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2020: Seeing Your Career Future through New Lenses

2020: Seeing Your Career Future through New Lenses


By Dr. Marie Gould Harper
Dean, School of Business, American Public University

When I was at the doctor’s office during the first week of the year, I was amazed at the number of different lenses available for me to purchase. As I completed my exam successfully, I thought about what type of lenses I would choose.

Start a management degree at American Public University.

I wanted to choose glasses that would complement the one pair that I already had. In my mind, I needed something to complete my collection. As I tried on the frames, I was amazed at how differently the objects looked to me.

One object caught my attention. It was a pair of glasses with a frame of 2020 wrapped around it.

I began to think about what type of message I would share with the students in the School of Business as well as the graduates in 2020. Many thoughts came to mind, but the following is what I want to say as I lay the foundation for the beginning of the next decade:

  • Focus your thoughts. When you put the new frame on your face, the doctor will ask you to focus on one single point so that the proper adjustment can be made to your glasses. Start today off with a thought, passion or goal. Focus on what you have to do to successfully complete the challenge.
  • Chart a course that has the opportunity to lie in port at many locations prior to arriving at your final destination. Although we have what may seem like a perfect plan, life happens and we are forced to take a detour. Remember, there are many roads to achievement.
  • Don’t be afraid to re-adjust your lenses. Sometimes, we need to tweak the plan. Guess what? It is okay to establish new visions in order to reach your destination.
  • Reflect on how where you are going will be different than where you have been. Don’t dwell on the past. Rather, look forward to the future, which is different than anything you have done before.
  • Don’t be concerned if what you see is different from where you started. Welcome change! It is a good thing.
  • Be open to the fact that life may never be the same once you look through the new lenses.
  • Don’t be afraid to open your eyes. Sometimes, people have tunnel vision and only see what is directly in front of them. Practice broadening your horizons by looking at all possible angles.

Make 2020 a Year to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Remember, the sky is the limit if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. Try not to focus on what is directly in front of you. Rather, look beyond the horizon!

About the Author

Dr. Marie Gould Harper is the Dean of the School of Business at American Public University. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in instructional systems from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in business from Capella University. She is a progressive coach, facilitator, writer, strategist and human resources/organizational development professional with more than 30 years of leadership, project management, and administrative experience. Dr. Gould Harper has worked in both corporate and academic environments.

Dr. Gould Harper is an innovative thinker and influential leader, manifesting people skills, a systematic approach to problems, organizational vision and ability to inspire followers. She is committed to continuous improvement in organizational effectiveness and human capital development, customer service and the development of future leaders.



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