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When Identifying Your Ideal Career: Never Settle

dream job

dream jobMalcolm was really good at managing a restaurant. There was a small piece of his job he really liked, but for the most part he was unhappy. Yet he wavered about making a change. I call this a crisis of heart, and I can relate.

I remember sitting in my cubicle at my job in a sales office at a television network. It was a big network channel, the benefits were great, my co-workers were professional, and the position came with a lot of perks. My parents thought the job was fabulous. But I kept thinking to myself, “Is this all this is? Am I going to be chained to a desk pushing paper for the rest of my life?”

Now there was nothing inherently wrong with this job; it was just not the right fit for me. And, it was one of five different jobs in many industries that I had in my twenties. No doubt about it, I was a job hopper. But that day I asked myself if I was going to have to settle for a job I didn’t enjoy for the rest of my life. I knew I couldn’t do that, but I also wasn’t sure if I was being realistic. Wasn’t work supposed to be work? Was it actually possible to enjoy it? Was it realistic to think I could get excited about my job, look forward to doing it, and gain a sense of fulfillment from it?

I had no idea, but I was determined to figure it out, because I did not want to settle for less. I didn’t want to end up like my parents’ friends who — at least in my mind — seemed to be biding their time until retirement, punching a time clock until the day they would be free to do something they really wanted to do. I didn’t want that to be me

So my message to you is: don’t settle. You don’t have to. I’m living proof, and my clients are as well. Believe me; it’s possible to enjoy what you do. And the effort is worth it. My career transition into becoming a coach and growing a full time coaching practice that could pay my bills took four years. At times it was very difficult; but I would do it over in a heartbeat, even if it took twice as long, because of how happy I am now. If I, a job hopper, can do it then you can too. Set your mind to it and… don’t settle for less.

I encouraged Malcolm to go with what he really knew in his heart: that he wanted to make a move. Eventually he realized he just doubted his intuition because he was good at his job and felt he should stay. I explained that when it feels like a “should “instead of a “want,” he might be staying for the wrong reasons. In other words, just because you are good at something does not mean you have to continue doing it, especially if you’re unhappy.

I find the idea of settling for something because you are good at it happens a lot with those I coach. It’s as if people think they must do something because they’re good at it when maybe they’re good at it because they’ve done it a while. They discount that they could be equally good at something else too. And be happier at the same time.

In a nutshell: Hold out for a job that makes you happy.

Action step: Muse about this for today: Do you feel like you TRULY enjoy your work, or do you feel like you are settling? Inside you know the answer. It’s just a question of being honest with yourself.

– Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coach

Need help with your career? Certified Career Coach Hallie Crawford is a career coach that specializes in helping professionals identify their ideal career path, navigate their transition and nurture their career. To schedule a complimentary consultation and find out more about Hallie visit  Watch these helpful videos about setting and keeping career goals that Hallie has created by clicking here.