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A Journey With No Regrets

Posted on: July 1st, 2009 by Christine Kent

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for joining me again on The Career Couch.

Someone very close to me lost a dearly loved family member this past week. Times of loss have a tendency to make me want to reflect. One day all of us will end this journey…that’s just a part of life. As I was thinking back on this dear man’s life and seeing the legacy of love and laughter he left behind, I found myself reflecting on my own life and the way things are going for me. It sort of reminded me to look at what I have and see how fortunate I truly am. I think that’s true for a lot of us…through loss we take stock. In the states, we are also in the midst of the Thanksgiving Holiday Week, so this is the perfect time to evaluate and assess how things are going…not only in our careers, but in our lives.

If you are in the midst of a job search, reflection and self-assessment can be a way to set your priorities in order and decide what means the most to you when seeking a new role. If you are currently in a reasonably secure job, it can be a way to take a constructive look at things and figure out if your career is going the way you want. It can also help you to look at your life and decide if you are going in the direction you wish, or if you need to start traveling a different path. At the end of the journey, none of us want to have regrets, right? Taking stock of your life and your career can help you to not only live a life that makes you content in the here and now, but it can also help you to have less regrets and feel more fulfilled down the road.

OK, so that’s great, but how do I do this? Well, since you all know how much I love lists…here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Where Do You Want to Go? – Take some time and think about this first step. What do you want in life? Are you happy with things the way they are? If not, then what would make you happy? Many times when we know what we don’t want, clarity is then born about what we do want. Answer these questions and you will be well on your way!
  2. What Holds You Back? – Once you know what you do want, take a good look at your life and see if something or someone is holding you back? Many times people or things in our lives can be obstacles, without us realizing it. If the obstacle is a person, they might not even be aware they are causing a roadblock. Sometimes you might be the one getting in your way. Whatever or whomever it is, the blockages in your life must go!
  3. Remove Obstacles – This step can be a bit tricky, but if you want to proceed forward obstacles must be removed. Once you have figured out what/who is holding you back, brainstorm on the best way to remove them, it, or their influence from your life. If you are holding yourself back (which can often be the case), figure out how to best get out of your own way!
  4. Put Your Needs First – My mother used to say that the world didn’t revolve around any one person, and she was right. However, each one of us does need to put ourselves first sometimes. It can be difficult, especially if you have spent a long period of time always putting others first, but in order to progress forward you must make yourself a priority in your own life.
  5. Count Your Blessings – We all sometimes forget to do this, but don’t take the things you currently have for granted. Count those blessings. Acknowledge each and every one and be thankful for them! It’s a small but important step to recognize the things that are working in your life and fortify them, as well.
  6. Action Items For Life – Figure out what steps you need to take to make the changes you want and then…well… take them. Label them action items and resolve not to let yourself down by skimping on them. Write them down, if needed, and you will find that ticking them off as you go gives you a strong sense of accomplishment. Remember first and foremost, that you must give something to yourself and nurture yourself so that in turn you will have something of yourself to give to others. If you are constantly giving of yourself to others and not giving anything back to yourself, eventually you will be empty. We certainly don’t want that!
  7. Continued Assessments – As you work your way toward your goals, continue to assess things to be sure you are staying true to what you want. If you find yourself veering off course, feel free to tweak things as needed to continue on to your desired goals!
  8. Celebrate!! – Don’t forget to recognize and celebrate achievements and milestones along the way. Your efforts are important and they should be acknowledged and rewarded. Buy something you’ve been wanting or go out to dinner with a friend or significant other. Reach around and give yourself a pat on the back. You’re doing it!

Those are some solid steps that can get you started. The thing to keep in mind is to be true to yourself through the entire process, and you can’t go wrong!

Ultimately, you are responsible for your journey in this life. So take steps to guide the course of your journey. Not only will you be more fulfilled and happy in this life, but you will also be living the life you were meant to live… a life with no regrets.

“It doesn’t get any better than this. A good drink with good friends.” -Bogart Kaye

Until next time..stay tuned.

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You Asked We Answered

Question: I've been out of work for a while. Do I take a job offer if the pay is awful?

Answer: Yes, taking a job, sometimes any job particularly if you have not worked in a while is good not only for your paycheck but for your mental health as you search for the job you really want. There is no shame in accepting work for honest pay. You are in transition and you need to remind yourself of that and not feel bad if the job you have now or are considering isn't willing to pay you what you are worth. There will be a job out there that will and you need to use all of your resources available including interim work to realize your goals. Taking a low paying job in the meantime may bruise your ego but it won't kill your pride or your wallet.