Assert Your Independence – It’s Your Career
As I find myself, at last, putting away what remains of this year’s July 4th decorations, the holiday celebrated to honor our country’s declaration of independence, I am reminded of what it means to be truly independent. According to the dictionary, the act of being independent has a number of meanings, and among them are “taking care of yourself” and “doing what’s best for you.”
In giving more thought to these specific definitions, I realize how much they apply to the welfare of our careers. For example, if you were asked if you’re feeling truly satisfied and fulfilled with your current career and the position you hold within your workplace, what would your response be? If the answer to any part of that is negative, have you asked yourself first, how acceptable is that answer to you and second, if it’s not okay and you’re not making efforts to change, what is keeping you from taking constructive action to improve your situation?
Having a negative feeling about any aspect of your career and/or the position you hold are among the more common reasons that people come to see a career counselor like me. And, it is often the case that individuals faced with such issues are at a loss regarding what the obstacles are that are preventing them from going after the career or position they really want.
Let’s talk about some common circumstances that might prevent you from moving forward and initiating the positive action steps you need to take the best care of yourself career-wise. Here are some examples of what you might view as possible roadblocks.
- The feeling that you just don’t think you have or can acquire the skills/ability to do work that is of strong interest to you.
- The belief that you don’t have the right to go after or be a part of the career you really desire.
- The realization that there are just too many choices of careers to consider, coupled with your large number of interests, so how could you possibly decide which career to pursue.
- The notion that colleagues, within your department, accustomed to you in your current role, will not be fully accepting or trusting of you in the new role/position you want to assume.
- The apprehension that leads you to question whether you have evaluated the new position you seek accurately enough to know that the outcome will be positive. And if not, do you fear that you won’t be able to secure the former position you held at your workplace?
- The thought that experiencing change, in itself, can lead to difficulties and repercussions, some of which were not anticipated.
As difficult or overwhelming as these situations appear, if any apply to you, keep in mind that sometimes with further investigation, what you might have at first viewed as a restrictive limitation, may no longer remain as such. Also, with the objective, non-judgmental trained assistance of a career counselor, it’s possible that what you once perceived as an unsolvable barrier may, with professional guidance in reframing and rethinking of your situation, result in a positive barrier-free outcome.
In summary, if at any time in the future, you find yourself facing a state of career dissatisfaction, regardless of what impediment you see in the way, remember that being independent means doing what’s best for you, and that needs to include your career as well. So take action and get any help you need to make that a reality.
Betty Cohen, M.S., NCC, MCC
Serving San Francisco Bay Area, CA, and Phoenix Metro Area, AZ
Phone: (650) 868-5396