Career advice: Life passes by unless you take control

“I guess I thought something would change.” Denise said. She took a job in 2008 at a hotel in Mystic, Connecticut.  She was just happy to have a job as the country was entering into the teeth of the Great Recession.  Having graduated from Eastern Connecticut with a business major, she thought working at a front desk of a hotel was close enough. She didn’t realize how much she would dislike the irregular hours which involved nights 2-3x per week and hotel customers who tend to interact with staff only when they are complaining about something. Soon, she grew bored and frustrated. But, she didn’t do anything to take control of her career.  
“I really don’t know.” was her answer about why she stayed and didn’t take any action to change. “I guess I just got into a routine and… like I said, I thought something else would come up.”
We are conditioned by our school system.  Change occurs automatically every year.  K-12 and then 4 more years of college.  ”Something” does come up because we automatically go to a different grade each year.  
Careers don’t work this way.  Denise was doing the same job that she did 8 years ago.  Even worse, she had unwittingly branded herself as a front desk worker at a hotel.  Who would hire her?  Different hotels.  For what?  Front desk work.  Maybe she could shift to front desk management or some other hotel management. Otherwise she had to reinvent herself which is the work that we began doing together.  Fortunately, she’s young.  She has the time, energy, and life circumstances to do so without too much challenge.  As she noted, if this was 10 years later, she might be stuck for a long time due to the need to help provide for a family, pay a mortgage, and all other adult trappings.
Take control of your career.