Chances are you've known both successful and unsuccessful people.

For the unsuccessful, life is a struggle. Unemployment is all too common, as they are frequently laid off or even fired from jobs. Even when they are working, they do not find the job particularly interesting or meaningful. Usually they’re in that job because it was the only one available. The job is something they have to do, not something they want to do.

Successful people, on the other hand, enjoy their jobs. Because they have the right talents for the job, it comes more easily and naturally to them. They are valued by their managers and get along better with co-workers. They tend to earn more money and have more leisure time. To sum it all up, they feel in control of their lives.

Why are some people successful but many others have never experienced success?

Successful people have certain traits in common, while the unsuccessful have other traits in common. For the unsuccessful, life is largely an accident. If they are working, they are usually in that job because someone told them about it or they happened across it in the “Help Wanted” ads. Ask them why some people are successful but not others, and they’re likely to attribute it all to “luck.”

Successful people do not depend on luck. They are in control of their lives because they know the secret of how to make things happen. But guess what? You can know and apply that secret in your own life! It’s called PLANNING!

That’s right. The difference between successful people and the unsuccessful is that successful people plan their careers. Bill Clinton came from a poor home and didn’t even know his father. He came from Arkansas, a state that had never before produced a U.S. president. Yet Bill Clinton planned to become president from when he was quite young. If you read biographies of successful people and you’ll find they did not succeed by accident or luck. They succeeded because they planned to succeed!

Why then doesn’t everybody, or at least most people, become successful? They don’t succeed because they don’t plan, and they don’t plan because planning, especially long-range planning, does not come naturally or easily to most people. Granted, most people can plan how they will spend an afternoon or even a one- or two-week vacation.

But consider this: From the time Bill Clinton decided he could become president, at about age 16, to the time he got there took 30 years! Yet chances are, long-range career planning of this sort does not come readily to you.

Career planning, however, is not such a great mystery and consists, in fact, of just two major components:
1. Deciding on a career goal
2. Working towards and remaining focused on that career goal until you attain it

Sounds simple.

Yet most people can’t do it.


Because most people don’t KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES sufficiently to find and establish the career goal that’s right for them.

For example, most people don’t know what aptitudes they have, and many don’t even know what aptitudes really are.

Aptitudes are not your interests or acquired knowledge. Rather your aptitudes are your natural abilities or talents. Depending on whether you have or don’t have particular aptitudes, certain tasks will come easily to you while others will require a great deal of extra effort on your part.

Of course it would be better to find and do something that comes easily and naturally to us.

Yet when it comes to their aptitudes, many people are totally clueless! Through no fault of their own, they have no idea what their aptitudes might be. It’s just that they never had the opportunity to use and apply those aptitudes.

That’s right. People go through life having the aptitudes to become great doctors, great scientists, great lawyers and judges, great engineers, great artists, great detectives, great teachers, great architects, great accountants, and we could go on and on. They don’t go into those careers because they don’t know which aptitudes they have. Sometimes they suspect they might have them but that’s not enough to give them the CONFIDENCE they need to know they can and will succeed.

At CareerPathfinder, we administer the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB), a set of 19 true aptitude tests that have been scientifically proven to be accurate and effective. The HAB was recently written up in the Wall Street Journal (June 18, 2008 edition).

The Highlands Ability Battery is just the first part of CareerPathfinder’s comprehensive program to enable you to decide on the career you truly feel is the right one for you. Titled "Nine Steps Towards a Personal Career Vision," it will enable you to better know, understand, appreciate, and take into consideration your interests, your acquired skills and knowledge, your past achievements, your personality and personal style, your family history and its influence on you, your personal values and, finally, your individual needs and wants. They are all considered as we coach you to narrow down your career choice to where you can not only choose the right career, but are able to envision yourself working at it!

Some people think half an hour should be all they need to decide on a career, but for some reason, they never quite get around to it. They soon become part of that vast majority who will never attain success because they’ve never really defined what success means to them.

But if you’re one of those who can understand and accept that long-range thinking and planning is essential to career success, then call CareerPathfinder at 201-880-1764 during regular business hours (9 AM to 5 PM, Monday thru Friday, eastern time) for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your individual situation and needs, and what CareerPathfinder can do to help you get on the road to success.

Author's Bio: 

Harry Eisenberg, the founder of CareerPathfinder, has worked as a career services professional since 1998. He is a member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches ( and has earned certifications from that organization as both a career coach and a professional résumé writer. He is also a Certified Affiliate of the Highlands Company (, publisher and sole distributor of the Highlands Ability Battery, an objective assessment of individual abilities (aptitudes). He holds a master’s degree from Pepperdine University.