Extreme Anxiety And Meeting People


Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, content in your role at work or looking to make a change, you’ll find that having positive, working relationships with others can open opportunities which you’d otherwise miss. For many of us, establishing relationships with others is easily done, as is maintaining and growing those relationships.

On the other hand, there are a great many for whom the idea of striking up a relationship with someone they don’t know is stressful. They’re fraught with anxiety about what to say, how to get started, wondering what to talk about and how to keep a conversation going, knowing when and how to end it and move to another etc. Just thinking about talking, communicating, listening, smiling, interacting and – ah, it’s just so exhausting!

Whoa…let’s take a few deep breaths, relax and start slow. The thing about communicating with others is that it seems incredibly simple when we look around us and see people engaged in conversations. It is after all, just talking, listening to the other person, responding, listening again; an exchange of both hearing what is being said and responding. It all seems so effortless and easy.

If you wonder why some find it so hard to do, think back to a time in your life when you were trying to get up the courage to speak to someone you had some strong feelings for. Perhaps you wanted to ask them out on a date, find out if they felt the same way about you that you felt about them. Just asking them straight out however – while the most obvious way to get the information you’re looking for, was not how you went about it. You worked up the courage to approach them and made some small talk, dancing all around what you really wanted until the time seemed right to bring up the topic of a date, grabbing a beverage etc. Remember that anxiety? Remember the angst of wondering why talking to THIS person seemed so much more effort even though your motivation was high?

Well, now imagine how intense and on edge a person might feel if they experienced the same level of anxiety at the prospect of starting a conversation with just about everyone they come into contact with. Feeling such pressure and stress with respect to engaging in conversations with people throughout your day would be exhausting. And these are what many of us might consider every day commonplace conversations we’re talking about here. Now, if we throw in the odd conversation where there’s more on the line, such as a job interview, professionally networking, approaching a Receptionist at a company we’d like to work with etc., you can see how that anxiety is ramped up tremendously. What’s hard anyways just got a whole lot tougher.

Like I said, take a moment and breathe deeply. In and out; inhale, exhale. Again.

Okay, so let’s talk – you read, I’ll write. This conversing thing is a skill like any other and some do it better than others. It’s not a fault of yours if it doesn’t come easy. Let’s look at these conversations and how to get started.

First of all, it might be best to practice interacting with others with a short conversation in mind, and one we can walk away from at any point without being too awkward. You don’t want to practice on an important conversation. Let’s even suppose we don’t have a friend to practice with.

Can I suggest you start with a quick conversation – just for practice – and we then build on our growing confidence over time to longer conversations. One possible place to start is a convenience store. You can look through the window and pick a time when the person there is by themselves. Where you’d normally go in, get your item, pay for it and leave fast, this time your objective is to actually say something. It will be brief, it will be over fast and you can leave, get outside, breath and recover.

Okay, so picture the interaction before you enter. Not the way it’s gone before but like this. You walk in, get what you want and approach the counter. Place your item on the counter and say, “Hi”. As an employee they might ask you if you want a lottery ticket or if you found everything you wanted; every store is similar but different. Think about what they said and say, “No thank you, just this.” If you can, look at them while you say it, give them your money, get your change and leave. Add a goodbye if you want.

This is extremely basic for many people but a anxiety-filled interaction for others. If you can put a series of these short exchanges together with people you don’t know, you are laying a foundation for interacting with others when there is more at stake. Returning to the same employee on different days will help you feel more comfortable too, and you will have days when you things go well and maybe a day or two where you feel you haven’t made progress. That’s to be expected when trying to overcome a challenge.

You may want to try other brief encounters such as saying good morning to a Bus Driver, wishing a Bank Teller a nice day or just looking at someone you pass on the street in the eyes without saying a word. Small steps.

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The Case For Honest Self-Assessment


If you’re a regular reader of mine, you may know that one piece of advice I often recommend is to conduct a self-assessment. Taking stock of your assets and liabilities is good practice whether you’re just about to look for employment, you’re thinking about advancing in an organization or you’re happily content in your current role. Knowing yourself well and being able to articulate that knowledge is a wonderful thing.

With the value of self-assessment being said, let me add that unless you do so objectively and honestly, there’s little value in the results. So whether you’re in some facilitator-led group or you’re doing one of the numerous self-assessments online, answering each question put before you has to be answered truthfully or your results are skewed.

I have a personal regret that goes all the way back to my high school days with respect to this. I can still recall doing some career assessments conducted by my school’s guidance staff. Back then, I was working part-time for a Municipal Parks and Recreation Community Centre and was absolutely convinced that my future employment would continue to be in that field. Despite the direction to answer honestly, I gave in to the temptation of answering all the questions in such a way that I believed would direct the results to the field I was interested in. The results were predictable; I’d have a career working in the field of Recreation. To this day I wonder what might have revealed itself had I kept completely open to the process and answered each question without bias.

A colleague at work told me that she too succumbed to shaping her own results way back in her own high school days. While my part-time employment factored into my answers, the influence of her then boyfriend and where he was headed in life caused her to answer her questions with a lean to working in the Chemistry field. She actually started post-secondary school taking Chemistry and after a very brief time realized that for her it was the most boring thing she could experience. Both she and I are Employment Counsellors working in Social Services. Funny how these assessments don’t work out when you intentionally skew the answers and impact the results!

Now yesterday I had a fellow approach me with a different kind of issue. With my guidance, he had just completed 7 days of self-assessments. Like my high school Guidance staff, I too implored those in the class I led to answer truthfully and stay open to the possible results that each assessment generated. This gentleman thought he did so, but on the final day he suddenly realized after something I said in my closing remarks that he had not answered the questions completely honestly. He has an arthritic condition, and so when he answered all the questions put to him over those 7 days, he answered always with his limitation in mind.

The results in his case suggested to him that he’d be best working doing what he’s been doing for years. This not being an option, he now wonders what would the results be if he was to redo all the assessments given with no limitations to his thinking. In fact, he asked me if it was possible to get a blank assessment for each of the activities and do the work on his own. Obviously generating personal results matters to him because he’s asking to repeat a great deal of work he’s just done.

What I find particularly incredible is that I wager if you can recall doing some kind of career/self assessment in high school, you likely haven’t done another one since. Why do I find this incredible? Well, simply put we all evolve. So like me, you’ve changed since your high school days. You’ve developed new interests, your beliefs and values have shifted as you expose yourself to more people. Likewise, your knowledge of careers has expanded; positions exist that didn’t when you walked the high school halls. You’ve had experience working for various bosses, you know yourself differently and experience the world differently than you did as an adolescent teenager. So it stands to reason you should get to know yourself as you are now.

I see great value now in investing in some self-assessment every 10 years or thereabouts. Perhaps when some major life changes occur it would be a valuable exercise to check in with your core beliefs, values, problem resolution styles, set some short and long-term SMART goals, and be able to articulate your personal philosophy. When was the last time you were able to do that?

Know thyself. Not surprisingly, knowing yourself intimately AND being able to communicate what you know about yourself to others is a fabulous strength one can have. When you know yourself, you can easily express who you are and what you’re after in a job interview, or when conversing with your current employer and developing a career plan.

If you find yourself jumping from job to job, searching for something that will bring you satisfaction and happiness; you know, that THING that will feed your passion, maybe this is it.

Weigh the cost of paying to sit down with a Career professional and be guided in this career exploration/self assessment process vs. all the time and money you’ve lost moving from job to job trying to find what to now has proved elusive.

Finding Career Direction Can Be Emotional


Today is the 7th and final day of a  career exploration class I’ve been facilitating. During this time, the participants have been learning about themselves; examining their skills, values, beliefs and then looking at possible jobs and careers that fit best.

For some, it’s been a confirmation that the direction they’re heading in is the right one for them at this time. For others, something new has emerged. There’s a several that have actually had multiple occupations come up and that’s left them with some decisions to make. Finally, there are 3 for whom the course has left their future unclear; they’ve yet to get the clarity and direction they’d hoped for on the first day. Failure? Absolutely not!

Now you might wonder about those last 3. After all, if they came with the expectation of gaining insight into a career they could pursue and that’s yet to emerge, why not consider their time a bust? Fair enough. Well, you see it’s not a question of these 3 finding no job that interests them, it’s more a question of still deciding upon an occupation that will best bring them overall happiness; a combination of what they do well, peaks their passion and returns financial reward for their labour.

Everyone in the class has in my estimation, entirely invested themselves in the process; giving thought to the questions asked of them and completing a number of assessments with a sincere trust in the process. Having conducted this class many times over the course of my career, I can spot a special kind of person; the one that takes this career exploration seriously and pins their hopes on an outcome that they’ll then find meaningful; and this class was full of this kind of person.

And so yesterday, as we came to one of the exercises that starts the process of narrowing down which direction to move in for each person, it hit one person particularly hard when they realized the clarity and direction they’d hoped for hasn’t yet materialized. Tears came, and they removed themselves for a few minutes twice in order to collect themselves. If you think people on social assistance are lazy, unmotivated and are happy to sit back and not work, you’d have a very different view had you sat in on the group yesterday at this moment.

When tears come out, it’s embarrassing for the person much of the time, but it’s actually a clear sign of how much things matter. If the person didn’t care; they’d just taken the class because they were made to or saw it as something to do for awhile, there’d be no tears because their was no emotional investment. Because the tears came out, that’s a clear indication to me that this career / self exploration stuff matters; that the person still believes THEY matter.

We all have barriers to success. That’s not a question but rather a statement. Whether we share them or keep them private, there are things that stand in our way; education we lack, skills that are rusty or not improved upon, experience that we lack, a criminal record we don’t have the funds to erase, an inability to decide between very different jobs and careers. We might lack transportation, have child care issues, anxiety, low self-esteem, fear of making another poor choice and ending up in an unsatisfying job, perhaps a disability; physical or mental.

And as long as were talking barriers, most of us have more than one. In fact, some of us have multiple barriers and they are the invisible kind. While others look at us and can’t see them immediately, they are so very real and huge to us that we feel everybody knows ours. Truth is, most other people are concerned with their own issues they don’t really see the ones we feel are on display for all to see.

For those still struggling to gain some direction, the feelings can be so intense, they see themselves as a failure – again. With the pressure they may be under in the other parts of their lives, this they’d believed, would turn out better. Well, it will. Really, I believe this. There is no prescribed 7 day fix that a course magically promises everyone. On day 1, I actually warned people I wouldn’t stand before them and tell them what they’d be. That is for everyone to find for themselves and while it may take 7 days for many, more time is needed for others.

What of you? Do you know where you’re headed job-wise, career-wise? Are you satisfied with that direction? Are you confused, anxious, afraid of moving in the wrong direction so you put off making a decision altogether?

There’s a cost to being indecisive and time passing will rob you of your current references, the benefits of your experience as your skills sit idle. Your confidence will ebb with a lengthening unemployed gap on your resume. And which is better for you, a job or a career? Both have value and both are the right choice depending on where you’re at.

Knowing yourself better is a great start. Look at your assets; skills, experience, education, contacts, likes, dislikes, problem-solving and learning style, just to name a few things. Knowing who you are is a key.

Looking at jobs and careers that match and working through your barriers will get you where you want to be.

YOU matter.

Kids In School; Ready To Job Search?


Here in North America, it’s back to school time. Yes, the University and College kids have been dropped off in new cities far from home; the elementary and high school students are back in classes next week. So, with them back in school, are you now ready to get back yourself? In your case, looking for work?

Here’s something that might be of interest to you: The number one hiring period each year is March/April and the second is August/September. So we’re well into a prime hiring period. I don’t how long you’ve been putting off looking to get back into work, but you certainly do. What better time than now?

Some parents have been anxiously awaiting this time in their lives when their children are old enough to go to school. Knowing that they are being watched and cared for by other responsible adults allows them the comfort to shift their focus back to their own lives.

For other parents, having their children in school means separation from their children for the first time in years. This can have some surprising impacts, such as being afraid of looking for work and even more fear about actually finding an employer who hires them and then having to work. Seems odd but it happens when someone has had a child and not worked in the 4 or 5 years from their birth to the present. And if the parent had a second child during those 4 to 5 years, well, it may be that mom hasn’t worked in 8 – 9 years. That length of time might have eroded any confidence and skills once had. So returning to work now can be scary.

Today by the way as I write is August 27 and that means in 4 month’s time, Christmas will be over by 2 days. Retail employers are already planning their staffing needs and ads are actually starting to show up looking for seasonal help. In addition, those College and University students I alluded to earlier are having to leave their jobs and return to school themselves. So openings are being created; opportunities await, and you might want to get out there sooner rather than later.

One common objection I hear from the parent of an elementary school aged child is that they can only take jobs from 9 until 2 or 3 p.m. After all, they have to be standing in the school yard waiting with open arms to receive their child back into their care. Well, let’s be honest, that’s more a want than an absolute need. Consider that a lot of very good parents have their children in child care after having exhausted their maternity leave with employers. With their children in care all those years, having their children in school now means they are more comfortable having them receive before and after school care. So too could the stay-at-home mom find care outside of school hours; freeing them up to work or look for work. It’s a choice and I’m not saying one is wrong to return to work, but neither is one wrong for having their child in care.

There’s one truth we must acknowledge here though and that is that the longer you go without employment, the harder it is to get back into the workforce. Skills you once had get rusty or obsolete, references from years past become worthless, experience becomes questionable and depending on the field you’re returning to, outdated experience is next to having none at all. Why? Because an employer would rather hire someone with current or recent experience; someone who has skills, education which are among the best practices of the day.

Looking at the individual, a person’s confidence is undoubtedly not as strong as it may have been in the past; the depth of that lack of confidence mirroring the number of years out of the workforce. The longer you’re unemployed, the greater you’re self-doubt about your abilities. Admittedly this isn’t necessarily always the case, but I’m speaking in generalities here.

Now there are those not ready to enter the world of paid work who will cite their children’s return to school as yet another reason why they themselves can’t go to work yet. This is more for the parents peace of mind than that of the child. There are even those, (if we’re honest here) who don’t want to work at all and will look for any and all reasons why they need to stay home and not work, and their child’s entry into school gives them yet another plausible reason.

Now sure there’s an adjustment period for both child and parent when something as big as going to school for the first time or child care for the first time comes up. Wanting to ensure our children get off to a good start is being responsible. Kids are resilient though and we need to give them all the credit they are due for adapting quickly to these new environments. We did it, generations have done it, and our own kids will do it too.

Focusing back on our own careers and getting to work or back to work as the case may be is also natural. It may take you longer than you assumed or not to find work. Depends I suppose on your individual circumstances.

Dust off the old resume and get it updated. Consider volunteering if work seems too much; maybe even in your child’s school. Hey, it’s a start.

Who Is Your Role Model And Why?


Role models; many of us know one and many of us have been encouraged to be one. In fact, whether we know it or not, we are looked at by our peers and often newer or junior staff, held up and evaluated. We are in fact, good or bad, poor or great, positive or negative, something to emulate and aspire to be or a warning to avoid.

The thing about being a role model is that it comes with the job we choose. When we work at our best, get along with our fellow employees, perform positively, we may be cited and referred to as someone to watch and someone who conducts themselves in ways that are appreciated by our employers.  And as I mentioned in the first paragraph, new staff may be encouraged to watch us, learn from us, spend time with us and take on many of the qualities and good attitude we have. All this in the hope that how we go about our work will rub off on the new employee and they’ll too become a good worker for the employer.

Now of course we have role models both within and beyond our workplaces. We may have a favourite athlete or singer, admire a politician, astronaut, philanthropist or humanitarian. What they stand for, how they conduct themselves in the face of adversity, how they rise to the top of their field, watching closely to see how they react to both victory and defeat, accolades and rejections; we can learn a lot about the people themselves. We may find ourselves wishing we could be more like them, maybe even going so far as to make changes in how we conduct ourselves because we were inspired by them.

So yes, we may have role models both within and beyond our workplaces. At work we might find ourselves admiring a co-workers ability to connect with others, their resilient nature, perhaps their willingness to pitch in and offer help every time there’s a need. We might admire their strength, focus, laughter, humbleness, optimism, attendance; even their smiling face. Ever had a co-worker who lights up the room and brightens your day just by being there?

So who does it for you? Who is the one person – or do you have a few people – you see as role models? What is it that inspires you about them? What qualities of character, what actions is it that they perform that draw you to them? Sometimes it can be that we admire in others that which we already have in ourselves. At other times we can admire someone precisely because they possess in large quantity that which we wish we had more of.

You’ll often hear many role models talk about their awareness of the responsibility that comes with the role they’ve taken on. When they underachieve, act poorly or make a poor decision that has a negative impact on both their personal image and that of the organizations they represent, they’ll often apologize and cite their need as a role model to do better. They may ask for forgiveness, and if they do it well, may even endear themselves in a greater way with those that hold them up as their role model.

So in addition to the question of who is your role model or role models, let me ask you a second question. Who are you are role model for? Who is looking up to you and inspired by how you conduct yourself? Who wants to be just like you?

Has it caught you by surprise at all that you – yes you reading this right now – you are a role model for others? And your status of a role model can come from many different places. You may find for example that you’re being observed and watched as a parent. Your child or children are modeling themselves based on how they perceive you as their mother or father. Do they themselves look up to you and want to be the kind of parent you are to them one day? Or you might be a model Aunt or Uncle, brother or sister. Maybe you’re in a musical group, book club, sewing circle, theatre company, etc. and there’s other’s who look to you for their own inspiration.

In the workplace, how you go about your work can be held up as an example of what others could or should aspire to. You may look around yourself and note the behaviour, attitude and actions of others that you admire and wish you could be just as good as or certainly better than you do typically. They may be ordinary, everyday people, not ever to get on television or star in a movie, lead an organization or become rich or famous. Just an everyday, common but inspiring role model.

So here’s you’re opportunity to give them a nod of thanks. To perhaps surprise them with your nomination as a positive role model. It takes only a moment or two to say a thing or two about them in the comments section. Who do you admire and why?

If you do take a moment – and I really hope you have the time to share their impact on you – be sure to share this piece with them. What a nice thing to do for someone you see as your personal role model.

So who and why?

Working and Living With Grief


Just a heads up that this blog deals with experiencing the personal loss of having a loved one pass and finding your way as you reconcile choosing to / needing to work.

The next time you find yourself in a bookstore, if you take the time to look for it, you’ll find a section dedicated to the subject of dealing with grief and personal loss. The same is true if you search for the subject online; lot’s of resource material. In your community, you’ll also likely discover there are support groups made up largely, if not exclusively, by people who have lost a loved one. While all these resources are in place and meant to be of great support, they are typically only accessed by people after a loss.

How this article ties in with my regular subject matter of finding and keeping employment is the connection between having lost someone important in your life and finding a way to return to work and contributing in the way you formerly did.

When someone close to you dies, it is often a shocking event. Whether somewhat expected in the case of a terminal illness, or entirely unexpected in the case of an accident, you’re entitled to feel exactly what you feel and nothing less. So you may feel in a state of denial, unsure that what you’ve learned is in fact true. You might feel anger, guilt, intense sorrow, an inability to function, paralyzed and frozen. We aren’t typically prepared for the moment it happens, and neither have we had the training to deal with this event. It can be devastating.

When this happens, showing up for work as usual is the last thing on our minds. Our employer’s have a right to be notified however, as business continues on. It may be that your employer has experience having had other employee’s experience loss. They’ll be prepared as a result to inform you of the length of the bereavement leave and perhaps they’ll have counselling resources to offer you or assist in some way with the funds to see someone on your own. I hope they express their condolences, tell you take the time you need and also share the news with you colleagues so that when you do return, you benefit from their empathy.

It’s an awkward thing of course for many; not knowing what to say to you when they see you except their sorry for your loss. And you yourself may or may not actually want to hear much from your co-workers when you do return. You might want an acknowledgement from them but then some privacy. On the other hand, talking through things with the people you work closest to 7 or 8 hours a day for years might be very comforting to you. There’s no single way to cope and carry on.

How much time you take before returning to work is an individual thing. If you check with your employer, you may find it’s anything from a few days to a week; possibly two. If you need more time, you might be eligible for a leave of absence. While you might not care at this time too much about your employer’s needs vs. your own, your employer does have a need for you or someone to replace you temporarily until you feel prepared to return.

And here’s the thing about returning to work; it’s normal and only natural to return and perform at a lower rate of performance than you formerly worked at. You’re likely to be distracted and unable to focus 100% on your job all day long because of the intensity and close personal nature of this event. Your relationship with the person who passed and the circumstances surrounding their passing are key factors in determining exactly how intense your feelings range and how you’re affected back on the job.

Give yourself the benefit of time. Forgive yourself (though you really don’t need forgiving) if you don’t perform up to your own standards and high expectations. You’ve been through a personal tragedy and you may have no previous experience to deal with this particular loss. You’re just trying to get through the days, one day at a time. You can have a string of a few days where things aren’t too bad and then when you least expect it, you find yourself consumed with grief, intense regret and anger. This isn’t something you sequential work through in a very orderly way. These stages of grief you’ll hear about can have loops in the journey that take you back to what you thought you’ve already dealt with. There’s no one way we all get through it.

Recognize you may want normality and to return to work asap. You may also be more sensitive, less able to make good decisions, less than at your best and mentally fragile. That’s okay.

And a word to you who work with someone returning to work after a loss. Whether young or old, from this part of the world or from somewhere around the world, we all experience losses in our lives at some point. One benefit of this is that we can empathize when others lose someone. Still, we don’t know exactly how someone else feels, nor do we need to. What is helpful is just to be there in a supportive way when a co-worker returns to work.

Thanks for the read.

 

A Few Ways To Start Your Job/Career


Thinking back on the early part of your work history, how did you get one of your earliest jobs?

Some people get jobs by following in their parents footsteps. You know, it’s the family expectation that you’ll become an Accountant because, well, your dad is an Accountant, your older brothers and sisters are Accountants; even your grandparents were Accountants. So there’s not much if any discussion about what you might be when it’s your turn to enter the world of work. Nobody really talks about what might interest you because you’re slotted in as the next Accountant in the family, carrying on the tradition.

This might sound like a bad thing but for many people it is exactly the opposite. You see they don’t have worry or stress deciding on a career, they’ve got excellent resources to draw on in the family when they need help and advice, and these family connections are their way in to the companies they work for. All they have to do really is follow the plan laid out for them. Yes for some people, this is normal, and they never really experience the conflict of self-determination, nor do they fight it.

Of course not everyone takes this path. The problem with this model for those who don’t follow it is that they may be drawn in other ways to other jobs. They might be creative, artistic, innovative and there’s no room for these qualities in the world of Accounting where numbers are input accurately and precisely. Following the, ‘family way’ and living your life playing up to the expectations of parents and extended family could leave you feeling unsatisfied, unfulfilled and always wondering why you don’t discover what it is you feel you’re really meant to do.

Others follow their passion. With an interest in music, they may not be a celebrity, but they work in the music industry. Or, if the environment is what they feel drawn to, they work to save precious physical resources, encouraging others to live their lives thinking about sustainability and protecting our natural resources. They don’t necessarily have to work in a Ranger Tower in the middle of a Boreal forest; they might even work in a laboratory in a city but devote their time to finding better solutions to problems of creating and cleaning up our environmental waste.

If it’s not the environment that drives you, it could be a passion for sports. Perhaps you turn your love of physical activity and how the body exerts itself into sports medicine, physiotherapy, chiropractic work or you get a job working in a sports venue where you’re surrounded all day long by others similarly motivated. This can be very stimulating and adds a layer to the work you do everyday you wouldn’t get working in the same job but for a different employer. So back to my Accountant, you might be employed by your favourite sports team and the combination of the job and the organization might feed your need for satisfaction.

Many more people fall into jobs. They might take a summer job or a short-term contract job just starting out and without any planning they end up staying around for 25 years! Or they could get started when a friend asks them for a hand working on constructing a house and find they have a knack for building and end up in a classroom taking courses on home construction, codes and by-laws. “How’d I get into this?” is the kind of thing they wonder at some point, but they have no regrets.

Another way some go about finding work is simply to  get going. I mean, these people figure the best way to find out what they’d like to do is just start working at a job, try it out for awhile and pay attention to the things they like and don’t enjoy. Then they move on and try something different; again paying attention to the things they find satisfying and want more of and always taking jobs that have less of the things they want to avoid. Systematically, they end up doing a variety of jobs, having a diversified resume and are better able to adapt into many roles.

The strength for those who take this last route is that being able to adapt well, they are resilient when change occurs. Whether the change comes from an external source – like being laid off or a company relocating elsewhere – or the change comes from within – a personal desire to move on – they can adapt quicker to change than those who have spend 25 years in a single job.

You can see there are many ways to get going when it comes to finding work. There isn’t one accepted way and all of the above are valid. Each way comes with it’s advantages and some disadvantages. Determining which is right for you is important, but remember that what’s right for one person is not necessarily right for another.

So, how did you get started? How did you get into your present job? Your comments are welcome and will be of most benefit to readers who are either on the cusp of entering the world of work or in the early stages of their careers and jobs.

Tell your story of how you got started and how it worked out for you. Was it a great fit? Are you still in that role or how long did it last?