John lived in Woodbridge, CT and worked in New Haven. He was approaching 40 and, as tends to be the case, that number caused him some life reflection. He worked in health care administration. When he started to describe his work, he stopped and said: “let’s just say I bore myself when I start talking about it.” John’s career problem was the same as so many of our career counseling clients. It’s not only that he didn’t take a chance to explore his career dreams, it is that he never even tried. Like so many people in unhappy careers, practical considerations just seemed too large to overcome.
Whenever I give career counseling presentations, I note that I’m not in the business of creating starving artists. I was the sole or primary income of a family of 5 for almost twenty years. I fully understand the absolute necessity to earn a living. Indeed, if there is a career counseling advantage that I am not modest about expressing, it is my understanding of how to earn money and make a career path practical. Those career counselors who blindly encourage their clients to follow their passion are foolish.
Nonetheless, those who shut off striving for their bigger goals almost always wind up regretful. The number of cliches about not taking chances – “in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take” etc. -stemmed from millions of people facing the same challenge.
Try. At least try. We can help.