How To Safely Pursue The Career Of Your Dreams

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25 September 2012
Career Directions - Career Development - Career ADD


This is not an article about how to find your spiritual path. However, this is an article that will not sugar coat the fact that finding your true career direction – the one that represents who you are as a person, requires going inside for the answers first. By that I mean allowing yourself to dream the big dream and connect with the part of you that wants to have it all… and defines precisely what that is.


How often have you heard that defining your career is an inside job? If so, or even if you have not, ask yourself these questions:


1. Are you now looking for work out of desperation?

2. Are you more concerned about getting the job just because you have the skills or because the job appeals to you?

3. Are you applying for everything and anything you can put your hands on that you think you may qualify for out of “guilt.”?

4. Are you doing everything that the career gurus say to do (at least the ones you find for free on the internet) to find a job, but feel deep inside that there is something still missing?

5. Did you take their advice, get the job, and once you got there ended up wanting to leave after the first week, month… you get the picture.


If you are buying into the song and dance that “the economy” has something to do with why you may still find pieces missing in the work you are doing, no worries, you are not reading this by mistake. Keep reading. I will share with you a powerful guided exercise will help you find the dream career you look for.


So you may ask yourself (or me), “Yes, but what does this have to do with reality?” Here is my answer – EVERYTHING. Here’s why: If we are perpetually using the “economy” or some other reason why we are not finding our dream job or finding a job at all and blaming others – our boss, our co-workers, our spouses, significant others, etc., guess what happens? Correct – square one. By defining our dream work from an inner perspective, we are literally creating enormous possibilities.


It never ceases to amaze me when I witness my clients make that shift to knowing without a doubt where they are going next in their careers, and exude confidence. Doors begin to open and opportunities abound.


However, I must confess that not everyone is ready in his or her life cycle to make this shift. It can bring up a host of feelings such as regret, guilt, resistance and even anger at even having to look within for the answers. Some even give up and go back to the same old same old. My question to you is, are you ready?


My brother is a great example. I love him dearly. Yet, he is struggling with returning to a job in the career he is “comfortable” with and, leaving the exact job that has created more grief and disharmony than anyone should have to deal with in a lifetime. If he returns to this career, he can be assured of experiencing the same challenges and perhaps reaching a breaking point that could have physical repercussions. We are now working together on a way for him to take the time to do the inner work that will allow joy to come back into his life by creating opportunities for him to do what he is truly meant to do. It is not surprising that he has Career ADD. How much he is willing to accept, let go and redefine is up to him.


Here are a few examples of steps you can take to get the inner ball rolling:


1. Relax and decide that you are going to take the time to discover now what you have spent perhaps a lifetime eluding – Career Happiness.

2. Make a list of EVERYTHING in your past jobs that you did not like or that you were resistant to.

3. Include in this list every task, skill, type of people or specific people and why you think you did not resonate with them, working environment (down to the type of chair you sat in), product you were selling or involved with through your work, industry you were in, etc. that made you feel bad.

4. Now take that list and decide what the opposite of each item is for you – in other words what is your PREFERENCE to what you have listed (not necessarily the literal opposite.) You must be completely honest or this will not work.


Congratulations! You have begun your inner journey to career happiness. This will be vital information to use in developing a career direction.


Have you started the exercise above? Share your experiences with us on the comments section below!


Master Shell Mendelson is a veteran Career Counselor who specializes in Career ADD with over 22 years of experience in the field of Vocational and Career Counseling. To learn more about Shell, visit her website at, Facebook or Twitter.



As I mentioned in the

As I mentioned in the article, this is only one step in the journey. So glad that you were able to establish boundaries that reflect who you really are through this one exercise. Editor is absolutely correct in saying that starting with part-time work or work that you may not be as aligned with while you are defining your ideal career is one way to do it. For true clarity, however there are many aspects that define what is "ideal." In the work I do with my clients, I help guide them to expand on every element, write it down, create a roadmap. The tricky part for many (and I would dare say most) is that the very reasons we get stuck are what we might find challenging in this process. Richard Bolles calls this The Safekeeping Self or the "yes, buts" in life we use to sabatoge our efforts to really expand and dream of what makes us happy. This is truly a feeling process. It is an inside-out job - that is why I am reluctant to use assessments that don't always ask the right questions and are based on large groups of people rather than individuals. Counseling, then coaching around this issue helps folks get to the other side through gentle reminders and reframing your answers so that you can truly see and define with crystal clarity where you want to go, what steps you may want to take and ultimately what career direction will make you happy. I hope to offer this process via video on Masters Channel in the near future. Keep us posted and stay focused!

Wonderful response, Shell.

Wonderful response, Shell. Thank you for the thoughtful advice. You are a true Master.

Great post and straight to

Great post and straight to the point.

Really glad you like it!

Really glad you like it!

I did the exercise. I

I did the exercise. I thought it was going to get a little deeper. But, either way - It made me set my boundaries on what not to get myself into again. I truly believe in what you said: By defining our dream work from an inner perspective, we are literally creating enormous possibilities. However, most American's take jobs out of desperation. Having to obtain jobs related to what we are...what we know. Because, no one gives you a job based on what you see yourself as or where you see yourself in the future. Any tips on how to stop taking jobs because we need them? Or are you saying that we need to clearly picture the ideal career in our mind and believe in obtaining it?

So glad you like it! Here's

So glad you like it! Here's what worked for me in the past - I could not afford not to work. So I took a part-time job that would cover my basic bills and yet allow me time to go after the job of my dreams, and it worked really well. You've done the first step: to clearly identify your boundaries. The next steps, to find out what you truly want and to go after it in a way that is feasible to you, should come next. Keep us posted! <3

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