Inner Voice is a Key to Career Planning
by Jennifer Holmes
"Follow your passion!" "Don't be
shy, just be yourself!" "You're so good
with children, you should go into day care." These are
common pieces of advice from armchair career specialists.
They have good intentions and they genuinely want the best
for you. However, I challenge these statements. They are contradictory,
not complete, and presumptuous. For example, "Don't
be shy, just be yourself!" is something I heard a lot
when I was young. If you are shy, you are being yourself.
"You're so good with children, you should go into
day care." No one has the right to say what you are
good at, what your interests are, and what skills you should
utilize. This brings me to the first statement, "Follow
your passion!" This is easy enough advice to give, but
many people choose to seek career planning because they are
unclear, or out of focus, and need to first discover what
their passion truly is before they can follow it.
Career Planning is about deciding what your passion is and
how to fulfill it. You know what it is but the knowledge is
buried underneath, inside your gut. You can tap into this
source by visualizing, centering, and analyzing your dreams
and symbols. Intuitive people can be adept at analyzing their
dreams and understanding what message their subconscious is
trying to convey. The trick, however, is to remain silent.
This is why dream analysis is so effective. When we sleep
we shut out all outside stimuli. Then our unconscious speaks.
There are tricks to remembering and interpreting your dreams.
If you prefer concrete clues and facts, then use all of
your senses to heighten the awareness of your surroundings.
Do more research into what seems to interest you.
Writing and using art is an extremely powerful way to hear
your inner voice. When you paint or draw without conscious
effort, your hand takes over. Your hand has a direct connection
to your heart. You may not understand what you are drawing.
It may not make any sense. Do not resist. We often draw pictures
upside down so be sure to rotate your drawing. Look for consistency.
What does this symbol mean to you? Remember that two people
drawing butterflies will have two different interpretations.
Listening to your inner voice gives you clarity and focus.
I only recently discovered that by denying myself the right
to create, paint, and write, I was not being true to myself.
I always thought I needed to be in a helping profession within
an artistic setting. I have since decided it is the other
way around. I need to be creative and expressive in different
ways, inside an environment where I can help enrich the lives
In order to follow your heart, you must learn to trust your
intuition and what it is saying to you. Trust yourself and
do not let others dissuade you. If you decide to share your
dream with others, start with the people you feel will support
you and who will not judge you or your dream.
Nurture yourself. This is non-negotiable. We have been raised
in a society where the priority is others. I grew up with
such a strong desire to please others that I neglected myself.
By nurturing yourself, you become open to hearing what the
inner voice has to say. You gain self-esteem, self-confidence,
and happiness, and this is obvious to an outsider. People
want to surround themselves with other happy people.
Nurture yourself any way you see fit. It need not cost money.
Go for a walk alone or with a pet. This really opens the door
to your inner world. Take a bath. Go to the library to read
a book. Listen to your favourite music. Light candles. Paint.
Draw. Do this for a minimum of half an hour a day. Or if you
prefer to do it less than everyday, do it two to three hours
a week. The key is to relax your mind, body, and spirit.
Tapping into your inner voice can be stinky business. Along
with your passion, your gut holds all your unaddressed emotions
– good and bad. Grudges are kept in there until they
are dealt with for good. I have come to the conclusion that
if you want to make it to the brand new green lawn in the
distance, you must wade through the manure, pick it up,
with it, and move on. Manure is a fertilizer for your growth.
Just remember, when you get to the new green grass there
always be cows crapping all over it. These are the people
you would rather not deal with, but you must deal with them
in order for you to grow. You have no option other than to
bury your feelings temporarily.
No one has the right to say what you are good at,
and what skills you should utilize.
Listening to yourself and understanding what makes you happy
leads to strong self-confidence and high self-esteem. When
these are healthy, you do not question or judge your plan
of action. Enjoy yourself. If you are miserable, you are unproductive,
depressed, and pessimistic. You help yourself and others more
when you are doing something you love. This is why tapping
into your inner voice is vital to career planning. It is the
essential ingredient to a successful career choice. Your career
choice, no one else's.
Jennifer Holmes, of Saskatoon,
is a career planning specialist, facilitator, and entrepreneur.
She founded Career Strengths
Consulting in 1999. While searching for her own inner voice
she rediscovered her passion for the arts, writing, animal
totems, and dreams. This has given her the confidence to
pursue these professionally. In January she begins a weekly
dream group to empower others to find their true voice. To
contact Jennifer phone (306)
244-5520, email: email@example.com.