Why Career Counseling Might Be A Complete Waste of Your Money

No matter which survey you look at, the consensus seems to be that more than half of us are unsatisfied with our job and our career direction (or lack thereof). Conventional

wisdom might suggest a career counselor. Under their guidance, you could take a series of standardized assessments and tests to determine your vocational strengths, interests, and styles in order to place you in a more satisfying position.

But… Is that really what you are after? If you feel like just another engineer living out life like a Dilbert cartoon, is moving from one cubicle to another what you are after? Do you want to be just another cog (again), fit into a different machine? Depending on your age, you may even be told that it’s too late for a change? Really?

I bet that as a student and a young professional, you had big dreams and aspirations. You saw possibilities and had a desire to create something, to make a difference, to leave the world a better place than when you found it.

But somewhere along the line, you got caught in the daily grind. Work has a way of focusing our attention on what’s right in front of us. We can easily lose sight of the bigger picture.  And in the meantime, all those “adult” responsibilities took hold. Marriage. Mortgage. Kids. Domestication. Those very real realities have a way of draining our sense of adventure, creativity, freedom, and possibility. And the next thing you know, you’re stuck in a rut. Dissatisfied and going through the motions.

You need something more than another assessment. You need a paradigm shift. The path you are headed down isn’t working and change is in order. This isn’t about job hopping to greener pastures, this is about finding your path, your calling. Purpose. What were you put here on the planet to do? A career assessment won’t tell you that. And to be perfectly honest, I won’t tell you that, either. But if this speaks to you, there’s a good chance I could help you rekindle your spirit and find your way.

If you feel the calling, reach out and schedule some time with me to discuss possibilities. It might just change your life.

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Ten Books on Relationships and Sex

  • Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin, developer of a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT)
  • Conscious Loving Ever After by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks
  • Mating in Captivity by Ester Perel
  • Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships, by John Welwood, Buddhist inspired psychotherapist
  • Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, co-developer of Imago Therapy
  • Sexual Intelligence by Marty Klein
  • Resurrecting Sex by David Schnarch
  • 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, developer of Gottman Therapy
  • Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski
  • Love Sense by Sue Johnson, developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

OK, OK, that was 11 books.   Look them up on Amazon and pick one today.

You might also check out Jayson Gaddis’ Smart Couple podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

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Five Books for Men

Given the whirlwind of emerging cultural biases around patriarchy, feminism, gender and sexual identity, political power, etc., the subject of healthy masculinity has been overshadowed, if not lost sight of completely.   I have found these five books to be rather valuable in discovering what it means to be a man.

No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.  For the domesticated man (“the pleaser”) living inside all of us.  This has been my most recommended book in recent years and more than one client has given me feedback that they found themselves utterly exposed after reading this book, as if it was written specifically about them.    This book provides practical applications for the issues men today face, as well as the overall practice of authentic living.

Iron John by Robert Bly. Recognized as a classic in men’s work, Bly offers his insights on an old Grimm fairy tale about the Wild Man and other male archetypes.   While this book struck me as more heady and theoretical than practical, I I did find it an interesting and worthwhile read on men’s developmental stages.

 

The Alabaster Girl by Zan Perrion. A man I know best described this as a romance novel for men.  The main takeaway I received is that on some level, feminine energy simply wants to radiate beauty and be adored.  One of the aims of masculine energy is to notice and appreciate (adore) the beauty of femininity.   At a certain point, I felt I “got the message” and put the book down, only to return now and then for reminders.  I did eventually find it worthwhile to keep reading in order to reach some deeper material on purpose towards the back of the book.


The Way of the Superior Man
by David Deida.  Deida can come across as rather hard core on the subject of masculinity and this book tend to be rather polarizing – folks tend to either love it or hate it (like licorice) In my opinion it’s best to go in with and open and skeptical mind, taking in the parts that seem beneficial, and leaving behind what doesn’t seem helpful at the time.   That said, I found this book to be a very worthwhile read on the subjects of purpose and masculine & feminine energy.

 

To Be A Man by Robert Augustus Masers.  This book goes into rigorous detail on the distinction between anger and aggression, which was well worth the read for me as it seems many men’s struggles revolve around anger, addictions, and/or relationships.    While there was far more to it, the anger-addictions piece stands out most in my mind.

 

I also recommend The New Man podcast with Tripp Lanier on iTunes and Stitcher.

Honorable Mentions  (These books, like the one’s above, are commonly regarded as “must reads” in the subject of manhood, masculinity, and men’s issues, but because I haven’t read these cover to cover yet, I can’t fully endorse them.)

He by Robert Johnson  (Like Iron John, but an interpretation of the Grail legends as metaphor for masculine development)

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore  (Another archetypal application to masculine development and maturation)

Fire in the Belly by Sam Keen (This book receives mixed reviews, but as it’s often mentioned in the context of men’s work, I’ve included it on the list.)

I Don’t Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real (On male depression)

 

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When Quitting Becomes a Habit

Nearly every Wednesday morning I head to the climbing gym with my neighbor.  I have an obsession with overhung “upside down” routes.  When we started lead climbing (securing the rope as you go, rather than having it fixed to an anchor point at the top of the climb) two years ago, my primary interest in learning to lead was so I could climb those big, overhung routes.

The flip-side is that the thought of actually climbing those routes scared the hell out of me.  And they are not well suited to my climbing style.   So I began to talk myself out of them.  “I’ll just start the climb to get a feel for the route.  I don’t have to finish it. I can always quit.”   And so I did.  I would start out on the vertical part just fine, but when things got upside down and tough, I would just bail.   I’d climb until things got hairy, and then I’d hold on until I became too fatigued to hold on, but I never pushed myself through the fear and into the danger zone.  I’d quit.  This became a pattern for a few weeks, if not months.  “I can always quit.”

Then the route setters put up an easier route and I tackled it.  I made it through the hardest part of the route, across the overhang, and found myself practically home free.   But what went through my mind as I had only a few moves left to the top of the climb?   “I can always quit.”  WTF?   Quitting had become a habit without me even realizing.  It snuck up on me.

So now I wonder what other limiting beliefs have snuck up on me.   Where have I held back without even realizing?  When do I quit, simply out of habit, a habit born out of fear?  Where do I need to push through my own mental trappings to accomplish what really excites me?

How do you hold yourself back?   If you pushed through fear and past your own self imposed limits, how much more would be possible in your life, your career, and your relationships?   If you are interested in exploring further, reach out to me now to discuss what’s possible.

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