It is Not Just a Job, It’s a Heroine’s Journey

Someone once made the observation that you spend more time planning a vacation than you do planning your career. Why is that?

Think about how you plan a vacation. You start out thinking ‘oh, i think i’d would like to go to someplace tropical (or historical, or educational, or exciting). Then you start to narrow it down to specific hemisphere, then country, then type of place to stay (camping or resort), then particular place to stay, then how and when to get there. Once the reservation is made, you can look at what you’re going to do when you get there – or figure to wing it.

Planning a career is a lot like that: setting a goal, then narrowing your choices down step by step until you’re where you want to be. If you haven’t done that yet, it’s past the time to start Don’t think of it as limiting yourself, this is just one vacation, and you have got many years ahead to travel the world. But without a little planning, you’re not going anywhere.

Life as Art

There are times in your life when everything seems chaotic. You are in full crisis mode, unsure of what to do next, unsure about everything really. What you think you need is a vacation to escape your challenges or at least to sort things out. The truth is, you need to get a handle on your life and get control again, to make some sense out of the uncertainty. You don’t need a vacation, you need a vocation and a plan. This will help you make it through the turbulence and come out the other side less stressed and stronger for it.

Even the rightest right brainers need some structure in their lives. Yet creative people resist traditional planning because they think it is too structured, too limiting. It doesn’t have to be. You have clarified earlier your vision and get a goal. Once you have a goal you need a plan to help you reach it. This plan is more like a map. It has footprints to show you what steps to take (and in what order), landmarks so you can tell when you are veering off course, a list of recommended provisions for this trip, and the names of some trail guides who can help you get where you are going quickly

The starting point is here and now. The goal is to earn a living from what you enjoy doing Once you get there, you can do a lot of sightseeing, wander around and have a good time. From your vantage point you may decide to set out for someplace new. The steps are the same each time: choose a destination, work out how to get there, and go.


Think of two important transition points in your life. Write a key word for each one. What was your feeling at the time?  How did it turn out? How did you plan for it?

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project,  a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.


Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences