We live in our heads, often to our detriment. We create stories that are not always rational. And, the combination of fear of change, fear of failure, and, I say only half-jokingly, fear of math prevents many would be career changers from moving forward until they come to Career Counseling Connecticut.
Fear of change: More than a few of Career Counseling Connecticut’s clients have suffered for years in careers/jobs that were horrible. But they did nothing – other than occasionally send a few resumes into Monster or Indeed’s job search black hole – to change their careers. These clients needed an outside force to convince them that they had to create the time, energy, and process to make the change.
Fear of failure: Similarly, many of Career Counseling Connecticut’s clients even after identifying a path that seemingly would lead to greater career happiness stayed in jobs/career paths that made them unhappy. Fear of failure prevented them from moving forward. These career seekers needed coaching to create what I call a “downside plan” (if the plan doesn’t work out, what’s the plan?). Quite often, once that plan was in place, our career counseling clients made the leap.
Fear of math: “I can’t make any less than $150,000.” I have heard variations of this number ranging into the half-million range. This particular career counseling client was double income (his wife earned around $80,000 in a secure government job with a pension plan) and no children. Sure, they lived a suburban Connecticut life with all the trappings of a successful fortysomething couple but I had to go through the math to show that he could make around $70,000 to pay their basic bills to meet their current lifestyle (and, I’m aware that those who are frugal/sensible could likely cut that number down to $20,000). This exercise ended up being life-changing since he had never gone through his numbers because “he hated doing the math.”
He needed this math lesson because – in his words – he “felt like his soul was being crushed” every day at his current job and his misery had led to high stress, a big weight gain, drinking too much, and a change in personality that led to marriage counseling. When he came to Career Counseling Connecticut, he had a job possibility for what he thought would be a great fit. But the pay was $90,000. He didn’t get that job, largely because he waited too long to apply and someone else was far ahead in the process. But six months later, he took a similar job – pay at $110,000 – and wrote with triple exclamation points about his happiness and laughed that all he needed was a math lesson to make the career and life change.