Career Calling

May 16, 2013

Facing a Wall

Filed under: Job Search Strategies — claycerny @ 2:10 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I talked with a client for nearly an hour today.  She’s spent the last twenty years working in advertising.  However, she no longer wants to work in that industry, which now makes her feel disgusted (her word).  It’s time to move.  The problem: She doesn’t know where she wants to go.

We discussed her current emotions.  Again and again, she said that she felt stuck as if she were facing a wall that blocked her path.  I asked this question: What do we do about the wall?  In a case like this, my philosophy is to make the metaphor real.  What can one do about a wall?  There seems to be these options: go over it, go under it, go around it, punch a hole in it, or knock it down.

Rather than jump right into work related matters, the client and I discussed her hesitation and fears.  We also talked about what was most important to her: helping people.  My advice was to use this goal to get passed the wall.  I suggested finding a volunteer opportunity.  Of course, volunteering isn’t the same thing as getting a job.  It does help deal with the wall problem.  Once my client is active, she’ll regain self-worth and confidence.  She might find that helping people is very important and pursue a new line of work.  Or she might find that her old line of work doesn’t look too bad.

Almost every person faces such a wall at some point in his or her career.  We’re all open to fear and despair.  The real problem isn’t that emotion so much as the paralysis it can generate.  My solution is to find a way to be active and positive.  Volunteer.  Take a part time job.  Find a counselor who can offer specific strategies to move forward.  Don’t stand in front of the wall.  There a job and better life behind it waiting for you.

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