Balancing Conflicting Career Goals

career goals

Most of us chose our careers at 18… We didn’t know what our day-to-day lives would look like, or what our chosen career would mean for us, financially, emotionally, and even spiritually.

Learning more about yourself, and gaining experience in the professional world has led you to look closer at your career goals.

You might be asking yourself how you can balance the conflicts between:

  • What you’re good at & what you truly love to do
  • What you love to do & what gives you financial stability
  • Your career goals & your emotional/spiritual well-being

This week’s Cup of Joy explore these questions and more! Elizabeth also shares a recent struggle that caused her to re-evaluate her career, and Laine shares insight from a recent career shift.

00:00 Laine:

So then, I ended up being clinician. I am introverted, and the idea of being one-on-one with another person, especially a person who’s in crisis, or having severe, emotional experiences, to be in that space with them energetically all day, and especially when I was in my first clinical job. It was literally all day, nine to five, just one-on-one with an individual. And very quickly, I realized, okay, this isn’t really what I want to do. What is social work, then, without that? And I just didn’t know. And it was a lot of ups and downs and working with you, Liz, on that experience of just what does that mean? And I didn’t even touch on the whole identity side of it. It was more just like this is draining me and I can’t do it anymore. 

01:52 Elizabeth:

Yeah, it’s so crazy. As I’m listening to you I’m realizing how much this has been an issue and has come up. I’m just realizing how many times I have battled between figuring out what I am going to do. And some of it is, you know, I think if you’re someone who’s multi-talented, you have the challenge of even deciding which of the talents, or multi-passionate, which are going to be the thing. And so for me with this clinical background, having done counseling and all that stuff early on, and then going over to the business side, and learning how much I appreciate business and strategy and all that good stuff, and getting really good at that. I always felt like I was either in the clinical type setting, then the business strategy side of me was dying. And then if I was on the business strategy side of things, then the clinician side of me, the human side of me, wasn’t able to have it space. 

So it was years ago when I discovered there’s a thing called “industrial and organizational psychology.” And it was relieving to me just because I’m like, Oh, this is a thing, because I kind of felt like I was crazy, because I would like bounce back and forth between the two. But the other battle that went on, regardless of that relief was, you know, being good. Historically, expertise in human behavior hasn’t really been very much appreciated. And so I’m no big business and consulting and strategy. And so it’s like, oh, you get more attention and respect. If you say you’re a consultant, if you do organizational consulting, than if you say you’re a clinician. So it’s like I went through rotations of it where I would push to do a whole bunch of organizational consulting work. And while I love the work itself, I don’t love the fact that so many organizations hire you to come in, and then they don’t do what you ask them to do. And you realize that they just want to put a Band-Aid on a bullet wound and this is really just more for show. And I’m over here like passionate about it, you know, and then I would kind of fall out of it, then I’d go back through some clinical stuff. 

And then this last experience that that led me to say, we need to talk about this was not just in the career itself, but how you go about it. So I am a newly discovered introvert at 42 years old. And I have been wrestling with myself to try to do things. It’s not necessarily the career choice itself, but how to go about hitting the highest levels of success. So what I realized is between trying to force certain social media activity, and going about extensive networking and being on the scene all the time, I literally drained myself, and I hit a wall a couple months ago, where I literally was empty. And that’s how I discovered I was an introvert because I didn’t realize how much I can’t do that. And I recently gave myself permission, we’re not going to do the things that everyone says you have to do in order to be successful, if it’s going to make us feel like we’re nearly dead, right? 

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