What do you want?
When was the last time you asked yourself, “What do I really want?”As it connects to career decisiveness, this simple question can be a turning point for you to turn your “job hunt” into a quest for a career, or your unique “calling,” that reflects the desires of your heart. This question leads to more questions like, “What kind of money do I want to make, where do I want to work, and what kind of lifestyle am I looking for?”Questions such as these are not only healthy, but I’d go as far as to say that they are necessary for beginning the quest for a soul-satisfying career. These soul-searching questions lead to more than a job, but a pursuit for meaning and purpose. To begin, take a good, honest look at your attitudes and your thoughts. It’s true … you are what you think. Any kind of negative beliefs you harbor about yourself will hold you back from identifying what it is you really want out of life.They also set you up to habitually resist anything new. It can be difficult to imagine anything more for ourselves than what we have already experienced, and it can be far too easy to just become a victim of our circumstances. Next, be open to all your options. If you do A and B, then C will predictably happen. Unfortunately, this type of linear thinking does not account for those coincidences and unplanned happenstances that can occur along the way. Haven’t you heard a story that sounds something like, “I was just at the right place at the right time,” or “my friend just happened to know so and so and he and I just happened to meet and next thing I know I was working for him.” So, in the beginning, as you identify what you want, keep an open mind but at the same time be willing to hold your dreams loosely. It is human nature to want to find the Right Answer, the One True Path, as it can only be discovered in one area. This loads on way too much pressure and can lead to “analysis paralysis.” You may find that the pursuit of What You Want will lead you to not one single prospect, but multiple options. These multiple options, however, can sometimes be another obstacle, leading to feeling stuck. For those of you that have many interests, don’t panic. Just move in the direction that excites you the most for now. Trust where you’re curious. Often that is where your true passions lie. Most of us change our careers five times or more throughout our life spans so don’t let the number of your interests scare you. Be grateful for the number of options. Here in Summit County, I have encountered many employees who work at places that are not in congruence with their interests or skills but that offer other advantages like great schedules or benefits. No place is perfect. Every job has its drawbacks. But keeping them at a minimum is the goal. We spend too much time at work not to consider the whole package. Next, identify your values. Learning more about your unique personality, interests, skills and abilities can help you clarify who you are. However, finding one’s “calling” encompasses so much more. It has to do with identifying your unique values and articulating/discovering what it is you find meaningful. Finally, take action. Recognize that some kind of action is all that is needed to begin the pursuit of, the quest toward What I Want. Taking action increases your self-confidence, which brings about a more positive attitude. When you are in a more optimistic place mentally, then you are more apt to take risks. Just get moving. Be open to what comes your way. As you grow, your ideas may change. There are no guarantees, but one thing is for sure: if you do not take a risk to discover your dreams, you most certainly will never find them. Amy Turner is the Student Services Counselor at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. An appointment can be arranged by calling (970) 333-1606.
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