Career Decisions?


I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR is a U2 song with a very poignant meaning when it comes to career choice and transition. Experience and data show that many struggle with defining their passion, purpose and dreams. Why is it so difficult to make career and life decisions?

Here are some statements made by many of my clients who are trying to make a career decision: I am interested in so many things that I am having a difficult time choosing; I don’t have experience in that industry or that role; my degree is in a totally different field; the search process is overwhelming; my family shoots down all my ideas; the industry is too difficult to break into; cannot afford a career coach; and deciding on a career direction is just too much work and besides, I am making a decent living. If these are or have been your blocks to career decision making read on.

When I started this writing, I remembered reading an article recently, by Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D, that offered a look at why we get the decision making blues, give up or just settle for whatever is handed down to us. She mentioned several decision making fears or blocks and I have highlighted three of those below.

Fear of disappointment or of making a mistake. As long as you don’t move in any new direction, you are able to keep the fantasy that there is an ideal career out there for you, but you just haven’t found it yet. Remember there are no mistakes in choosing only learning’s; you can chose again.

Isolation. If you don’t have good role models for success, career decision-making can seem more daunting than it otherwise would be.

Fear of losing love or approval. Some family members or friends want to be supportive of you but often favor a career choice they would like or have chosen for themselves.

Most of our decision making is so wrapped up in our emotions that it is very difficult to sort between fear and rational thought. I suggest you keep career decision making simple initially by beginning with these three key steps:

• Identify something you are good at and something you love doing (don’t rationalize that you do not have the talent or could never make a living doing it)
• Define how you could get paid for doing what you love and are good at. (think outside the box)
• Ask yourself this: Is this something the world needs? (think about who needs it and why?)

Be honest with yourself about facing all the fears you have when it comes to making a career decision and remember…most successful people started by putting a stake down on a dream they had; and in many cases that initial decision transitioned into something very different than where they started. It is very important to make a decision and move forward. The longer you delay the more opportunity there is for fear to raise its ugly head. You may not have found what you are looking for yet…however, be a winner by becoming a beginner… decide today!

If you wish to review the entire article referenced above by Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. – last updated: Sunday, June 1, 2014 – go to: 

Patricia Leonard, President
Career coach, Speaker & Trainer 


Patricia Leonard

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