By Nancy Anderson; career consultant and author of Work with Passion in Midlife and Beyond
“Is it realistic to think I can make money doing what I love, especially in a down economy?” Carol asked, when she called to talk about her career goals.
“It is realistic,” I replied. “But employers, customers or clients have to see the value in what you do, and the work has to be what you do naturally and well, otherwise you won’t survive.”
Carol had tried several career options before we met, but none had lived up to her expectations. Her personal life was just as frustrating. She was involved with a younger man who wanted her to be like him, an extrovert who enjoyed socializing all the time. Carol did her best to keep up with his hectic pace and then felt drained and exhausted.
Carol’s autobiography (my client’s first assignment) revealed why she was out of sync with her natural rhythms. Her mother was a pretty, outgoing woman who had dreamed of being a model, but fear of rejection caused her to marry young and have children. Carol was the oldest of the three children and the only girl, so she was first in line to absorb the mother’s disappointment and thwarted ambition.
In addition to being attractive Carol was intelligent, but she downplayed this strength because she thought men would reject her. She made this illogical decision while growing up with an insecure father who made fun of smart women. Not surprisingly, Carol attracted men who admired her and at the same time felt competitive with her.