If you’re finding yourself questioning if you are in the right job or career, or perhaps you might just be starting out, then isn’t it time you figured it out? What is holding you back from making a decision – is it fear of disappointing someone (i.e. a parent or other family member, or yourself), fear of failing or not ‘making it,’ or an inability to fail? These are the three main reasons people don’t make a choice, although recognizing there are other circumstances.
Being afraid won’t get you anywhere but where you are now, and the would, coulda, shoulda’s will eat you alive. Disappointing someone may not ever happen – you’re not a mind-reader; usually, the person won’t be as disappointed as if you never taking a stand. Failing is not the first choice we’d have but it happens; learning and living through is what gets us the end. I always am reminded of J. K Rowlings, of Harry Potter fame, who was rejected 12 times, while grieving the death of her mother, a failed marriage, and having to raise her daughter on her own.
She’s says of failure: “Failure meant a stripping way of the inessential….and I began to direct all my energies into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” Just like Ms. Rowlings, you can also push through and find the ‘sweet spot’ of your career and do the work that matters to you; this is the place that is an intersection between:
- What I like to do
- What I am good at
- Who will pay me (Wall, 2016)
It is when interests and abilities combine with job opportunities that are a match. Answering the three questions in depth, meaning you don’t leave any interest, skills, or abilities out as you never know themes that may emerge that you may ignore or attribute to ‘just coming naturally.’ The answers are the key to job satisfaction which then leads to higher involvement and performance. If you are unsure of your career direction, the answers to the three questions above can be the way to find out; if you are in a job or career you enjoy, they will lend validation to your current choice. Taken control of your career now before it controls you by finding your career success.
If you’d like help with managing your career, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com
In today’s world of work, finding and knowing your career path is essential; it can bring you clarity, motivation and satisfaction all of which lead to happiness in your life. Having more fulfillment can bring make your days filled with fulfilling work, you will be engaged and feel more competent and promotions and money can follow. But if deciding and being committed to a career path is so positive and rewarding, why is that so many people have such a hard time making a decision on which path to go?
Career options seem so elusive these days; alot of jobs that may bring one passion are being pushed aside it seems in favor of more lucrative ones; the internet and technological advances have replaced some career paths and it seems the preference of employers focuses more on fields in the STEM careers. Hiring practices are slower and preferences for candidates is of a higher caliber which is taking a lot of people out of the market, either by chance or by choice But hope is not lost – it is possible to find a job but with the right focus and strategy. Often, that starts with jumping off the fence and making a decision on which path to go. But, before you do, career exploration is a must:
- Do your homework – if you have some idea of what you want to do for work, you need to research everything you can find about that particular position, including the job tasks, needed skills and education, and salary ranges; you can google just about anything and find it so look at the results that come up and go to those sites. Look for industry-specific sites and delve into them. Go talk to people who may be in that particular field and see if they are willing to have a short talk with you so you can learn more about their particular job tasks and how their days go, both good and bad.
- Explore and asses your skills, talents, abilities and experience to see if they match up against the criteria you uncovered; compare and contrast to see what you may be lacking and write out what you will need to do to go about getting it. Plan out a time-line that it would take you to obtain that position and determine what you are willing to do to get it
- In order to be fully satisfied with your work you need to be in an environment where you can thrive, so another step in career exploration is to do due-diligence on both the industry and companies that hire for that position; this will help you to learn if your path will lead to the ‘pot of gold’ or to a dead end as far as career advancement opportunities and wages. This step can also help you find the ‘right’ organization that will align with all you stand for.
Once you are armed with all this information, you should now be able to make a more informed and ‘correct’ decision that you can live with. You can either stay on the fence and get what you get or you can take precise steps to get what you want – it starts with a decision.
If you watch Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) and saw last night’s elimination episode, then you saw one of the most inspirational stories. It is one I think that many people could learn a lesson from, and that this lesson would, hopefully, inspire them to go and pursue their life work no matter what it takes.
DWTS often profiles a dancer who has overcome some life adversity, and dance is their outlet to help them heal as well as being a vehicle for their career path. Last night’s dancer was a young 18 year old from Harlem, whose style was tap dancing. As a former tap dancer, I know this is harder than one might think. His story was so compelling – he grew up in Harlem and started tap dancing to get away from the gang life; he found he was good at it and enjoyed it so much tht he enrolled in one of the artistic schools. However, he needed money to attend. So what this young man did was go into the subways, put on his dancing shoes, and tap dance. And he did this daily throughout his school year where he raised the money so he could stay and finish out his school.
And look where he landed – on Dancing With the Stars! In his interview, this young man stated that he was not going to let anything stop him from achieving his dreams of dancing professionally; that he believed in himself and his dream enough, which is what keeps him going.
How many people can learn from this? Taking your passion, and your drive from that passion, will keep you focused on your goal and you will work hard to get what you want. Setting a goal for your career that is born of your passion will allow your natural born skills and abilities to shine and you will want to find the job where they will be utilized and valued.
So the next time you feel that it is “hard out there”, keep this young tap dancer in mind who has let nothing stop him. Take your cue from him to set your career goal, to have determination, and to find creative ways to go about getting it. As they say, “life is a dance” – so keep on dancing!
I saw this article on the net and thought it was worthy to pass on. Some of you may be unsure about your future – perhaps you are looking for work or are unsatisfied with your current job and may be looking to either go back to school or change careers. Maybe these predictions of the top 20 growth occupations between now and 2018 will help you to make the “leap” (and give you hope for the future):
- Biomedical engineers – 72% increase, 11,600 jobs
- Network systems and data communication analysts – 53% increase, 155,800 jobs
- Home health aides – 50% increase, 460,900 jobs
- Personal and home care aides – 46% increase, 375,800 jobs
- Financial examiners – 41% increase, 11,100 jobs
- Medical scientists (except epidemiologists) – 40% increase, 44,200 jobs
- Physician assistants – 39% increase, 29,200 jobs
- Skin care specialists – 38% increase, $14,700 jobs
- Biochemists and biophysicists – 37% increase, 8,700 jobs
- Athletic trainers – 37% increase, 6,00 jobs
- Physical therapist aides – 36% increase, 16,700 jobs
- Dental hygienists – 36% increase, 62,900 jobs
- Veterinary technologists and technicians – 36% increase, 28,500 jobs
- Dental asssitants – 36% increase, 105,600 jobs
- Computer software engineers, applications – 34% increase, 175,100 jobs
- Medical assistants – 34% increase, 163,900 jobs
- Physical therapy assistants – 33% increase, 21,200 jobs
- Veterinarians – 33% increase, 19,700 jobs
- Self-enrichment education teachers – 32% increase, 81,300 jobs
- Compliance officers (except agriculture, construction, health & safety, and transportation) – 31%, 80,800 increase
If you are unsure about your career path, regardless if you are a recent entry to the job market, are returning to work, or have questions about career decisions, there may be reasons why. According to Callanan & Greenhaus (1990), there are seven sources that lead to career indecisions that result from either limited experience or knowledge and which they term “developmental indecision.” Here are the seven sources – see where you fall in:
- Lack of Self-Information – not knowing your talents, skills, abilities, values, etc.
- Lack of Internal Work Orgranization – not being aware of career opportunities that may be available in your current organization
- Lack of External Work Information – not having enough knowledge about opportunities that exist for your occupation, such as companies, industries, locations, pay, status
- Lack of Decision Making Self-Confidence – this involves an inability in your confidence or self-assuradness to make decisions
- Decision-Making Fear and Anxiety – this can involve fears or worries of making the wrong decision that can stall or prevent you from making a decision
- Nonwork Demands – you may feel conflicted to choose between your personal career desires and family needs or demands
- Situational Constraints – these are personal constraints that may result due to financial considerations, your age, schooling or years invested in your current career
The key to overcoming career indecision is to do your homework – analyze, assesss, research, and uncover the information you need to help you make a good decision. If you find that you are having difficulty, it would be beneficial for you to seek support, whether that is a friend, family member, or a career coach. I’d love your feedback if you’ve faced career indecisiveness and what you’ve done about it.