Create your life

“From constant worry that I was stuck in a mismatched career to joy that I am building a career that I love, you helped me figure out my career… my life… thank you!  Theresa S., Stamford, CT

The twenties should be a wonderful time of fun and exploration. You likely are single or with a partner but without children. You have to make the bills but otherwise you are relatively responsibility free.

As for work, ideally you have found the career path of interest and you are building your career. But, you are on a career counseling website. So, that’s probably unlikely. And, while commiseration will not bring you happiness, you should know that the overwhelming majority of twenty-somethings have similarly not found their calling.

Why? Sadly, if you are like most of our career counseling clients you wound up in your first couple of jobs by only “half skill and half serendipity”. Sure, you might have majored in something related to your job. But, you decided your college major when you were 19. What did you really know then? Perhaps you thought you were interested in your current field. But the truth is you didn’t really know until you arrived and it turns out that it wasn’t quite the fit that you expected.

In terms of serendipity, part of the reason you are in your job is due to the variety of circumstances related to your connections, your school’s ability to attract certain employers, your geographic location, the randomness of which company interviewed you, the luck of having a good interview with your current company, and a whole set of factors that were not part of thinking it through.

So, now, you are in your twenties and wondering what to do for your career.

How can Career Counseling Connecticut help?

(1) Define your career options

Many of twentysomething clients are stuck, in part, because they are waiting for a perfect option to magically appear.  Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works.  Based on understanding you and your situation, we will identify distinct practical options that could lead to both happiness and success.

(2) Create your career vision

While we narrow the options from “anything” to very distinct possibilities, the home run – and what our clients usually leave with after a single meeting – is the vision for what to do next.  Most of our clients leave saying “now, I’m clear what to do.”

(3) Provide the strategy to make your vision a reality

Some of our clients walk into our career counseling sessions with a reasonable career vision.  They have stopped moving forward because they do not know what to do in order to turn their thoughts into actionable, concrete steps.  Given our experience, we will provide you with distinct steps for crafting your career.

(4) Self-exploration to create an optimal career

There are two areas where we are expert: understanding people and understanding career paths.  After clients go through our career personality tests and profile and then have a conversation with us, they usually have an “a ha” moment where they realize why they are not a fit for their current job and, more importantly, why they would be a better fit for other careers.

(5) Get out of your head!

Simply talking to someone who is objective and has no other agenda than to help you is enormously cathartic to our clients.   Friends are great to bounce things off of but usually are the same age and know little to nothing more than you.  Parents… well… that depends but we do know that parents are biologically wired to desire security for their children.  And quite often their notion of security will not lead to happiness for our clients.

A Twentysomething Success Story

We recently met with a woman who worked in human resources for an insurance agency in New Haven, Connecticut.

Her path to this job reflected the half-thought that we referenced. She viewed herself as a people person who wanted to make a difference. Indeed, she had explored teaching as a profession.

But, after a year of substitute teaching after college and taking some masters level classes in education, she realized that this was not quite the fit. In her mind, she was too action-oriented and preferred a business oriented approach to problems. She had been a business and psychology double major in college. So, human resources in the business world seemed like a good idea. Through her connections from Fairfield University, she interviewed successfully at her present company. The people were nice. The work was fine. But… she felt that something was lacking.

She took our personality profiling inventory. She was an ENTJ in the Myers-Briggs Personality Profiler and a Point 8 in the Enneagram system. There was a reason that both teaching and human resources did not quite fit. She needed more control.

In quick sum, she tested out as a “general”, a boss, a decision maker, who really would flourish in leadership positions. We spent time in values testing. As stated, she really did want to make a difference, and not in that trite way that people claim, but in a sincere way where she felt that her work had to matter in some fashion beyond dollars and cents. The business world’s ends, even in more “human” part of human relations, did not quite suit her.

We reviewed a variety of options, several of which could have worked theoretically.

She could start her own socially minded company which could have both profit and goodness as equal ends.

She could go into education administration with the goal of becoming a principal or a superintendent.

She could go into non-profit management which could lead her to run a variety of different entities. She liked the latter the most.

We “pilot” tested whether it was a fit. This is the term I use for taking the baby-steps required to evaluate a career.

And, now she is happily getting her masters in non-profit administration.