Happiness self help resource223

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The Psychology of Successful Career Choice and Change
self help article
by Jon Snodgrass, Ph.D.

Happiness and wellbeing personal development article about self help, happiness, personal development, self growth. size=1>

Self Help Happiness article:


Work that is not personally satisfying reflects a basic conflict you have with yourself.

You may think the conflict is caused by your career, and that if you change careers, the conflict will go away.

But, you cannot pick the right career without first resolving the inner conflict.

The conflict caused you to pick the wrong career to begin with and now causes work dissatisfaction.

Changing careers starts with resolving self-conflict, and if you do not, dissatisfaction will grow, and show up again in whatever you choose to do next.

Then you are making dissatisfaction a career and finding another reason to be upset with yourself.

This basic principle holds true in personal relationships too — if you change spouses, the same problems will be reproduced in new relationships.

The truth is, the conflict you have with yourself is the same conflict you have with work, family, friends, bosses and co-workers. There is just one underlying conflict and it is you with you.

A conflict with work, therefore, expresses a hidden conflict within yourself. When we are young, we tend to see our problems as imposed and solved, by outside sources.

Explanations may range, for example, from environmental (“a bad job market”) to circumstantial (“a bad boss”).

To overcome adversities like these is the very reason we strive to attain the highest income and best job possible. But this strategy must inevitably break down, since it locates the reasons for problem as outside yourself.

If you seek to resolve the conflict externally, you can bet you will only reproduce and confirm the conflict within yourself in another form.

Beneath appearances there is only one problem and it is the relationship of you with yourself. To understand this principle you must become more insight-oriented and introspective, attitudes that contradict external and superficial points of view.

A more contemplative attitude toward life is not usually attained before the age of “thirty-something.” Until that time, people tend to think that success is a product of different factors like gender, class, race, nationality, politics, economic opportunity, education, hard work and good luck.

The truth is however, the course of your life is shaped entirely by your inner self-relationship.


“Know thyself” was the motto that Socrates learned from the Oracle at Delphi. It is ancient wisdom, true today as it was in ancient Greece.

In life’s journey, at some point, you must begin the look for your true self. Otherwise, you are destined to live with a false sense of self, interpersonal conflict and career dissatisfaction.

Career reassessment typically comes at mid-life when failures in outer solutions trigger the classic “psycho-social crisis.”

Almost everyone is challenged to find their higher purpose by the time their days on earth are half numbered. This is one reason why being over fifty is called “prime time.”

Traditionally we think only of ministers and doctors as having a “calling” but in reality everyone has a life purpose. Many people choose to ignore their quest for a calling, and try to live in a rational-material world, using only their goal-oriented left-brain, or reside in an imaginary emotional world of self-doubt, using only their right brain.

A meaningful career choice however arises from the resource of your own integrated mind and from nowhere else. All the skills and knowledge necessary to enact your life-purpose are directly and fully accessible to your own thinking.

Prevailing wisdom about career choice and change sees it exclusively as a logical problem to gather job market data and to adapt your aptitudes and personality to the corporate structures and needs.

Conforming to the expectations of the system, rather than finding personal meaning, tends to be the norm in life. Traditionally this approach assumes the economy is rational, as is the individual who conforms.

As a result aptitude and personality “testing” are the central methodology in career counseling today.

This approach overlooks the importance of self-examination – – and spiritual foundation of career decision-making as outlined in this article.

Where and how you choose to use your talents and knowledge are always questions about knowing who you are and finding your life-purpose.


Copyright (c) 1999 Jon Snodgrass, Ph.D.http://www.careerstar.com jon@careerstar.com – Author, “Follow Your Career Star” Professor Human Development, CSULA Psychotherapy & Career Counseling, Los Angeles, CA (626) 441-6957


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