Why taking a job doing anything is a bad idea.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Dream job sign

Dream job.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You need a job and are willing to do almost anything, should you?

People in early recovery frequently are looking for a job.  When we ask them what kind of job that would like they often say “anything.”

When you’re short on money, most people are willing to do just about any job in the short run.  But over the long haul, many jobs doing anything burns people out and leads to unhappiness.

In your search for a job, before you take that job doing anything, here are some things you need to consider.  If you take a job that is a bad idea, you are unlikely to be successful and may not be on the job very long.

Here are some things to consider before you take that job doing “anything.”

Is it a job or a career?

Is this job you’re looking for going to lead to something else?  Something you would be willing to do the rest of your life?  When possible consider pursuing a career.  Ask yourself if there are possibilities for advancement?  Can you see yourself doing this week after week year after year?  People who have careers can see how what you’re doing today can lead to a better future.  People who only work a job, hope that they will make enough money so that they can enjoy what they do when they’re not working.

Will you like it?

Is that job you’re looking at something you will enjoy doing?  Or is this something that will be unpleasant and you’ll have to put up with in order to get that paycheck.  Will this job doing anything support or hinder your recovery. People who have happy lives derive a lot of pleasure out of what they do during the workday

Can you do it?

It’s a really serious mistake to take a job knowing you won’t be able to do the job when you get it.  Some jobs require are a high level of physical strength and you can hurt yourself trying to do something beyond your abilities.  To be successful at some jobs you will need skills or academic degrees.  It’s really embarrassing and bad for your resume when you end up getting fired from a job because you exaggerated your qualifications.

Will the hours kill the rest of your life?

Some people can do shift work, stay up all night and still have a life.  Other people find that the rest of their life, their family their friends, suffer as a result of the hours their job requires.  If this job involves working weekends, evenings or an odd work schedule, consider the impact it will have on your family and the rest of your life.

Will it make you sick?

Some jobs can be outright health hazards.  Think about the working conditions you will be exposed to.  Can you take the heat or humidity?  Will you be exposed to dangerous chemicals?  Do you have any medical conditions that would be aggravated by being out in the sun?  Think about whether this is a fast-paced or stressful job and how that might affect your emotional health.

Can you stand the people you will have to work with?

Who you are going to be working with is almost as important as the work you’re going to be doing. Being with a group of people you like can help make a routine, boring job go better.  Many jobs involve teamwork and to do that you will need to fit in with a group.  It can be really stressful to work with a group of people you would not want to associate with outside of work

Is this job a stepping stone or end of the road?

It’s not unusual to start out at an entry-level job.  Ask yourself if this job you’re considering could lead to something else or will you be stuck doing a routine boring job the rest of your time with this company.  For some people, if the pay is high enough they can be content to spend their entire careers on a routine job.  But if what you are doing and are being paid, to begin with, is not acceptable, and there’s no chance for advancement, you are likely to burn out quickly.

Would you want their reputation?

Companies consider your reputation when they are decided if they should hire you.  You should do the same.  Working for a company with a bad reputation can be a really trying experience.  You don’t want to work for a company that you would be embarrassed to tell your family and friends about.

Is there more than money?

Some jobs are strictly for the money.  Low paid jobs often come with little or no benefits.  When considering a job ask yourself does it include paid holidays, sick leave, or other benefits?  If you miss some work because you’re sick that paycheck may be less than the amount you need to live on.

The next time you have to do a job search spend some time thinking about exactly the kind of job you want and avoid the trap of taking the first job you find doing anything.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Ways to avoid work burnout.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Match on fire

Burnout.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are you unhappy at work?

Job Burnout

Job Burnout
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

More people are unhappy than happy on the job site these days. Not that the job is necessarily supposed to make you happy. There was a time when people’s main reason for working was just the money. When most people worked in farming or at a trade you worked to save up some money, bought some land and then had your life. Now if you have land you have to work to pay the taxes and other bills.

You will be working a long time.

If you look at your work or career as something you will do for 40 or so years, from becoming an adult, till you retire, it makes sense to look for a career doing something which you can be happy doing all those years.

The pay scale is not the only thing that makes for happiness. Pay is mostly symbolic. If I make enough to live the way I want, more is less important than if I am not making enough to get by on. A dollar an hour wage increase is huge for someone making minimum wage but means not much to someone who makes millions each year. Any good manager should know that giving out a raise can up production and happiness for a while but after some time people tend to revert back to their old ways. So the good workers work hard after the raise and those who thought that more money would make them happy find the effects of that raise are wearing off before long.

People who are truly happy at work find that it is more what they do and think than what the boss does that determines their happiness at work. While a bad boss can make things more difficult, there are things you can do wherever you are to make your work life more rewarding. Rather than expecting someone else to make you happy at work look for ways to get and keep a job that will make you happy.

Here are a few tips for creating a happy environment at your work site.

Search out a job that is right for you and that you would like to do.

College students often end up in majors because they heard that people who do that kind of work make a lot of money. Once out of school and on the job they are miserable and they often blame the place they work. If you are a shy person avoid training for or looking for a job that puts you out front talking to lots of people unless your goal is to overcome that shyness.

Look first for a job that would fit your personality and likes. Over time you should stretch and try to grow. Taking a job that you do not want to do is a sure recipe for job burnout. You may need to take a less than ideal job for now, but if you do, try to avoid settling into this for the long haul and being miserable in the meantime. Be thankful for the paycheck, do your very best, all the while looking for your ideal situation.

Do some research on what to expect on that job.

Some jobs look like fun when you see them on T. V. but the seamstress murder mystery solver is a fiction. Do some homework, talk with some people who actually do the kind of work you are thinking of doing. Does what is expected of employees at this company sound like something you could deal with for a long time or are you asking yourself how long you can put up with this right from day one.

Take care of yourself.

You cannot push all day at work and then go home and push all night without risking burnout. You work for a paycheck, OK. But partying all weekend is going to turn that job into something you will find it hard to show up for on Monday.

Learn to say no.

When asked to do something that you don’t think you can do, at least not safely or in the time allowed, say so. Avoid saying yes and then not doing what you said you would do. Being overcommitted at work and in your out of work life can make even the most enjoyable job an overwhelming burnout.

Please the people who matter. Do not try to please everyone.

Usually, you need to please your immediate boss or supervisor. You also need to keep the “customers” whoever that may be, happy. Beyond that, you should try to keep good relationships with coworkers but you can’t please everyone all the time. Pick who you will need to please and work on that.

You probably can’t please your boss and your parents and spouse all at the same time. Make sure you keep your family out of your work life and your boss out of your home life.

Work smarter not longer.

To the extent you have any control over the work you do and how you do it look for ways to get more done in less time. Elaborate filling systems are nice – sort of – but watch out for things that suck up a lot of time and produce no results. If the project changes weekly those files may all need to be pitched out next Monday.

Concentrate on the things that are most productive.

A few of the things you do produce the bulk of the results. This is true at the job, school and in your relationships. Do the things that are most productive first. Often those productive things will be the willpower sucking things that you keep putting off.

Do the hard things first while your willpower is strongest, then move on through your day to the less and less difficult things. Remember there will always be more to do tomorrow.

Prioritize to do lists.

Lists keep growing to fill the paper available. Many things on that list are wishes rather than need to do items. Do what matters first and cross off all the things that really do not need to be done. The goal is to be productive and enjoy your work life not to be super-employee whose cape is worn out before retirement day.

Enjoy your face time.

Emails and tweets are fine but nothing beats a face to face get together. Humans are social animals we need to see and be around others. Most happy employees get some time each day to stop and chat with other employees.

You can’t understand the tone of voice very well in an email, you get that better in person. You also need to be concerned about the person you are with as well as the work.

Think about when it will be time for a change and how you will know that.

Staying in the same place on the same job can burn people out. You need fresh challenges or opportunities if you stay on the same job. Some people find that periodically they need to change departments, tasks, companies or even careers. Others will find that they need to look for those challenges in their hobbies or out of work activates.

What ways have you found to avoid burnout in your life?

For more on the topic of Work and Careers see:

Careers and Jobs

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Looking for a job doing anything leaves you doing nothing

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Dream job sign

Dream job.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Looking for a job doing anything?

 

Getting a job is one way to rapidly improve your mood, reduce depression and anxiety. More and more mentally ill are working, not at jobs manufactured for them, but at important and rewarding jobs right alongside other people who may never have experienced a mental health challenge.

If the person next to you at work chooses to not tell you about their mental health issues many times no one would know.

Few things in life can pull you down into depression or anxiety as dramatically as losing your job or going through long periods of unemployment. Counselors and clients often spend a lot of time working on depression and neglect the impact that having a job or other purpose in life might have on the client’s mental health.

One major missing piece in the treatment of mental illness has been our failure to provide career counseling and guidance to those with mental health challenges.

Some of life’s most needed skills; things like managing anger, having a healthy relationship and find a job are missing from many people’s education.

Now if you were one of those people who just naturally knew how to find that high paying career, never were laid off or downsized and had a period of unemployment, you may not have needed any career guidance. But if you are like most of us, you have had to make it through periods of unemployment and underemployment and you may have felt a good deal of anxiety and depression during those times.

Employment development departments and other agencies may work to help people find work, but how to manage those emotions while doing a job search is often missing from the equation.

One mistake I see discouraged and depressed job seekers making is to start looking for a job “doing anything.”

The willingness to take what jobs are available and at the wages that are available is a laudable quality. But looking for a job doing “anything” rarely works.

If you do not know what you are looking for how will you know it when you see it?

Try looking in the paper or online under the heading “Anything.” Did you find any listings? Looking for “a job doing anything” is not the same thing as being willing to do anything.

The more focused you are on what you are looking for, the more opportunities you might find. Having two, three or more specific things you would like to do for a living will net more leads than constantly looking at everything and anything.

That unfocused job search will net you a lot of jobs you are not qualified for or which require work at times and locations you can’t do, but not many opportunities that are possibilities.

Spending time learning about the world of work, what jobs exists and what jobs might be a good fit with your abilities, interests and education will go a long way in narrowing you search from looking everywhere at everything and finding nothing to looking  in a few key areas in which you have a good chance to find something.

There are a few important things that you need to know to narrow your job search and improve your chances.

  1. Know yourself, your likes, your abilities, and your interests.
  2. Know about the world of work, what jobs are out there
  3. How do you land that job once you have found it?

In future posts, I want to explore a few of the basics of career counseling that Professional Counselors practice with their clients.

While you may not be out of work now there is always a chance to improve your situation. Sometimes this improvement comes from finding a job and sometimes it comes from advancing within the place you find yourself.

Either way best wishes on making a job a part of your recovery and your happy life plan.

Keep an eye out and we will take a look at more career information in the posts to come.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Finding your perfect job

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Filling out a job application

Job application.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

What kind of job would you most like to do?

Looking for work in the best of times can be frustrating; in times of high unemployment, this becomes a horrific task.

There are some things that can help you do better at finding that job and result in a job you might truly enjoy showing up at.

 

Are you looking for a job doing anything?

You are in the largest possible group of job seekers. Look in the newspaper – under “anything” do you see any jobs listed for people to do “anything?” I don’t see any. If you really want to find a job you need to get a whole lot more specific.

How do you narrow your search and increase the chances of finding a job?

Consider getting help from a career counselor. Career counselors help people find jobs they also help you plan careers. In many areas, Professional Counselors or Clinical Counselors are trained in job placement in addition to their other duties. I do some of this work, especially when seeing co-occurring disorder clients. If you can afford to pay for career counseling think of it as an investment in your financial and emotional future.

If you can’t pay for career help right now, look for online sources, many of which are free. Also, investigate the services of governmental agencies and nonprofits in your area. Some very good suggestions can be found at those free services.

There is a difference between jobs and careers. One puts money in the bank now and pays for food but it may not lead anywhere. A career should have a path that takes you to more responsible and better-paying duties. One is not automatically better than the other though I encourage clients to think in terms of careers.

For today you may need a job to keep the bills played but eventually what career will you really want to do and how will you get there?

One job selection theory (Holland Self-directed search) thinks of jobs in terms of 6 basic functions. Figure out which type of job you would like, maybe a combination of two or three and then look for a job that uses those skills you have or would like to develop.

Say you like working with your hands. You might get a gardening job working outside mowing lawns, or you might become a trained landscape designer. More training, more pay, but it may still involve the same field. Or, still working with your hands, you might get trained as a diesel or aircraft mechanic.

Which gets paid more? The guy who puts tires on your car or the guy who fixes a jet engine? More specialized training and you get more money.

Another skill is working with people. You can work in fast food and say “Want fries with that?” or you can get a master’s degree and become a therapist. Either way, you work with people, but one pays more than the other.

So think about the various jobs you have had, which did you like best? Then look for ways you could do that sort of work but get a degree or advanced training and advance to having a career.

There are things that get in your way when you are looking for a job. What if you have a mental illness or a history of substance abuse? What if you have been convicted of a felony?

Coming up soon in this jobs-as-a-way-to-create-your-happy-life series are posts about those two problems.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Ca. Professional Counselors – CALPCC and LPCC’s

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

October CALPCC board meeting.

This year California became the 50th state to License Professional Counselors. The official designation in California is “Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor” LPCC for short. Other states had some form of professional counselor’s licensure before California, so we are still finding our way as this profession matures and adapts to California.

CALPCC, a non-profit organization, is the statewide organization for this new profession. Last weekend was the annual “retreat” for CALPCC’s board of directors which I was able to attend.

CALPCC has seen fit to appoint me to that board to fill out an open board member term. I am excited about this opportunity.

Some short recaps of what we talked about are below. Remember that as a new board member these are my impressions and that I can’t speak officially for the board. So any sentiments expressed are purely my own. Here are some of the questions that came up.

1. Why are Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s or LMFT’s) becoming LPCC’s also?

At least 4 of the CALPCC board members, myself included, are also licensed as LMFT’s so there was some discussion of why LMFT’s might want to also become LPCC’s.

My belief is that there are things that each profession does that the other does not do and to best serve my clients I needed to be trained in both areas.

Most LMFT’s work with couples, families and sometimes children. Since I see some children, couples, and families I need to stay licensed, active and up to date in the LMFT field.

Much of my private practice is in individual counseling, particularly something I loosely call “men’s issues.”  LPCC’s are specially trained in things like career counseling and mediation. Sometimes this shades over into the area of life coaching. I approach these issues by trying to help clients solve problems that are causing social or occupational problems or interfering with having a happy life.

2. Why should someone join CALPCC?

Lots of counselors are already members of one or more professional therapist or counselor organizations. They asked why they should join another group.

My view is that if I was solely an LMFT I would need to belong to the one or two organizations in that field. Since I am also an LPCC I felt the need to join the organization that is specific to LPCC’s, which would be CALPCC. I chose to be a member of organizations in both fields and would recommend that to other people who are dually licensed.

3. What are the benefits of being a member of CALPCC?

CALPCC maintains a website. There is information on the website for anyone who is interested in the new Professional Clinical Counselor profession. There is also a member’s only area with additional information that is useful to LPCC’s that may not be of interest to non-counselors. Other professional associations also use this member’s only format for some of their website content to encourage those who use the resources to help pay the cost.

I recommend that if you are licensed or seeking licensure as an LPCC, you want to be a member of CALPCC and get access to the members-only content on the website.

4. Can LPCC’s bill Medi-Cal?

Not yet, but we believe this is coming and coming soon. At this point, there are only a few LPCC’s licensed in California. The last license number I heard was about LPC200. Those who are getting licensed now are people with previous other licenses who are getting a second license.

We were told that there is a huge pile of applications for the LPCC license that were mailed on the last day of 2011. BBS will be working on that pile for a while. By the time those licenses are completed and the BBS moves to issuing new licenses to people who did not have a previous license we hope that the Medi-Cal approval will be completed.

There are other federally funded programs in which LPCC’s are already being hired.

5. Can LPCC’s open a private practice and take private insurance?

Yes, they can. Who the insurance company place on their panel is up to each individual insurance company. I am on several panels and each one that I have looked at will take LPCC’s.

That does not mean that if you are newly licensed as an LPCC the insurance company will automatically add you.  Most insurance companies want to know they are sending their customers to someone who is reliable. They require providers to have a certain length of time in the profession before they add you to their panel. They also look to see if they have too many or too few counselors on their list for your area.

This is not insurance companies picking on the new LPCC profession. These rules have also been applied to existing LMFT’s and LCSW’s.

Most insurance companies I have looked at require you to have been licensed for 2 to 5 or even 6 years before they will consider you for their panel unless you have a particular skill they need on their list. So if you speak Russian and Swahili you may get on insurance panels sooner.

6. Should students join CALPCC now or wait till graduation?

I recommend that you join while still in school and read the members only updates while you are preparing for your exams. This keeps you up to date on the latest events and trainings in your field.

Also – the CALPCC student member price is VERY reasonable.

Consider that the really good counselors and therapists do not stop learning when they graduate. If you want to be the best possible therapist or counselor you can be, stay active and up to date in your field.

If you are a client or an out of California professional forgive the very California LPCC specific post. The last two weeks have been extra busy for me. Shortly I will return to my posts on recovery, resiliency and having a happy life.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

How to Find Success and Avoid Failure.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success or failure sign

Success or failure.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you become successful?

You will reach a destination faster and more surely if you have a map. Far too many people head off looking for success with no idea where they are going or how they will get there. They are surprised when after years of traveling life’s roads they still have not found the success they were looking for.

If you want a life that fails, you can avoid doing most anything, but to have real success will require some planning. Be careful about following other people’s directions, they may not be headed where you are going.

If you would be successful in life, invest some time in creating a roadmap to success that is specific to your life journey.

1. What does success mean to you?

To reach success you need a clear vision of what it will look like when you get there.

Not paying attention to this one has disastrous results. Lots of people go along following others rules; doing what they are supposed to do, only to find when they reach the destination they are not where they wanted to be.

Did you say you wanted to make a lot of money? Are you really willing to do anything to get it?  Spend some time at the beginning of your success journey thinking about what is most important to you. What are your values and goals? Will it be success, if you earn the money you want by doing things that you consider morally wrong?

How much more will you need to get paid to compensate for a life of doing work you hate?

We find in career counseling that people, who are doing work they like and that they have the abilities for, are more likely to be successful.

Get to know yourself well. You should be your own best friend. The more self-knowledge you have the more likely you are to set a course for yourself that will be enjoyable and successful.

Lots of money won’t mean much if you are miserable and need to spend it all on therapy to solve your misery.

2. Investigate the possibilities.

Be sure you have a clear, accurate understanding of what it will be like to reach this goal.

Say you decide that for you, success is living at the beach – one time I was driving along and saw a sign that said something about an ancient beach. I took the turn off and drove for hours. Eventually, I discovered I had ended up in the middle of the desert. There was a beach there all right. An ancient beach complete with fossils. But there had not been any water near there for a gazillion years.

So often clients tell me they perused a dream, an idea of success only to find out that the reality of the destination was very different from what they expected. Make sure you know if you become a novelist – just how much money does the average one make?  Do you know how many hours per week the top business managers work?

Would it really be worth it to you to go to college for 8 years to become a professor and then maybe work for what that school you are look at pays? Today student debt is at an all-time high. People are finding that they can’t make enough in their chosen career field to pay back that college loan.

People can pursue career goals, go to school for a new occupation only to find out that they will need to move cross-country to be where the jobs are. Is success for you getting your dream job and moving to a new city to start a new life or is it getting the best job possible while living your life in your hometown?

Before you take a training class on becoming a jet aircraft mechanic find out if there are any airports in your area that have jets. And when was the last time they hired a mechanic at that airport?

There are plenty of posts in the blog-o-sphere about the importance of enjoying the journey. I tend to agree with that. The destination will be a lot less enjoyable if you do not enjoy the journey.

But life is not all about the journey. Failing to plan and going with the flow may mean you end up somewhere you never wanted to go.

Lots of people struggle to reach a goal thinking that will mean they are successful, only to discover the goal does not meet the need they have. In some disciplines, half of the people completing a college degree never work in the field. Either there are no jobs, none in the town they live in, or they decide they really do not want to do that kind of work.

3. Find out where you are now.

Thousands of kids tell me they want to play professional sports. One look at many of them tells me they are not likely to make it.

If you hate math and science should you really pursue an engineering career?

I am not telling you that you should chuck your dream. Some skinny kids do become Olympic weightlifters. But it is a long road. Do you enjoy doing the things you need to do to get there and when you reach the goal will it really have been worth it?

There are two approaches to getting from where you are now to where you want to be. Find the things you are strong at and build on those skills or find the things you are weak in and develop new skills.

What does not work is build a definition of success that requires you to become good at things for which you have no skills and doing things you do not like to do.

4. What roads will you need to follow to get to success?

If you can see the path from where you are to where you want to go clearly and that is a path you chose to travel then go for it. But a little planning, in the beginning, can help you avoid a ton of failure.

Does the job require education? Do you like going to school? If the job you want requires meeting the public and promoting the company are you a social person and will you enjoy making public appearances?

Lots of small business owners get into a bind when they create a business that involves them doing a lot of things they like to do and then as the business grows they find they are having to do everything and that there is very little they can turn over to others.

If you are a creative artist do you want to do your art or do you want to create an advertising company and spend time selling to clients while having to turn the creative work over to others?

Failure to consider the roads you will need to travel results in lots of people being unhappy along the way as they find themselves having to do things they never wanted to do to reach a success goal that is no longer appealing when they get there.

Starting today begin developing a plan that will take you to the place you call success.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Career setbacks and unemployment are top men’s issues

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Filling out a job application

Job application.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Being out of work can bring a man to his knees.

Lots of men have had to face the harsh reality that they are no longer the “great provider” they thought they would be.

Among all the issues that bring men to counseling being out of work and unable to provide for their family in the way they are used to providing tops the list.

For more on other men’s issues see the post Top 10 Men’s Issues here on counselorssoapbox.com

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Does putting your job first really work?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Dream job sign

Dream job.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you balance home and work when jobs are so hard to get?

Clients are telling me they sacrificed time at home with their children and their partner trying to hold onto a job in this bad economy. Then one day they lost the job and the family. How do you balance holding on to that job and maintaining your relationships is the topic of today’s post “Choosing Between Job and Partner

Any thoughts on the topic?

Anger management during a custody battle?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Family torn apart

Divorce.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How does your anger impact a custody case?

Recently I was interviewed by fightyourcase.com about how to handle anger during a custody dispute. The results of the interview and their full article on the way in which anger management issues can affect your court case, your children and you ran today. Read the whole article “Avoiding anger in a custody battle” and let me know what you think.

Busy week this week, but watch for more posts as I get them written.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Job stress?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Stress person

Stress.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Job stressing you out?

Feel trapped in your current position? Is your work contributing to your anxiety and depression? A new post up tonight at counselorfresno.com titled “Work stress getting you? Is it you or the Job?” explores the relationships between job satisfaction and your mental health.

David Miller, LMFT, LPCC.