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Keeping It Real with Your Career

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By Brent Webber
Faculty member, School of Business at American Public University

Careers are very similar to life and personal growth: things change all the time. Career changes can often cause psychological and physical turmoil. However, when it comes to your career, do not be afraid of change and make sure that you are true to yourself.

When I was in college and early in my career, I was not planning on being an instructor or an academic researcher. My early career largely found me working in insurance and finance. As my career progressed, I changed my goals and ambitions. As I grew, my value to employers also changed based on my diversity of skills. One thing that all of my jobs taught me was the importance of being positive and happy!

If you are not happy with a job, your entire professional and personal life can snowball out of control. It is important to find something that you love.

It’s sad when you hear colleagues with the personal outlook that they have few choices or very little power over their destiny. These types of workers often worship the weekends and watch the clock in their office. Many feel that they are surrounded with meaningless work that is often not personally fulfilling.

The fear of change, and the process that goes along with it, leads many people to continue their daily misery. Do not ignore that you are unhappy and make a plan to find work that is fulfilling. Your goal should always be to find a job that expresses and uses your utter most inner talents.

When faced with melancholic type work environments, negative thinking and personal disintegration can often lead to loss of self-respect and loss of confidence. When you need to make a career change it takes risk and courage, in the words of President John F. Kennedy: “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Do not make the mistake of ignoring that you need to make a career change. Take action and chart a course for success as soon as you see the signs of unhappiness.

When seeking new employment, remember that you are in control of your own destiny. Most job seekers often have the mindset that an employer chooses you. I have counseled students about the importance of understanding that they should choose the employer.

When talking to human resources staff and hiring managers you should attempt to channel conversation in this direction. Tell the employer that the most important aspect of any job that you take will be that you will be happy. By doing this, employers might listen to you more carefully because they relate to your need for satisfaction. This approach also shows that you are looking for the right fit for both you and the employer.

Keeping it real with your career means being authentic and not following the geopolitical or corporate economic norm while, at the same time, also staying true to yourself. Set yourself apart and don’t make the mistake of not being true to yourself.

About the Author: Professor Brent Webber worked as the Career Center Coordinator at St. John’s University (Formerly: The College of insurance in NYC). He provided career direction, placement and advice to students that largely sought employment in the insurance industry. He has been published at NYU, received the Instructor of the Year award twice for the APUS School of Business, worked at Two World Trade Center, and holds a BA in Economics and an MBA with a concentration in insurance and Risk Management. He enjoys sharing his experiences with urban culture to create teaching and learning opportunities for others.

This article from was republished with permission.

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Good luck in your search,


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