Is This How Your Sailboat Looks?

Is This How Your Sailboat Looks?

Below is a career planning model  that looks at our life’s work as a journey traveled in a sailboat. Even though there are many factors to consider when making decisions about our life’s work, the main point is to KEEP MOVING…get in the water…sail…

 Career Sailboat Model and what it means:

Career Sailboat Model (Korkut-Owen et al. 2010)

Career Sailboat Model (Korkut-Owen et al. 2010)

1. Personal Factors are your individual interest, skills and values –  it is the body of the sailboat

2. Social Factors such as the family you grew up in, your gender,or  your race – it is one of the Sails

3. Systematic Factors are economic, legal and educational systems – this is the other Sail

4. Chance  Unexpected incidents in your life, such as health issues – this is the waves and the wind  (these are the uncontrollable and unpredictable things that can take you OFF of your intended course – “CHANCE” is another word for FEAR or DOUBT or UNCERTAINTY…i.e. the reason we stay stuck (safe) at a port we should have LONG since left.)

Yes, life planning is COMPLEX but we CAN NOT stay stuck at a port. That port could be a particular  job, a profession you fell into, a business venture that is not working out, living in a city you want to leave, continuing to work when you could retire, chilling in retirement, or sticking with a business partner…WE MIGHT NEED TO PULL OUT OF THAT PORT and start sailing away…to ANOTHER port.

What exactly is “Just Quit” all about? NOT staying stuck at a port that you need to pull out of.  It’s just that most of us have always set our sailboats for another “job port”;  but the jobs aren’t there like they used to be. Then we get all confused about where the next port is located, because we can’t see it….and that confusion keeps us stuck and our sailboats docked.  

There is a port that is WAITING for you, but maybe you CAN’T see it while docked at the port you are at.

Sometimes in life you have to: 1. Prepare your boat (this might take a while)  and 2. Set Sail…BEFORE that port will appear.

You’ll KNOW when this calling happens to you. It’s when you TRUST the wind and waves (spirit) to take you where you’re suppose to go (despite the social and systematic factors that have been holding you back). Don’t be afraid. Have COURAGE. Courage is the price that life extracts.


If you’ve never gone sailing…you should go…it’s freeing.  I’ve come to realize that sailing has significance to me. From loving this song in High School… to going sailing as a parting gift from a CEO of a company that I worked at…to coming across this little known  Turkish career planning model…connecting the dots…

Let the wind and the waves carry you too…Don’t give up on yourself or your potential…there is something special that you and only you have been born to do….doesn’t matter how old you are…keep sailing towards that thing…