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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Can't get away from the career counselor in me.....!

I'm in my THIRD career!  I spent 20+ years teaching foreign language to mostly middle school students!  Then, while still teaching, I earned another degree to become a career counselor - which I still practice to this day.  And now, of course, I've become a fiber artist - work I love more than anything and will NOT give up!

The most rewarding work I've experienced is in the area of career counseling - where I have a chance to help others in making career decisions and sometimes, by extension, finding jobs.  I don't do placement, but the tools I use and teach often lead my clients to find jobs.

Yesterday I mentioned THREE tenets by which I try to lead my life and encourage others to follow suit.  Today I'd like to explore those a little more in hopes of encouraging others in these difficult times.

1. Look at problems as opportunities!  

Although this can sometimes be difficult, it's never  impossible.  Whether it be a job-loss, a love-loss, divorce, death, difficult boss, medical issues, whatever.....there is much to be learned and gained from the experience.  Try to think of this problem time as an opportunity to grow, develop, change, learn, re-educate, pursue other activities to stretch the mind, the body, and the soul.  Think about restyling, repurposing, recycling old ideas, things, data, YOURSELF!  Think about networking - either again or renew old contacts and re-establish relationships.  Take a class, shadow someone who's doing something you love or that you'd love to learn; volunteer at a local non-profit whose cause is near and dear to you.  You'll learn new skills and meet new contacts.

2. Be resourceful!

I had this written on the board in my classroom as a permanent fixture!  But I always warned my students that it didn't mean using their neighbor's homework or any other form of cheating!  ;)  But this has carried me a long way.  Resources can be people, things, data, information, connections, and more!  And they can be sitting in the same room with you or across the globe, thanks to technology.  Learn to be a great researcher.  Choose any topic of interest and start googling! Be curious!  Be open-minded.  Let the ideas flow freely and see where they lead.  Talk about your discoveries with whoever will listen. A new idea may emerge with which you can FLY!

3.  Keep moving forward!

Don't look back!  Don't spend time regretting the past.  Learn from previous mistakes (are they really mistakes or just poor judgment or lack of luck or timing?) and look at them as those opportunities for change and growth.  Do something every day to move yourself forward.  Do something every day for you: exercise, read, create, connect with others, share.....etc!  DO SOMETHING!

I've written on a number of career counseling topics over the years.  Here are some examples:

So much of the guidance on careers can apply to other areas of one's life, so I often reread my own work for reminders of how to work through issues that arrive in daily life.  Hope these might be helpful to you too.  Please feel free to comment or question.


1 comment:

Pam Kellogg said...

Thank you Louise, this is helpful. I'm going to post it on my FB page.



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