Stacy relayed her career dissatisfaction. She went through the motions at work. “I rotate between bored and anxious. When the work is routine, I’m bored. But when something is different – which means there is a problem – I get anxious.”
Stacy’s children were teens and beginning to think about college-career issues. As she continued, Stacy would talk about her career unhappiness, then explain why she was stuck and that she couldn’t do anything about being unstuck (her husband convinced her to see Career Counseling Connecticut), and then note that she hopes her children would not wind up with similar career blues.
“What if they did?” I asked. “Would you tell them that they were stuck?”
Stacy – a big talker – stopped in her tracks. She paused. She noted that she had never thought about that before and then she said that “of course, she would tell them to explore a career change.”
I explained that much like children who are told to be honest by their parents and then watch their parents lie, children who see their parents stay in unhappy careers get programmed by example.
I asked Stacy about her parents’ work. Her Dad never liked his job. He grumbled when he left to work and made negative comments about his job constantly. (Her mom did not work outside the home.).
While I am more interested in practical career advising than uncovering psychological baggage, she had that “aha” moment. Maybe she was programmed to “stick it out” because that’s what her did, even though he told his kids that they should try to find work they liked.
Stacy proclaimed: “I will not do that to my children!”
If you or your spouse is working a job that you don’t like – for a long time -, note that your children will observe and learn from example.
Career Counseling Connecticut can help you – and your children.