Over the weekend I took myself off to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie and was surprised to hear a career transition tip right in the middle of the movie.

There’s a scene where they’re trying to get to a place that doesn’t show on any map — and someone says something very dispiritedly about being lost. And the upbeat response is something about “You have to be lost to find something that isn’t there . . . After all, if it was easy to get to everyone would go there!”

And it reminded me of how making a career transition includes that very uncomfortable “lost” period. There are many ways of being lost. (Trust me, if you ever drive somewhere with me you’ll discover that I can sometimes find more than one way to get lost even on the same trip!) Here’s what being lost in a career sense might be for you or someone you care about:

Being lost includes not knowing where you really are

Being lost includes knowing that you’re not where you want to be

Being lost includes wanting to be somewhere else, but not knowing exactly what that is

Being lost includes not knowing how to get to where you want to be from where you are

That state of suspension and being without the certainty of forward momentum or direction is more uncomfortable for many of my clients to face than their hardest business challenge or most difficult person. The willingness to be courageous and acknowledge your personal “lost” status, even if only to yourself, is a necessary step to finding what it is you’re really looking to find.

Because that’s when you can step away from the path that everyone else is taking and begin to look for the uncharted course that will take you to the treasure of your career destination that’s right for you alone.

Just listen to the pirates.