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Are You A Career Search Role Model?
From Career Tips, 2007 Volume 6, June 2007
After many recommendations, I finally picked up the audio version of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. His message is simple, but powerful - "Don't work for money, make money work for you." He posits that one of our major failures as a society is the lack of true financial education in school.
I think back to the messages I received early in life about money. The message was largely around being responsible, saving money regularly, and never risking money foolishly. And "To get a good job, get a good education," where 'good' job meant stability, growth potential, steady earnings. Not bad advice, but it seemed to be missing some of the depth of Kiyosaki's simple message.
How often do we hear young people selecting their career focus because "IBankers make a ton of money" or "Get that Law Degree and you're set for life." This is a recipe for disaster!
I often meet these people 5, 10 or 15 years later, finding them burnt out, hating what they do, and feeling trapped because they "can't afford" to make a move! This is the classic "work for money" scenario. If those people had instead started out pursuing something for which they had a real passion, and in which they already had or could easily develop the requisite skills, they would have looked at their careers in a totally different light. And they might have had the opportunity to look at the money they earned from a different vantage point. They could have evaluated their life goals in terms of alignment to their passion, and then brainstormed how to bring the two together.
That's what happened for me when I opened my Career Search Counseling practice - it was something I was passionate about, where I felt a deep itch I needed to scratch. I then set out to figure out how to make sure I could still pay the mortgage, put my 2 kids through top tier colleges, etc., all while starting over at $0 income. And the process of doing that only enhanced my practice, as everything I did to market my new business fed directly into the coaching I provided my clients on how to market their own "products", themselves.
So what legacy are we leaving our children when we encourage them to "work for money"? Or when we hold back on pursuing a career for ourselves that we can be truly passionate about? Even when we say all the right things, they learn so much more from the model we set for them by what we do every day.
A career search can be a scary, frustrating process if you let it be. Facing an impending reorganization or company layoff that may eliminate your job can be a time to put your head in the sand and hope against hope that you are passed over. Or it can be the time to really prepare for the next step in your career - to build the reservoir of compelling accomplishment stories, powerful elevator pitches, your strong sales brochure / resume, your influential interview techniques. This can be a chance to really pursue what you love, engage with people while building a powerful network that will put your career on a new trajectory, confidently embrace the uncertainty, knowing that it will lead to great new opportunities.
Which is the model you want to leave for your children?