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Some Thoughts on Careers and Life

August 13, 2012

D&B Consulting

Over twenty years ago I resigned my job and announced my intention to move to another
state to pursue an MBA. What surprised me was the number of people  who approached me to tell me about their lost dreams: to go to law school, to move to another area of the country, to get another job. One person, quoting Thoreau, stated that I was moving ahead while leaving behind others who were ” leading lives of  quiet desperation.” It was then I wondered, what makes some people able to identify and seek work and a life that is challenging and rewarding, while others resist attempts to improve the quality of their lives?

Since graduating with  my MBA, I have  worked with many organizations and individuals on career, executive  performance, leadership and career/life balance issues.What I learned is that the answers are many and varied.

Certainly part of the answer has to do with self-esteem. Those with high self-esteem see themselves as competent and likable people who have the power to make positive changes in their lives. Another part  has to do with the experience that people have with making changes, as well as basic problem solving skills. People who have solved problems and faced challenges independently early in their lives, use those same skills to make changes later on. Some people are not comfortable with the uncertainty that comes with exploring their options.  Others resist change and feel more secure with  the devil they know.

Sometimes people can identify that they are unhappy or unfulfilled in their careers, but might not be able to recognize what about their job needs to change, what they really like, and what they are good at. Vocational and personality tests are helpful, but they cannot determine what is in your heart to accomplish with your life.

For those of who are not happy with your career or  your life,  rewrite a script for yourself that focuses on what provides you with real meaning and happiness. This should be based on your needs, not the expectations of what being a success may mean to some people or to society. Create your vision or persona as a competent person who has the power to make changes in your life.


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