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Who Loves Detours?

We all have typical roads around our home towns that we travel. We probably have our "faster" or highway routes, and we probably have more "scenic" routes when we're not in a hurry. Either way, we typically just get in the car and drive.

Well, last week, I was running to the post office to mail my daughter a goodie box (she's away at college) and I came home- mid- afternoon, and saw a Detour sign. What the heck? That wasn't there 45 minutes before. So, why now? So, I changed my route, which took a few minutes longer to get home. Not a big deal, right?

But then, I return home and have a notice from my township that the Detour sign was up because this beautiful old bridge, on my scenic route home, is going to be closed UNTIL DECEMBER... it's March!!!

Well that's not convenient at all. Now, I have to add 5-7 minutes more to my travel time when going to a few routine places.

What do you do when you hit "detours" in your day? Your week? Your job? Your company?

We have a few choices.

A- We can grumble about it- which no doubt- I rolled my eyes, but then quickly moved on about my day, etc.

B- We can complain to others about it- by text, by phone, by hitting social media.

C- We can allow it to stop us dead in our tracks and be completely unproductive for a period of time because we're so focused on wishing it wasn't so.

Detours happen all the time at work and in our personal lives. They are unavoidable.

However, it's what we choose to do with them and how we choose to manage them that make or break us.

For those that I've been honored to guide on their career development paths, you're no stranger to hearing me say, "Focus on what you can control." No matter if you work for a Fortune 100 or a small business, detours are part of life, but you don't need to allow them to derail you.

So, how do you maintain your momentum and focus even when confronted with a detour?

  1. Allow yourself time to process "the detour."

  2. Brainstorm options- yourself or with your team. Write them down, walk away and then revisit them.

  3. Revise your plan or next steps

  4. ***Make sure you GIVE YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM ENOUGH TIME. This is where I see most people veer off the road...thinking they can still stay on track without reevaluating priorities and time commitments.

If you are struggling with a detour in your career or too many detours, perhaps you owe it to yourself to consider your next career development options.