Dear Career Fairy, It’s Me, Leslie

20 Jul

Today I had a meeting with a career counselor. It went a little like this:

Me: “I had a path and then decided it was a yucky path so now I have no path, HELP PLEASE!”

Her: “My favorite kind of client!”

This morning, I sat in a small downtown office, uncomfortably staring across the desk at a woman essentially promising to be my fairy godmother of the job word. And as I word vomited about my family, my past and my impossible dreams of job happiness, she stared back at me, oh-so-calmly. Too calmly. How could the central problem of my current existence not phase her? Well, she was partially deaf. But more importantly, she had a process. She had tools.

Because, shocker of shockers, sitting at home catching up on my American television and making cookies is not the ideal way to meditate on job goals. Go figure.

So don’t try to sit cross legged for hours with thumb and forefinger forming that perfect meditation circle over each knee. That only works for Rafiki and the Dali Lama. For us liberal arts folks, a more active meditation is required.

So here it is, right from my career fairy to your rss feed:

Assess yourself.

What are your skills? No, not just those things you’re good at–I’m sure you shoot great beer pong, you are a liberal artist after all–but what are those skills you want to continue to exercise in a professional environment, or skills you want to develop?

What do you value? More to the point, what do you value most in a potential job? Is it creativity, or management responsibilities, or money, or travel, or danger, or flexibility? What are you willing to compromise on in order to get what you really value?

What are your interests and fascinations? I mean, Ryan fascinates us all, but we need something a bit more general to finally move on to exploring and evaluating our options.

As liberal artists, we’ve been well trained in how to research just about anything. I just stink at researching myself. During college, I was so encouraged dip my fingers in every academic pie, it is difficult for me to now see a way to narrow the flavors. I like them all … and I certainly don’t have to be in a monogamous relationship with a single career. But as a first step, critically evaluating myself seems logical enough. Thanks career fairy.

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2 Responses to “Dear Career Fairy, It’s Me, Leslie”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Filling Grown Up Shoes « liberalart.us - July 27, 2010

    […] I should catch you internet types up on the story of my job search. When I am not seeing a career counselor and letting the process take its course, I am busy catapulting myself through its proper steps and […]

  2. Me: One, Career Counselor: Impressed « liberalart.us - August 3, 2010

    […] Aug Visit number two to the career counselor went well. So well, in fact, that I am her single most self-aware client. […]

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