The exploratory work needed to move from a job to a career to a calling.

I share to provide hope. I believe that my career path has the same start as many of Career Counseling Connecticut’s clients. The end should be your focus.
I have had many jobs. Starting at 16: fry guy at Roy Rogers; doorman/bellhop for a high end hotel, waiter at a country club, assembly line worker, dishwasher, door to door canvasser, temp office worker and a few other jobs that had the sole function of paying bills. I had more or less the same feelings that most people have in such jobs with boredom being the main state.
My first career job was as a legal fellow for the summer at The Brookings Institute, a Washington, DC think tank. While I decided that I would not head the policy route because I was too action oriented, I knew the job was part of building my career so I felt more purposeful.  My work as an Assistant District Attorney had the same feel. I knew I wanted to be building people, as opposed to fighting to put criminals in jail, but I still thought it was part of building my career.  So, I felt purposeful and happy.  As I headed into the private sector legal practice, I gradually felt purposeless. I had the same “just making money” feel that I did in the jobs of my youth.  But it was much worse.  I felt anxious, lost and trapped. I felt lost. 
If I did one thing correctly during that period, it was putting in the work necessary to transition. This Exploratory Work is the missing piece of the puzzle for most people who seek career change. It is work in that it takes an investment of time/energy and sometimes money to figure out what you might want to do. Due to General Electric’s possible departure from Connecticut, I have had a significant uptick in inquiries from those in Fairfield County wondering about career change. The toughest calls are from would-be clients who expect that they can snap their fingers to find a new career  The best calls are from those who know that they will be engaging in a work process – what I all Exploratory Work – to find their new career.
I’m sure I’m dating myself when I recall an TV ad from the late 80s for Hair Club For Men. The founder spends the first couple of minutes extolling the virtues of Hair Club For Men’s toupees. At the very end, the full head of hair spokesperson reveals that he is not only the President of the company but also a client too – and he pulls off his toupee to reveal his baldness.  
I did my Exploratory Work in the late 1990s. From year 2000 onward, my work as an educator/counselor/entrepreneur stems from my calling that I discovered during that work. So you see, I’m not just the founder of Career Counseling Connecticut, I was its first client.