Monday, July 7, 2008



In working with my career coaching clients, one of the most difficult challenges is helping them to figure out who they really are, and what they actually want in a career. They have an especially hard time figuring this out when they are tasked to stop paying attention to external influences, and try listening to their own internal voice. Usually, they end up rediscovering themselves on their way to figuring out a new career.

Thinking about WHO YOU ARE can be difficult. Life’s experiences take us down many roads. When it comes to jobs and career, decisions are often made randomly, through happenstance. Most of my career change clients would say that they either fell into their current career by chance, or were pushed into it by external influences.

Thus, at certain stages of our lives, we may have had strong ideas about who we are, and what we wanted, but as a result of influences from family, friends, college, economics, military service, marriage, children, moving, health, and other random events, we can easily lose ourselves through the course of adaptation. I’m not saying that adaptation, change, and randomness are necessarily bad things, but often our values, interests, and dreams get packed away with the hope that they’ll resurface when the time is right. That time may very well be when one feels the push for a career change.

This push may present itself with the feeling of not being quite sure what type of career you belong in, but knowing for sure that you don’t belong where you are. When you feel this way, you should ask yourself a few questions: WHO AM I? What are my values? What interests me? What types of people do I like to spend time with? What am I good at? Then, depending on how you answer these questions, ask yourself where this person would be most happy. If you’re not sure, it might be time to contact a career coach.

--Steve Hernandez

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