Career Advice From Buffaloes and Cows

​Science alert: When cows see a storm coming, they wait for the storm to reach them. They then run in the direction that the storm is going, thinking erroneously that they can outrun the storm.  When buffaloes see a storm coming, they charge directly into the storm and then continue in that direction as the storm moves in the opposite direction. 
 
Both get wet but the buffalo for a far shorter period of time.
 
Many of my career counseling clients come to see me after they have been the cow for too long.  They could see the career storm coming.  They know they are in a mismatched career or company or job.  When the storm hits, whether it is a bad performance review or company downsizing or anxiety/depression from work, most were not surprised.  They had been a little bit unhappy, then gradually unhappier, and then finally under the storm of whatever problem they now had.
 
Terry had been an IT project manager for various large companies in Stamford, CT.  It was a never a fit.  He had gone into IT in the early 1990s for practical reasons.  He didn’t know what to do and various people suggested that tech jobs would be the wave of the future.  Compared to most tech types, he had excellent people skills.  But he really did not like IT. He rose to management because of his interpersonal abilities.  But the pressure of keeping up with technological innovation was catching up to him.  He saw the challenge in the mid 2000s.  His underlings knew more than he did about certain programs.  This led to his eventual layoff.  He was able to get a job at another company in a similar role (running in the direction of the storm).  A similar challenge occurred.  He found me while in the midst of third job in 8 years with the same problem that he confronted almost ten years ago.    He said what many of my clients say: I should have come here a long time ago.  If he did, he would have courageously confronted the storm and it would be gone by now.
 
When my career counseling clients see me they are embracing their inner buffalo. They have decided to do something about the challenge.  They face it head on.  Do they go through some challenges?  Yes.  But they wind up on the other side of the storm far faster and into that beautiful sunlight that emerges after a big storm.