KEY #3: FREE YOURSELF FROM WHAT OTHERS WANT FOR YOU.

 

This key is a very important reminder.

Your career decisions may affect many people around you: your spouse, parents, children, friends, colleagues and others. And many of those people will be very willing to support you in making career decisions. Mostly they have your best interests at heart and they will help you the best way they can. But they are not neutral and they are not necessarily well informed about your career, your industry, or you.

Let me explain more.

Your friends and colleagues can serve as important sources of information and feedback. But remember they each have only one perspective. Some may be naturally critical, negative or naïve. Or they may be overly enthusiastic about a particular career path. Their biases, preferences and priorities are not the same as yours. Balance their opinions with your own sense.

Some of you may be influenced by older parents who often take very conservative approaches to careers. Since they grew up in a different age, their concerns and solutions may no longer be appropriate or effective in the workplace of the 21st century. You can listen to their advice with respect, but don’t take it blindly.

Your closest friends and family will be affected by your career decisions, and you’ll certainly want to understand their feelings and preferences. My warning is that if you discount your own needs and desires for career fulfillment, you will not achieve your family’s goals in the long run. And if you pay too much attention to other people’s insecurities, you may simply amplify your own and end up stuck. With careful consideration you can find a way to meet the needs of the important people in your life, remembering that the most important person in your life is you.

We’ve seen many examples of people taking long detours in their career paths because of influence from friends or family. You can read some cases that others have shared in the password protected section of the website.

We’re not saying you need to make your career decisions on your own, not at all. The best decisions are made through research and in collaboration with thinking partners. A good thinking partner will listen well, challenge you, point out other perspectives and fully endorse whatever decision you make in the end.  For the most important decisions of your life, a good thinking partner is a valuable asset.

Here is your exercise for today:

Think about the people who are interested in your career decisions. What opinions do they have that you will choose to ignore? What opinions or support can they offer that would be valuable to you? What needs do they have that you will consider in your decisions?

If this lesson is difficult, or if it challenges your values, let us know. By expressing it, you’ll learn more.

Tomorrow we’ll start one of the most important steps towards finding the ideal work for you.

 

Want to know what previous students have said in response to Key #3?

Family Before Wider Community

My children have had the most impact on my career decisions. I want to be around for them when they wake up in the morning and I also want to make them a good supper and put them to bed. In the past, working shift work was very hard on my family and I left that job so that I could focus on them. I heard a lot of criticism at that point for leaving "a good, stable, unionized job", but it was from the wider community and came from nobody whose opinion I truly valued or who had any true insight into my situation or even what the job was REALLY like. I chose to ignore those opinions.
Loving Your Work
2018-04-03T13:42:23+08:00
My children have had the most impact on my career decisions. I want to be around for them when they wake up in the morning and I also want to make them a good supper and put them to bed. In the past, working shift work was very hard on my family and I left that job so that I could focus on them. I heard a lot of criticism at that point for leaving "a good, stable, unionized job", but it was from the wider community and came from nobody whose opinion I truly valued or who had any true insight into my situation or even what the job was REALLY like. I chose to ignore those opinions.

Parents and My Career Development

I have paid attention to my parents' attitudes to career development and for the most part, that has helped me. Both my parents chose to do work they loved (they are both retired now). As I was growing up I could see that whatever stress they faced from their work, they got enormous personal satisfaction from doing work that was meaningful to them.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:56:31+08:00

E-course Alum

I have paid attention to my parents' attitudes to career development and for the most part, that has helped me. Both my parents chose to do work they loved (they are both retired now). As I was growing up I could see that whatever stress they faced from their work, they got enormous personal satisfaction from doing work that was meaningful to them.

Family is a Big Factor

My family's needs and opinions are a big factor in my career decision-making. Knowing that my income impacts on the family is something I try to keep in mind but not let blind me to other qualities of a job. Most outside opinions revolve around the conflict between being a good mother and having a successful vocation.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:58:17+08:00

E-course Alum

My family's needs and opinions are a big factor in my career decision-making. Knowing that my income impacts on the family is something I try to keep in mind but not let blind me to other qualities of a job. Most outside opinions revolve around the conflict between being a good mother and having a successful vocation.

My Career is My Own

My career is my own in many ways. I am not married nor do I have a partner. I come from a conservative family that has always been in business. I am the first person in my family that has held a job and has been so successful at it. So, my family is happy to leave my career choices to me. I know that they will support me if I voice a desire to change my job but they will never try to influence my decision in any way. I am very grateful for this.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:01:21+08:00

E-course Alum

My career is my own in many ways. I am not married nor do I have a partner. I come from a conservative family that has always been in business. I am the first person in my family that has held a job and has been so successful at it. So, my family is happy to leave my career choices to me. I know that they will support me if I voice a desire to change my job but they will never try to influence my decision in any way. I am very grateful for this.

I am the Sole Earner

As the sole income earner I am placed under a lot of pressure to maintain constant employment at salary levels that allow us to live comfortably. A year ago I was retrenched from my previous company and realized that my choices were being limited by the country and city that we were living in. I received a lot of support from my wife and children but really felt the stress of tearing them away from the familiar security of the city we had been living in for many years.

 

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T22:03:39+08:00

E-course Alum

As the sole income earner I am placed under a lot of pressure to maintain constant employment at salary levels that allow us to live comfortably. A year ago I was retrenched from my previous company and realized that my choices were being limited by the country and city that we were living in. I received a lot of support from my wife and children but really felt the stress of tearing them away from the familiar security of the city we had been living in for many years.  
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