How to Turn Confusion Into Certainty When it Comes to Career Choices

Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Ask The Therapist | 0 comments

If we roughly calculate that hours that we as Americans spend at work throughout our lives, they add up to a significant chunk of our time on Earth. Of all the waking hours across the average American’s lifespan, 35% of them are spent at work. If you think about your work-life in that way, it’s glaringly clear that having a job that fits your natural skills and leaves you feeling fulfilled is important to your short-term and long-term life satisfaction. But many of us feel “stuck” in our current jobs. If can be really challenging to even imagine what the next step might be in becoming satisfied with your work-life, especially if you have spent years of even decades in the same job or field of work. It can be even more frightening to actually make the decision to change job or career paths.


How Can Career Counseling and Life Designing Help?

My approach to career counseling involves life designing, in which I have individuals with career concerns use their own autobiographies to clarify decisions and make commitments. I begin by asking individuals to tell a set of five stories about themselves, interests, and aspirations. I use these stories to compose a life portrait. If the individual wishes, I can administer an interest inventory that shows which occupational groups the individual resembles. I help people conceptualize and envision the next chapter in the story of their career. I then work to systematically transform these intentions into actions in their lives, whether on campus, on the job, or in a new position. Life Designing is a transformational experience that can change confusion to certainty about choosing a college, declaring a major, considering graduate or professional school, changing occupations, or even planning retirement.


Who Can Benefit from Life Design:

  • Students transitioning from high school to college
  • Current college students who aren’t sure if they picked the right major
  • College grads having trouble launching their career after graduation
  • Any adult at any point in their work-life who is currently dissatisfied with their current job, or wants to explore a career path that best suits their abilities, interests, and personality


Written by Suzanne Savickas, M.Ed., M.F.A., CRC, LPC

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