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Three Home Career Selection
Traps to Avoid
Don't fall prey to the
most common traps of aspiring
Entrepreneurial Parents. Ask the "Right Question" from the start
-- and don't give up until you answer it!
by Paul and Sarah Edwards
Most of us have never really taken the
option of finding our "perfect" work seriously. When
we say we'd like to live life on our own terms, be our own boss,
it's almost like saying we want to win the lottery. Of course
we want it, but we don't think it will actually happen, so why
should we take the time and energy to decide what we really
want. We probably won't achieve it anyway.
Most of us have led lives that
revolved around our jobs or school or family demands, squeezing
everything else we want to do into "after working hours
and weekends." And even in our free time, we may not get
around to doing the things we'd really like to do because either
we have to catch up on pressing odds and ends or we're just so
worn out that we need a chance to sleep in, goof off, or live
it up. Most people these days feel there just isn't enough time
for many of the things they'd like to do, sometimes even the
most important ones.
As a result, when you set out
to create a more independent life, you risk making one of three
common mistakes many people make in their search for what kind
of work to do: instead of finding and enjoying your perfect work,
you could end up stuck in a rut, getting burned by buying into
some hot opportunity, or simply drawing a blank when it comes
to how to proceed. As a result you could conclude that independence
is not for you.
Ending Up Stuck
In A Rut
If you don't know for sure just
what you want to do or what else you could do, you might set
out to simply duplicate the life you have now. You might automatically
decide to basically do on your own what you've been doing, living
in the same place, keeping the same hours, working with the same
kind of clients, only to end up wondering why your new life isn't
any better. "If it's not going to be any better than this,"
one woman told us, "why should I go to all this trouble?
Why shouldn't I just get another job?" And that's a very
good question. If the life you create for yourself is just as
stressful, pressure filled, financially tight, dull or boring
as the one you had when you were working for someone else, why
go to all the extra trouble of starting a new one?
By What's Hot
Or again, not knowing just what
you want to do, like many others who are trying to create a life
on their own, you might be tempted to look for whatever's hot
and do that. One woman told us, "In the seventies I became
a marriage and family counselor. That was the 'in' thing. It
took me several years to get my license, but when I opened my
practice it wasn't that easy to get clients. By then real estate
was really hot, though. Friends of mine were making a lot of
money doing that, so I decided to get my real estate license.
Now the bottom has fallen out of the housing market, so I'm trying
a medical billing service. It's supposed to be really good, but
it's not very interesting to me and it's getting harder to get
business. What do you think about 900 numbers? I hear they're
hot." This woman is a classic case of chasing after what's
hot. Unfortunately whenever you're chasing something, you end
up at the rear and you never get a chance to go where you
want to go.
Drawing A Blank
Or again, not knowing just what
to do, like many others, you may simply draw a blank when it
comes to thinking out what you could do to create an independent
living for yourself. You may not believe there's anything you
can do well enough to make a living on your own. Drawing such
a blank can stop you in your tracks or it can lead you back into
a rut or chasing after what's hot. In fact, drawing a stubborn
blank about what you could do can be so frustrating that like
many people, you get hyped into buying a multilevel marketing
program or a business opportunity of some kind only to discover
that your spur-of-the-moment decision isn't really what you're
looking for. When the "great" opportunity doesn't "take
off," and most opportunities don't "take off"
without some considerable effort, the search begins again for
another way to make some money.
Actually the people who succeed
in programs like those, or any independent venture, usually do
so not because they've found something "hot" that "takes
off." They succeed because they had some idea of what they
were looking for. They knew where they wanted to go. In other
words, they had a destination in mind. They knew what they wanted
to accomplish and believed they could achieve it. As a result,
they started out asking the right question -- "What Do I Really Want to Do?"
In today's economy and with today's
technology, if you can define what you truly want and work consistently
for it, the odds have shifted in favor of your getting it.
- The above article is excerpted
Your Perfect Work by
Paul and Sarah Edwards (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1996). Paul
Career Selection Experts."