Thanksgiving Career Change: Your Future Self Will Thank You

“You were right.  I’m thankful to my younger self for doing the work to change my career.”  Kim said as she reflected on her career change from stay at home mom in Essex, Connecticut to a grant writer for a non-profit near Hartford.

When Kim met me four years ago in our Old Saybrook offices, she was a combination of lost and anxious. She was lost because she had been out of the work force for nearly a dozen years.  She was anxious because she was getting divorced and her financial future – and from her view, her children’s as well – was in peril.

Like most, Kim had resistance to change.  Any idea that we discussed was met with worries about what I call “transactional costs”.  These costs are all the time, energy, money, and psychological hurdles one must undergo to change.  Strangely enough, quite often the actual financial costs are easier to deal with than the psychological hurdles, particularly “I can’t do that…” and “I don’t know if that will work…”.

In Kim’s case, her sister had booked the appointment with Career Counseling Connecticut as a Thanksgiving gift.  Otherwise, Kim never would have taken the initiative to call us.  She was in a frozen state when it came to taking action.

The paradigm that finally broke through her wall was picturing her future self.  “Five years from now if you don’t do anything…” In Kim’s case, the image of being bankrupt and the challenges her children would face were drastic enough to make her listen very carefully to my next comments: “Five years from now if you do…”

We then discussed the various things that she needed to do. She was already involved as a volunteer in the non-profit world but she needed a marketable skill.  As we went through potential areas, Kim would maintain her natural resistance until I reminded her of future self (the bad and good images).

Kim wrote me earlier this month when she saw Thanksgiving on her November calendar.  She thanked her sister for giving her the career counseling gift, thanked me for my career counseling help, and thanked her younger self for doing the work to create a happy and successful career today.