April 2015

(Not) Career Coaching

First: I am not in the business of career coaching. Now, there have been many times when I examined my career, and many more when I have been with others through that journey. I have enjoyed the process, as have the people with whom I have shared the experience. We have produced the intended results. In every case, as I see it, the career that will be most satisfying will be one that occurs as a natural self-expression. And yet, for many people, the inquiry into what they really want to be doing has been a long and fruitless one.  

I have worked through the following process with at least two dozen people and we have found it valuable. Ultimately, what we are looking for has two parts: first, find that thing that you so can’t help but do that sometimes your friends wish you could; and second, figure out who wants to pay you well for doing that.   

A valuable frame of reference is that there are many job searches that are not career searches, and it is good to know the difference. If someone needs a job, then they need a job.  A job pays bills and supports life. Sometimes, looking for the perfect career is not the wise move. Sometimes one simply needs a job. Now, it won’t hurt a person to go through this process even if all they need is a job. Getting a job doesn’t mean that pursuing a career cannot be done, it is just that a job is often something needed with urgency, and this process is not that. A career choice can take time and it seems it is best done when urgency is not a factor.

There are two primary inquiries here. The first is the following greatness and passion exercise. The second is described below that and involves looking at the job market.

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