Thursday, April 3, 2008
Need Career Help? Reconstruct Yourself and Take a Risk
Need a push? This tugboat helps one of Washington state's ancient ferries reach some much needed TLC at the WSDOT Spa & Drydock. Like that ferry, beaten up by life's adventures (and a few dock collisions), in a career change we need some TLC, reconstruction and a push to take another risk on the open ocean.
People making a career choice, either starting out or as part of a career change, often suffer from misconceptions and biases. A little reconstruction of your beliefs about yourself and about career options may be in order. A career path you may not consider an option because of biases about its legitimacy or prestige, may turn out to be the right choice. Here's an example.
A Generation X'er friend of mine recently switched from HR recruiting to retail sales at an upscale department store. Having left her unsatisfactory recruiting job and stagnating in her career choice process, she needed to pay the rent. So she applied for her current retail job and contrary to her expectations, loves it and believes it will lead to several satisfactory career options as she gets promoted. She's energetic, outgoing, enthusiastic, and has a great sense of style and risk - so it works well for her. It was a job she thought she'd be good at and she was right, although she had some preconceived negative ideas about it as a longer term career path, which turn out not to be true.
I also posted last week about careers in the trades and how some people in office jobs with college degrees regret they did not pursue trade work, not only because of the better salary but more importantly because the job duties themselves would have been more compatible with their personality. We do not recommend ignoring biases you may have against "blue collar" work. We recommend that you consider these biases (and those of your family and other influences on your decision making) as part of the larger picture, and as you gather more fact-based information (i.e. through information interviewing and other methods of career exploration), you can evaluate all the information in a cool, reasoned, and scientific way to make a good decision.
You may find that your biases are just that - not based on fact or are no longer relevant when measured against your greater satisfaction with a career path. While the grass is often greener elsewhere, you are less likely to feel that way if you've followed a successful, considered method for making a career choice decision.
Some of my more popular posts and the most popular parts of The Career Key website are on career indecision, showing many people struggle with the process of choosing a career. Rethinking your perspective on career options and taking a risk (while paying the rent) may be your next move towards career success.