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Tracking Progress Through Micro-Movements

Photo by Robin GAILLOT-DREVON on

You have been prepared for  this moment. Sometimes you only realize this when you stop long enough to look back with your discerning eye. What you learned, overcame, and even invented back then is all serving you now. So why does it feel like there’s no progress in your career or job search?

boat sailing past mount rainier. Photo by Peter James Creative.
While I was in graduate school studying ecopsychology‘, the human relationship with the rest of nature, I did my practicum in wilderness therapy. One of those projects took me into a program for at-risk youth where I got to shadow the guides during a boat trip around the San Juan Islands in Washington aboard the USS Resolution. When there is no wind, and you are taking turns rowing with powdered milk and granola in your belly, you understand feeling like there is no progress.
To keep my motivation high while my calloused hands help propel the crew across the vast expanse of blue water, I would look across to the nearest island to see where I was. Even if it was Mount Rainier, I could tell when it seemed our boat came up to it, when we were in the middle of it, and then when I had to look back to see it. It felt like forever, but I had a visual queue that I was getting somewhere.
Free woman paddling a boat with beautiful view image, public domain CC0 photo.

Small Steps are Still Progress

As I have a bias toward action, it makes sense to me now, that I found a way to track my progress. If the change you want to make in your career or job search feels like rowing past Mount Rainier, you can do this too. Instead of looking at the entire mountain, look at where you are during your journey, what you learned, and why it matters. 

Looking back now, I whole-heartedly appreciate that I learned to answer to my sea name, T-Bird, and witnessed an ingenious young man catch a fish off the back of the boat with a paperclip and dental floss. Who knew?

What landmark can you use to track your micro-movements of progress in your career?
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