating through your career, follow your own path
by Teresa Whitacre

In math, it's said that the shortest distance between two
points is a straight line. While this is theoretically true,
following a straight path isn't always best when it comes to
your career.
Consider these well-known successful people and how
unwieldy their paths to success were: Actors Danny DeVito
and Whoopi Goldberg started in cosmetology and were
mortuary hair dressers. Truett Cathy took his military
leadership to new heights when he founded Chic-Fil-A, and
country singer Faith Hill was a receptionist long before her
music career.
The course by which you start your professional journey
isn't always where you stay, and that's OK. These highly
successful people didn't follow the paths of others-they
built their own roads.

Focus on-and follow-your own path

It isn't always clear which path will lead you to your next
career opportunity. Whether just starting out, in mid-career or looking to advance, the path toward your career
goal isn't always presented in a neat and tidy package.
The road to the right choice often doesn't lead straight
to the correct door. Many times, you must enter through
the back door or climb through the window to get where
you want to be in your career.
It is human nature to see someone travelling in the direction you want to be going and think that you must follow

14 QP

March 2018 ❘ qualityprogress.com

suit. But how do you know that their direction
is the right direction for you? A quality engineer may see a senior person get promoted to
quality manager and think that's the path he or she
must take. But career advancement doesn't necessarily
have to be upward-lateral moves are just as important.
One person's aspirations and directions aren't necessarily
the same for everyone.
Think of your career direction as a road map. Maybe
you have planned for level, high-speed interstates that will
quickly take you straight to your goal because that's how
someone else got there. But when you follow that person's
path, you end up on bumpy, curvy country roads.
The changes in terrain weren't something you prepared
for, as often happens when you shadow someone else's
direction. Instead, follow your own path. Don't be an extra
in your own show. Step out onto your own stage and write
your own screenplay. If the stage door doesn't lead you to
the career play you seek, bypass the door and go through
the window. There's always a direction-you might just
need a different path to find it.
There is no controlled blueprint that says a quality (or
any) career must progress a certain way. My own career
has taken many side streets and detours that led me
to where I am today. I've had to take detours, climb in
through windows and take back doors, and I have never
regretted it.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2018

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Career Coach
My Quality Story
In the Right Direction
A Different Kind of BBQ
Gaining Ground
Impeding Progress
Innovation Imperative
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - INTRO
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 4
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 5
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 7
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 9
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 11
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 12
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 15
Quality Progress - March 2018 - My Quality Story
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 17
Quality Progress - March 2018 - In the Right Direction
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 19
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 20
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 21
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 22
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 23
Quality Progress - March 2018 - A Different Kind of BBQ
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 25
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 26
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 27
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 28
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 29
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 30
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 31
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Gaining Ground
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 33
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 34
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 35
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 36
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Impeding Progress
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 38
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 39
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 40
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 41
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 42
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 43
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 45
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 46
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 47
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 49
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 50
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 51
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 52
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 53
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 55
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 56
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 57
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 59
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 61
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 62
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 63
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover4
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