Stay in Your Lane
I often come across the motivational quote, "Stay in your lane." Most people I know, myself included, haven't necessarily had a straight and narrow career path. New technologies, experiences, and self-discoveries have led some of us to places we never imagined. Thus, to be in just one place, doesn't feel like the best advice. Similarly, while you shouldn't drive distracted, you do have to be cognizant of what's around you. Bottom line: when you're driving, you often need to change lanes. Why should our lives be any different?
I think the way to approach "staying in your lane" is to stay true to yourself. Whether or not you want it to, your lane will change, but as long as you have a destination in mind (and that too may change from time to time), you'll never get lost. When you're in each lane, be all in and when it's time to move, put on that blinker and get yourself where you need to be.
So how do you find your lane? If you're me, you read and update your bio.
Your most recent bio tells you what your priorities were when you wrote it. What accomplishments, degrees, projects, etc. made the cut? What fun facts about yourself did you include? What is the tone? The exercise is similar to writing a letter to yourself, it lets you look from the outside in, thinking critically about how you've chosen to present yourself and if that's still the first impression you want to make. Bios are often read by those who don't know us, or someone we are soon to meet. Does yours give you the introduction you want? Would you want to meet you after reading your bio? If not, figure out why.
Going through my bio also lets me think about what I wish it said. It's my, "where do you want to be in 5 years." For whatever reason, it's much easier for me to answer the question when I'm looking at my bio than it is when asked outright.
Right now, my bio reads:
Welcome! Who am I? I am a fourth-generation New Yorker, lover of brownies, and sweat enthusiast. After graduating from Brown University with honors in Literary Arts, I earned my JD from NYU School of Law, and hold a Certificate in Online & Social Media Marketing from Pratt Institute. After reconnecting with a college friend to co-run a popular Instagram account, I discovered that through social media I could combine my analytical and creative sides and have never looked back. My days are spent working with clients on all things social (strategy & management, partnerships, copywriting, and content creation) and editorial. I love puns, pop culture, and have zero regrets about any song in my iTunes Library.
A year from now, even a few months from now, my bio will be different and I find that incredibly exciting. For now though, I am going to "stay in my lane," giving 110% so that when I get to what's next, I will be in the best position to take on the projects and challenges that accompany it.
What's in your current bio? Do you "stay in your lane?"