Career Counseling: Breaking The Pattern

“I guess you just changed my life.” Martha said as we wrapped up the meeting.  She had contacted Career Counseling Connecticut because she felt stuck.  Hopelessly stuck.

As she went through her thoughts, it seemed clear that Martha had locked herself into a distinct pattern of thought: “I have to do this job and stay in my career. I’ve invested 10 years in this career. It is too late to start over.”

At 32, Martha was young by the standards of any sensible person viewing careers as spanning into one’s late 60s. Shifting her pattern on that one point took some time. But soon enough, she seemed to get it: “I guess working at something I don’t like for the next 30 plus years makes no sense but spending a couple of years repositioning my career to work in something I do like for 30 years does.”

This revelation, of course, is not the radical breakthrough.  Instead, the more significant issue was breaking the pattern of repetitive thought.  How does this happen?

I suppose my story is significant simply as someone who practiced what I preached.  I was “locked into” becoming an attorney since ever I could remember.  I would tell people I was becoming an attorney when I was around 10 years old.  I went to college with no other thought than law school would follow.  In terms of practical investment, from 22-25, I was in law school and from 25-33, I practiced law.  Several of Career Counseling Connecticut’s clients have noted that meeting someone who did something radical was very important in shifting their pattern.

In Martha’s case, she left unstuck.