Why am I doing this job? Clues to Career Choice
Many clients come to see me concerning their careers and how this affects their happiness. They chose their occupations freely and willingly but they no linger find fulfillment and interest them and don’t know what to do. When you hear some people’s life stories they seem to bounce around between different careers – sometime vastly different careers and businesses with relative ease. Others, and I count myself in this grew up with a strong even overwhelming belief that the job I chose ant trained for and dedicated my entire life to was the only thing I could do.
When things went badly wrong in this role after thirty years the biggest issue I had apart from the heath issues I encountered was a set of unhelpful beliefs that I had no option other then to continue in a career that was killing me and that I had no other options.
As I thought I had no options I had no flexibility and no ability to defend myself – bad move.In reality I had plenty all of them far less dangerous than the job I had found myself in. I just didn’t believe it.
When clients come to see me they frequently feel the same until we start doing some work.
I work with them to uncover their life story so far and pretty soon one or two beliefs start to pop out – Work has to be hard is a common one. Work has to be a vocation is another. If I choose the job I really want then I run the risk of disapproval.
All of these are beliefs – they all have a root in something which occurred in their lives and the powerful part of these beliefs is that they strongly believe that they will accurately predict not only their own reactions abut the reactions of other people too.
Beliefs about career choices (Like other beliefs) are simply predictions based on previous experience – frequently based on events earlier in their lives.
My job is to unearth these – show the client how they construct a belief and then give them choice over the belief. Strangely enough once we’ve done that change seems a lot easier and in that comes the realisation that they are no longer without options and real choices in their lives – this brings an immediate transformation in how they interact with their current careers as well as the longer term choices that they make.
They also realise that happiness comes from experiencing flow in their work. That timeless absorption from being totally absorbed in what they are doing. Choosing their work lets them experience flow. Having a clear purpose for doing what we do when we do opens the door to happiness no matter what we are doing. Its the sense of purpose and freedom of choice which gives us flow.