Avoiding career congestion

You might end up going down a few dead ends - a riff on the Jim Dalling short cut.

I run into dead ends all the time.

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about the congestion I encountered while dropping my daughter off at school.

Most people when dropping their children off travel the ‘normal way’.

They sit in traffic and wait their turn doing things the same way everyone else does.

Me? I go looking for a different version of easy street.

Sure, sitting in traffic is a pain for me. For others? They don’t have to think, get lost, or risk things taking longer. They know what they’re going to get from sitting.


I take what my wife calls “The Jim Dalling Short Cut”.

The key of the Jim Dalling short cut is to keep moving. When I know the area and the traffic patterns, I can frequently find ways to avoid congestion. Other times in less familiar places, I get lost in the hamster trails of suburbia.

Much of the time it’s more effiecient. And sometimes it takes a lot longer. Getting lost and losing time is the risk involved with going off the mainstream and exploring the back roads.

And every time I do this I get learn a new part of the world.

When it comes to career and business, this skill has been immeasurably valuable. Rather than competing in a crowded, congested marketplace, I have a knack for finding open spaces by taking ‘short cuts’.

Ten years ago, teachers colleges were congested. The government had identified that we would be needing a bunch of teachers, so they started training them. Shortly after that, it became incredibly difficult to find an occasional/ fill in teaching position, let alone a permanent one.

Now? Anyone with a bachelor’s degree can substitute teach here in Nova Scotia. The glut is gone and the market is open.

When you're choosing a creative path, whether it's in a business or a career, you can go to the place where the business sectors and the government have already recognized and identified a need. But if you do, you're going to be with everybody else clogging up those roads, waiting in line, waiting to see if you get your turn. You'll be too late.

Or you can go exploring.

Sure, it might get you lost.

And you might end up with an easier path.


I’d rather cover more ground and see the world.