Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who on Earth -- or Beyond -- Answers Your Career Questions?

I've been thinking about how much I depend on other people to figure out answers to my career questions, even when they don't realize it. Everyday I make big and small decisions. For the big ones I sometimes take into consideration what someone I know and trust would advise me to do. I may not call or email her, I just imagine what she would suggest -- and that helps me come to my own conclusions.

Live Answers to Career Questions
For example, I have a friend who I sometimes ask for advice about my website. We've talked enough so that I can now pretty much predict what she's going to say when I ask her a question. Okay, sometimes she surprises me, but for the most part I'm spot-on. And because I don't want to bug her too much, I sometimes have conversations with her in my imagination. She has no idea that we've "talked" in depth about this or that but it doesn't matter. In truth she helps me a lot without even knowing it.

Career Answers From the Beyond
Anther example is my mentor, Yana Parker, who passed away in 2000. Yana had a very strong personality and when she gave me advice it was emphatic, to say the least. So when I'm in a pickle about a resume issue I just ask Yana and she never fails to present a very opinionated view.

I bring this up because I think we all feel the need for career support from time to time. If we're not in a position to hire a professional career counselor we can turn to our circle of friends and family to see who might be a good sounding board.

And at times when that person isn't available (let's say it's 3:00 a.m. and you can't sleep because you're worried about a career question), try having a silent conversation with them to see if your intuition gives you a sense of what they might say.

So, do you have someone -- living or passed -- who you rely on for answers to your career questions? Or am I the only nutty one with a host of advisers in my head?

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