This column, “Achieve your career goals,” was originally published as part of a career counseling and psychology series in Washingtonjobs, a subsidiary magazine of the Washington Post. It is by Dr. Lynn Friedman, a psychologist in Washington DC.
This is the second part of a five part series on developing and pursuing work-life goals. Part I dealt with how to identify your career goals and examined obstacles that interfere with this task.
What if you know what you want to do — but you aren’t sure where to begin? What if you know that you want to become a doctor or a computer graphic artist or teacher or to start a daycare center — Or, on a more personal vein, what if you know that you want to find Mr. or Ms. Right, but you aren’t sure how to go about it or where to look.
In other words, what if you have a goal, but you aren’t sure about how to even start creating a plan to pursue your goal?
First, ask yourself what it will take to achieve your goal. What steps do you need to take? If you don’t know, you need to do a little research.
Here are some of the several ways to research:
This step often intimidates people who lack a sense of “healthy entitlement.” They figure, “Why would anyone want to talk to me?”
If this is the case for you, then try some of the other steps below.
Remember that your goal is to find out how people became a web page designer, doctor, attorney, teacher, etc.
But, what if you fully intend to take these steps, but you find yourself stymied. Somehow, you can’t get to the library — or you don’t make those phone calls. Then it’s time to examine what is getting in the way. Some possible obstacles include the following:
It is hard to deny the needs of small children, particularly during their formative years, especially when one appreciates that they are only small once. Still, it may be very important for your children to see you reach for and pursue your own dreams. This provides a wonderful example for them. So, even if you are deferring your most time-consuming goals until your children are a bit older, you may want to begin to pursue your goal in some, more limited way. Alternatively, you may decide to pursue the goal even while your children are small. If you do this, make sure to set aside a certain prescribed time that is just for you and your child. If you have more than one child, it is a good idea to have weekly “private times” with each child alone. Even if it is just for an hour, this time should be time for you and your child to relax and enjoy each other — without intrusion from demanding siblings.
There are a couple of steps that you might consider.
You have read about how to identify your career goals and how to achieve your career goals. What do you do when obstacles get in the way? How do you develop a strategy for overcoming resistance to career change?
Are you considering career counseling, psychotherapy or psychoanalysis? Uncertain as to what might be most helpful to you? Feel free to call me: 301.656.9650.