Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Find What You Want… By Learning What You Don’t!

If you’ve ever gone through a period of exploration (
most likely, we all have!), you may have been told that one of the first steps is to make sure you focus on what you want. This, of course, is true by nature; we all want to do something we like, so pursuing areas we find to be of interest is completely logical. But have you ever considered exploring the flip-side, approaching the exploration process by looking at what you might NOT want?

I was once advising a student who had come to me in a panic; she had just started an internship in the field she thought was her passion… and HATED it. As we talked about her experience, she realized that though she still had an interest in that field, she could not see herself working in that particular type of role. Together, we took that information and used it as a springboard to begin exploring different positions in her same field of interest that would be a better fit for her. She thought that she had taken a step backwards in pursuit of her dream career, but I showed her that she had really taken another step forward; by finding out what she didn’t want in a position, she was able to move that much closer to realizing what she did.

“But Amy,” I hear you saying, “Why would I want to focus on the negatives?” You don’t! Every situation gives you more information and experiences that you can take forward into the next stage of your career development (and, in the bigger picture, your life!). When you’re faced with an experience that wasn’t what you thought it would be, just look on the bright side and see what positives you can draw!
Not sure how what you want (and don’t want) can fit into your career exploration process? Ask us! Drop in during Quick Question hours or schedule an appointment with a counselor!
Amy K. Smith, Assistant Director 

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