a real career conversation


Have you ever had a real conversation with someone about your career? Someone you felt safe with and could really trust?

Probably not. And understandably.

Career is the aspect of our lives that has as much to do with survival as self-expression. And we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that survival and self-expression cannot co-exist in the same space, and so we painfully compartmentalize.

Yet, we celebrate and revere those that don’t isolate their work from their play. Hmm … Interesting, no?

The most influential (and perhaps only?) career conversation that most people recall is the one they had with their high school guidance counsellor. And, for most the experience was underwhelming – or maybe you have a few other choice words in mind.

In my last conversation with Ms. Rowan she quite literally told me to “get out of town.” No, it wasn’t conventional wisdom. And, yes, she stepped out of her role. And what she said was exactly what I needed to not only hear but do. Because up until that moment, I had been in denial that what she was suggesting was even an option. The risk was too great, the cost was too high, and my family would never forgive me.

She bubbled on about there being money out there for me (because no one had thought to save up for my education or wanted to contribute to it), and gave me leads on how to access it (a brochure). She told me that there were ways to do what I wanted to do and that to discover them, I needed to start asking questions to find out how (not if) I could go about doing what I wanted to do. She finished by expressing confidence in my abilities and reassured me that there was a way to live how I wanted to live if I would just give myself permission (in her words: “you can do this”).

Ms. Rowan’s words cracked the illusion that the world worked in a certain way. I was in (pleasant) shock that things didn’t work the way I feared they did. This was going to be better than I thought. Not easy, but better – because the plan I had had in store for myself was painfully difficult at its delightful best.

This interaction started a conversation with someone I really trusted, someone that I had never considered engaging with before. Myself.

High school is long gone. But you can begin a real career conversation with yourself right where you are. Now is the starting point, ripe for insight and self-claimed guidance.

Respond in writing to these questions to begin a real conversation with yourself:

1 :: How do you personally define work (be brutally honest – what do you really think)?

2 :: What feelings and thoughts did your mother and father (or other primary care givers) have about their work?

3 :: In what ways has your mother and/or father’s influence shown up in how you approach your own career?

4 :: How do you want to feel about work now that you have the choice?

To continue the conversation with the most influential and trusted person in your life (you) I’ve made Session 3 of the Bliss Kit: Choose Your Own Adventure, available for purchase for just $20. It’s the structure and methodology for a real conversation about your career. To get yours click here.

Click to tweet it: “Crack your illusion that the world works in a certain way.”

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