Written by Melissa Anzman

pins on map

I was talking to my local barista yesterday morning about her summer plans – with snow still falling every other day, I needed something fun and exciting to look forward to. She said, “I’m not really sure what I’ll be doing this summer, but I KNOW I’ll be in Australia next summer.”

Um… huh?

Me: “That’s awesome… but, um, how do you know what you’ll be doing next summer without plans for this one?”

Barista: “I’ve always been a future planner – I can’t manage the day-to-day well, but give me a year or more out and I know exactly what I’ll be doing.

Huh. That confused me on so many levels. You see, I’m not really a future planner – I can’t create a 5-year plan to save my life; I am happy to put down my annual business goals, but it’s pure guesstimation – not at all based on what will happen; and I wouldn’t even know where to start when thinking about where I’ll be next summer.

Me: “Wow – together we’d be the best planner in the world! We should get right on that.”

I’m not sure why it took a simple conversation to remind of these different approaches to planning and accomplishing goals, it struck me as a light-bulb moment.

Maybe it’s because I was recently asked how I planned to get to where I am in my career and I was left speechless (not a typical state of being for me).

Or maybe it’s because I have been trying to flex my planning muscles recently, growing a new tool for my toolkit.

But whatever the reason, it was a great reminder of the many paths to planning and achieving.

I tried to think like my barista since our conversation…
… If I knew that this time next year I’d be packing for a summer-long adventure in Australia, what would I need to do to get me there?

I was blank – nothing came up other than to pack my suitcase.

How I would save the funds? What I would do with my car? My cat? My things… and so on. No clue at all.

If you’re a future planner like my barista, you probably are yelling at your screen having everything planned out for me already (calculate the money you’ll need for the flight and living expenses, the amount of time you have to earn that much and you’re there… I didn’t come up with that on my own, my barista helped me with that answer).

For the first hour of this exercise yesterday when I was trying to plan for Australia and then more importantly, for my business and career, I was panicked. I could not create a future plan so therefore I will definitely fail… right? But I remembered that I got to where I am now with my shorter-term planning methods and am doing just fine.

I’m not the person who knows what I’ll be doing a year from now or 10 years from now, heck, I hardly know what I’ll be doing a month from now. But what I do know, is that if you are feeling fear or failure because you don’t have the same process as someone else – whether that be in planning, goal making, career pathing, or laundry – it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed at it.

Hearing how other people would tackle a situation is helpful, but it’s not the only way you can make your way through decisions along the way. Had I planned out my career as a future-planner, there is no way in the world I would be doing what I am doing now. Had I listened to the experts out there – I would have never have taken the various leaps I have that have lead my career on its unique path.

Just a little friendly reminder from my barista. Now go plan something – create SMART goals and set the right achievement timeline for you. 🙂


melissa anzman

About Melissa

Melissa Anzman is the creator of Launch Your Job  where she equips ambitious leaders with practical ways to grow their career. She is the author of two books: How to Land a Job and Stop Hating Your Job. Follow her @MelissaAnzman.

Written by Marisol Dahl

Happy May, everyone! With the mid-way point of the year creeping up and lots of exciting things on the horizon, we thought it was about time we did a little round-up of everything going on in the Life After College world!

An Update from The LAC Team

Paul has put 10 years of writing, researching, and studying into a structured course that is helping other people create a framework for finding meaningful work they love and create the life they want: Finding Your Signature Sauce: Where Your Passion, Purpose, and Career Collide. He says it’s been amazing seeing the successful and meaningful outcomes people are getting from the course as well as his free 3-part video mini-course called Get UnStuck.

Melissa’s new venture MConnected Communications is going strong, and she loves helping her clients take employee engagement and communication to the next level. Be sure to check out her guide, 3 Things Your Need to Know about Employee Engagement in a Multi-generational Workforce.

Davis has been enjoying working at Bain and growing his own blog, Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life, where he reflects on the lessons he’s learned from fighting his way from a poor community in Atlanta to graduating with honors and debt-free from Yale University. He looks to inspire his readers to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Marisol is now a Communications Strategist at ABC Design Lab, and she continues to work with solo-entrepreneurs to help them grow their platforms. Despite a love-hate relationship with the platform, she is most active on Twitter, where she keeps a log of her most interesting reads.

Book Ninja 101

Been itching to write a book but not sure where to start? Or in the middle of one but stuck on what’s next? You might be interested in Jenny’s upcoming course.

Fresh off a three-year marathon of writing Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, Jenny will be sharing her best tips and tools for every stage of the book writing process during a live week-long Book Ninja course. With amazing guest speakers, this course provides soup-to-nuts tactical tips for generating momentum and getting published.

Here is what we will cover:

  • Monday, May 16: Craft a One-Page Book Pitch with Jennie Nash
  • Tuesday, May 17: Systems for Outlining, Researching, Writing, and Editing with Elisa Doucette, founder of Craft Your Content
  • Wednesday, May 18: Traditional Publishing Q&A with Jenny’s editor at Portfolio/Penguin Random House, Natalie Horbachevsky
  • Thursday, May 19: Self-Publishing Success with Taylor Pearson
  • Friday, May 20: Open Q&A with Jenny (+ Special Bonus)

Enroll in Book Ninja with this link to get $28 off (making the course $97), or get the course for free when you join Momentum ($97/quarter), which includes every course and template Jenny has ever created ($700 value), live monthly workshops, and optional private office hours calls with Jenny.

Want a sneak peek at what’s in store for the course? Check out Jenny’s latest post 10 tips (+ 18 Tools) To Make Writing a Book Easier.

Life After College On Audible!

We’re so excited to announce that Life After College has been turned into an audio book!

With the voice talent of Jenny Blake herself, it’s amazing to see LAC come to life in this way. The book launches on Audible.com on May 24 and is available for pre-order—perfect if you’re looking for something to listen to on the road or an awesome graduation gift for a loved one. 🙂  


About Marisol Dahl

Marisol recently graduated Yale as a Sociology and Education Studies major. A longtime New Yorker, her interests include business, communications, and marketing. She can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at @marisoldahl.

Turn Mundane Jobs Into Larger Opportunities

Written by Davis Nguyen  At dinner during our senior year of college, a friend and I debated if a perfect post-graduation job existed. We couldn’t name one. She instead shared a story of how no matter how mundane/uninspiring/replaceable our first job after college would be, that the job description didn’t limit the opportunities we could create […]

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Late Bloomers in the Wild

Written by Jenna Leah “It’s OK to be a late bloomer as long as you don’t miss the flower show.” —Jane Fonda Not living your dream yet? You might just be the coolest person I’ve never met. I used to sit behind our high school prom queen in math class. I remember staring at her […]

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Been Itching to Write a Book? Join me for a Live 5 Day Book Ninja 101 in May

Written by Jenny Blake I can hardly believe it, but the Pivot manuscript is DONE! D-O-N-E, done. Last week I turned in the very last paper “first pass” edit on Pivot, and now we work on finalizing the cover before sending it off to galley printing (advance copies for media) before the September 6 launch. It is crazy to […]

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Life After College’s Big Reads of the Season (+ Giveaway!)

One of my favorite things about being out of school is being able to read whatever I want. Not being beholden to a course syllabus is an amazing thing. I’m no longer rushing night after night to finish hundreds of pages of assigned reading, and I get to let my curiosity lead whatever I read […]

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