Friday, August 27, 2010

Can You Choose the Perfect Career?

Many high school and even college students feel the pressure of deciding what to do with the rest of their lives. They may have dreams of a six figure salary and a job they absolutely love, but how do they get there from here?

Once a decision is made many people will find life getting in the way of their career goals; many people start their careers with high aspirations and find that financial or family obligations result in a shift in career focus. Lots of current career development theories (e.g., Happenstance, Chaos) acknowledge the impact of unexpected life events.

I have learned over time, and by trial and error, that circumstances have often dictated my career options. Another career theorist, Linda Gottfredson, acknowledged limits on career opportunities (she called this “circumscription”) and the compromises that people make as they juggle work with their other life roles. My folks believed that if I wanted a university education I would have to fund it myself. As a single mom I found myself having to support a family on very little income. Have I made poor career choices over the years? Absolutely! However I have also had some wonderful career opportunities.

In my musings about my meandering career path I’ve come to understand that it wasn’t reasonable for me to expect the perfect job. It has been about deciding on the most important things in my life and working from that point. For much of my working life my family has been the centre of my life and my jobs had to fit. In fact, my education was completed at a community college in alternating years with having children. I then I ran a home-based business when my children were very young.

Years later, as an Executive Director, I interviewed scores of applicants for a variety of positions. I met a few young people with clear career goals and enough enthusiasm and drive to ensure career success; however, most were like me...doing what it takes to get the job done, whatever that job may be for that particular person. That sounds an awful lot like career success to me! Life Strategies can help you navigate your career path. Call 604-856-2386 for more information.

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