Reaching Out for Something New: Career Edition #1

Are you looking for something new in your job world?
Are you seeking to spice up your career?
Are you searching for something more fulfilling?
Are you settling with what you have in order to pay your bills and debt?

I’ve been searching for that “something” for quite some time. Along the way I have fallen. Along the way I have settled. Along the way I have become so frustrated that words cannot describe how I had felt. The terms “anger,” “resentment,” “fear,” “indecisiveness,” and “despair” only paint part of a complex and overwhelming picture.

But I have also learned quite a lot along the way. Maybe that was the purpose of this path.
I decided that I would share my journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way, so that someone else- even if that was only one person- could gain insight and avoid some of the traps I fell in to. Maybe by sharing these lessons, others can get out of their rut more quickly than I did.

Lesson 1: Don’t Panic! (Notice how people seem to always shout that? As if that helps the whole not-panicking process).

Easier said that done, yes? Yes!

Let’s start with something very simple. Breathe!

Bring yourself back to reality. You are not alone in this search. If you search any job forum, you will find other souls seeking guidance for their career woes just like you. Searching out others who are going through the same thing you are is almost cathartic. Reading their stories and hearing their feedback almost creates this sense of kinship.

Start there.

Find a select group of people you trust to talk it out. If you don’t have that, find an online forum or community. Beware, though: the internet rears its little ugly head of anonymity from time to time and poison can easily seep in. Don’t allow it. Find the information that works for you, and stick with it. Anything that does not serve your purpose can take a hike.

“I’m stuck at a job I hate.” Or “I can’t find a job.”

If you can’t find a job, make your job application process your full-time job. Commit 35-40 hours a week on it. This will increase your odds of finding your job immensely.

Do what you enjoy in the meantime! What is your passion? Do it in any available moment.
Take care of yourself. Exercise. Eat well. You are looking for fulfillment of some sort, right? It starts with self-care. I’ll dedicate a post to this concept soon. It is very important that you don’t neglect yourself. Don’t spend hours in front of the television and loading your belly (and thighs) down with junk food. Think: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Lesson 2: Drop the “shoulds.”

Some of my “shoulds” included the following:
-I should use my degree. I invested so much time and money into it.
-I should do what others say. They have the experience and knowledge.
-My career path has been deemed “noble” and I should get satisfaction out of what I do.

Here’s the rub- I’m not satisfied. Chances you aren’t either, or you wouldn’t be visiting this particular blog entry. And despite all the well-meaning shoulds (and even the ones that are not so well-meaning), you are the only one who can live your life. The decisions are yours to make.

Your life is yours to live. You are not committed to anything you do not want to be.

So drop those imaginary chains holding you back, already!

Lesson 3. Get unbiased feedback.

In other words, get a career coach or career counselor. I highly suggest this. I have done more work with my career coach in these last 2 months than I have done in the past year.

The truth of the matter is this: our family and friends love us, but they also have a vested interest. They want to see you do well, in their definition of “well.” For many of us in our recession-ized culture, making money is “well.” They may not be supportive of us taking a “risky” path. I’m guilty of this too. I helped dash my little sister’s dreams of being an actress, and my own dreams of being a performer was dashed before that- all for the sake of “safety” and not being “dead ended.”

A lot of good that did! Sure, I’ve got a stable job. But it’s a stable job that drives me batty!

I digress.

A career coach will help you identify your skill sets, your interests, and your personality type, as well as any expectations, and will help you to mix and meld all of those together. They will help you think outside of the box- and this was something I was in dire need of.

They will also offer reality checks while being supportive. These folks are problem solvers. And finding you a job/career/lifestyle you enjoy is their job.  Your positive outcome has the potential to generate more business for them. If they succeed in helping you, they know you will refer others to them. Your success (and they will help you to define what that IS in your terms, not in Mom and Dad’s) is not only your investment, but theirs as well.

Ultimately, your success is up to you. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process. Take it one step at a time.

I’ll include more posts along the way about topics such as self-care, job search techniques, guides and strategy reviews, researching job options, interviewing techniques (and woes), and anything I find about general degrees and real-world statistics.


Did you know that 60% of college graduates cannot find a job in their chosen field of study, according to Forbes? How does that change the game? Doesn’t that mean we have to shatter and redefine our “shoulds”?

6 out of 10 won’t start out working in their fields, if they work at all.

What are your thoughts on career identification? I’ve read that career-hopping has become a near necessity in this new job-climate. What have been your insights in your own job searches and struggles?

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