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Playing to win v playing not to lose

As a student, I did everything right to land a job in financial services.

High GPA…check.

Leadership roles on campus…check.

Polished resume…check.

Networking pitch…check.

Mastery of interviewing techniques…check.

Jobs came easily through referrals by professors, peers, and career services. I was hitting all the markers of success. Yet, by my mid-twenties I felt unfulfilled in my career and like a stranger to myself. While I was progressing quickly, speed became irrelevant once it dawned on me that I was going the wrong way. What made it even more scary was my confusion about what to do next.

The best resume writing tips and interviewing tactics weren’t useful because I had overlooked two of the most crucial components of career planning — self-awareness and self-inquiry. In all of my years of schooling, these skills were somehow excluded from the curriculum. I had to learn them the painful way a few years into my career in order to create a path that’s meaningful to me.

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