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Rolling stone or adventurer? The winding road career path

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year." - John Foster Dulles, Former U.S. Secretary of State.
From Powerquotes -
Volume 4, Number 18 - ISSN: 1523-8008

As one who has moved and changed jobs often, I used to receive a considerable amount of unsought commentary : "When will you settle down?" "Are you running away from something?" "Get real!"

Since I was financially sound and there were no outstanding warrants for my arrest, my response was, "None of your [insert cuss word of choice] business." However, when I coach and speak about transitions, people ask me about their own lives: How much is too much? Am I doing something wrong?

First, I firmly believe some people are born restless. Author Richard Ford wrote about his own "Urge for Going" (Harpers 1992, pp. 284-260). He claims that moving has given him a variety of experiences and sense of self that most people achieve through stability.

Fifty years ago, a Benedictine monk named Hubert von Zeller wrote a wonderful essay called "Restlessness" (We Sing While There's Voice Left, Sheed and Ward 1951). He believed that some people were born with souls that demand motion and change. Left too long in one place, those people will become smug and complacent.

Can you have too much of a good thing?

Clearly some people may keep running to avoid recurring conflict. Alcoholics Anonymous warns members against the "geographic cure." Yet often the underlying conflict has to do with a career choice that creates a conflict between work and self.

If the best jobs in your field are in small towns and you have a big city soul, you may need a career change before you make another move. If you thrive on excitement, you may need a career that gives you a base for lifelong exploration.

People no longer comment on my lifestyle. The critics know I won't return their calls. And after I bought a house, I was pronounced "stable," even when I took a temporary job and and rented the house to tenants who were considered "settled" because they've lived in Fort Lauderdale forever -- even when they can't pay the rent.
Go figure.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site or call 505-534-4294.

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