This is a time when many of us reassess our careers and set goals for the future.
You may also find yourself not happy wherever you are.
If you wake up one day and find yourself in a profession you don’t like, you may wonder how you got there.
69 News reporter Nancy Werteen sat down with a career coach to find out how we veered off course.
Dena Lefkowitz is an attorney, CEO of Achievement by Design Coaching, and author of the book Win Your Own Court: 10 Rules for a Successful Career Without Burning Out or Selling Out.
Watch the interview in the video above or read the transcript below.
“So how can you end up in a career you don’t like?”
“Well, this is a question I’ve pondered most of my life, how do people end up in careers they hate, doing jobs they hate, in companies they hate, with people they hate?” And it usually comes down to a horrifying, alarming lack of data.
“So I’ll use myself as an example. I decided to go to law school, why? I heard it. I threw a dart at what I thought was a high paying profession. Was it money? Was it perception? Was it helping other people? The most important thing for me. So when I threw a dart at the profession and signed up to do it, I was horribly short on data.
“There was also a lack of data about my work, Nancy. I was encouraged to go to law school because I am bright and intelligent. At the desk, researching, problem-solving, talking to people, not courtroom, engaging and engaging.
“Also, I didn’t have any data about the environment in which I would do that job. I could have gotten a corporate or government job when I graduated from law school, but in the end I did. I entered a private practice in law. Earning billable time and money was the most important thing. Are those the most important things to me? So this lack of data really confuses us when it comes to picking things that really fit our personalities and our values for how we are made.”
“I mean, that’s great advice. When we’re in college, what the hell do we know about what we want to do with the rest of our lives? Is it too late to look for it?”
“It’s never too late. I’m a walking ad for that. I reinvented myself in my 50s and published my first book at 60. And what I propose is character assessment and value assessment. What is the first thing you care about, what is important to you? Does the place you work care about the same things as you do? It could be the job. Starting with a value assessment and a character assessment can help you make data-driven decisions, not based on nothing. I did so.”
“And I think we’re going to see a lot more of this since the pandemic, right? This reassessment?”
“Yes, the great reassessment, the great resignation, are all part of the discerning people now. They realized that sometimes their values differed from the company’s and they felt that what was being asked of them was not right for them. And knowing what you want is the first thing many of us don’t know what makes us happy. can really guide us.