Others can influence your decisions for better or worse



Were you the first one in your family to attend and graduate from college? Did you feel pressured to succeed? Or maybe you gave up your "dream career" to pursue a profession because of its prestige and to make your family proud of you.

Were you teased by friends when you shared your career aspirations? Or were you fortunate to have a mentor or mentors who advised and guided you with their wisdom and experience?

Depending on your answers to these questions, your family, friends, and others may have had a positive or negative influence on your job and/or career choices up to this point.

MY STORY: When I was a senior in high school, I was told by one of the guidance counselors that I was not "college material." I listened and did not question her statement. I guess you could say I took her words to heart.

Approximately nine years later at the age of 27, I began taking classes at the local community college not realizing the journey I was about to embark on and the direction it would take me. At graduation, I was honored and awarded a scholarship from the college's board of trustees. I continued my studies there for another year.

During that same year, I was selected and awarded a scholarship from a state university to pursue my bachelor's degree. I excelled and received several national recognitions for my academic achievements. I eventually earned my master's degree and completed post-graduate course work.

Had I not recognized the opportunities that were presented to me and surrounded myself with positive, supportive people who believed in me, I would have succumbed to the guidance counselor's opinion and not obtained a college education.

TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR CAREER: I chose to share my story in this article because I know that there are others who have had similar experiences. As a career coach and counselor, I have worked with some individuals who were seeking self-fulfillment and a sense of control regarding the direction of their careers. I believe it is never too early or too late to pursue and incorporate your dream career into your life without succumbing to negative influences

Whether you are a recent college graduate, a blue collar worker, a seasoned professional, or a retiree. Taking control of your career begins with you examining your past and current relationships to understand who is holding you back, Next, you need to establish and share your personal boundaries and expectations with others. Then, you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you.

Here are three suggestions to help you reconnect with your dream job and/or career.

1. Develop a vision board and place it somewhere you can refer to it often.

2. Read about others who were successful in pursuing their dreams.

3. Pursue your dream job and/or career on a part-time basis.