What is holding you back from career exploration?

My “work” as a career counselor is sometimes just part of discussions with friends. Given that some large percentage of workers are not happy with their career, it seems like a natural topic to come up between friends. The difference when I’m part of the conversation is that I’ve developed skills to help my friends shift their careers. 

Before I spend my energy, however, I need to make certain that they are willing to dive into career exploration. My friends are mostly in their late 40s and busy with some combination of parenting, work, and life. One of my good friends has been unhappy in his career since 1996. While he wishes he could do something else, he rarely ever engages in real career exploration. Most of his career exploratory “actions” are just passing thoughts. Sometimes his thoughts last a few hours, sometimes a few minutes.  But in the almost twenty years of being unhappy at work, he has never immersed himself in real career exploration. 

You don’t want to be like my friend.