May 21, 2018

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Searching for Your Calling - Quest or Curse?

Judging by the extraordinarily positive reader response to Po Bronsonís "What Should I Do With My Life?", people are aching for a sympathetic outlook on their stories of career dissatisfaction. They tend to be their own harshest critics, often riddled with self-doubt and embarrassment about not getting this "career thing" right. Maintaining a constructive attitude is challenging. In spite of contrary statistics - such as, the average American changes jobs eight times over the course of his/her lifetime - we still tend to harbor the expectation that we "should" decide by our late 20ís/early 30ís what we want to do and follow that thread for the remainder of our working lives. As T. puts it, "My search for work Iím passionate about is regarded by my friends like a childís drawing thatís put up on the refrigerator...isnít that cute!"

If youíre in a career transition, whatís the finger-pointing youíre doing at yourself? Does any of these sound familiar?

If this were taking place in a courtroom instead of inside your head, your attorney would undoubtedly argue for extenuating circumstances. Ask yourself the following:

Youíre learning career development skills here. This will probably not be your final change.

Check out the Po Bronsonís chatroom: Your sense of being alone in your angst will dissolve.

And finally, hereís a perspective Iíd like to offer. Engaging courageously and wholeheartedly with the question "What should I do?" is the single most pro-active step you can take. After interviewing 900 people, Po concluded that the biggest obstacle to answering the question is guilt about taking it seriously. Work, when itís right, is how we forge our place in the world; the process of finding it clarifies and hones who we are and who we want to be. Asking the hard questions (What do I want? What impact do I want to have? Who do I want to become?) and giving time to the inner and outer research, is surely one of the most important life investments you can make.

-Nina Ham
Nina Ham, certified coach and licensed psychotherapist, is principal of Success from the Inside Out, providing individual coaching and teleseminars to build the skills, attitudes and habits for sustainable success in your career or business. Mail to:, subscribe in subject line, for free monthly e-zine, or visit

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