“I read your career book and realized it was time for a change.” Mike said as we were having drinks at a friendly bar in Stamford, CT. Mike is an old friend so he bought Career Path of Abundance simply as a gesture to 30 years of friendship. He continued: “I picked up the book, expecting to flip through a few pages to get the basic message but then found myself wondering why I’m settling.” Mike’s great personality and natural drive enabled him to succeed in financial sales but he hasn’t really liked his work for the last 10 years.
10 years is a lot of life. But we are creatures of habit. If work pays the bills and it is not flat out awful, most people will stay put until change is forced. This very predicament is what prompted writing my first book. The subtitle is more revealing: “Career Wisdom for Idealists Seeking Happiness and Success.”
In Mike’s case, he repeated one of the lines from the book: “you are not going to starve or become homeless.” In my experience career counseling, my clients are not too reckless but rather too safe. I understand why: most of my client base grew up or live in the Connecticut suburbs. Connecticut is known as the land of steady habits for a reason. Those who take big risks usually move to Silicon Valley or New York or Hollywood. Those who stay in Connecticut usually have different – and, in my view, better values. They are usually more family and life style focused. But they usually avoid risk like the plague.
Since Mike is in finance, he understood my risk analysis clearly:
1.) Most everyone prefers certainty over uncertainty
2.) However, Mike was certain that his current job/career would not lead to happiness.
3.) Choosing certain unhappiness made no sense
4.) Seeking out uncertain but potentially more happy more made sense
Is this the case with you?