From the emails I received about Career River Rapids, it seems as if many of us are canoeing down rapids – either the career or personal. Thank you, Readers, for emailing your thoughts and questions.

One reader’s query:
“I was very intrigued by your ‘boulder’ post.  I’m trying to wrap my brain around it.  Would you be willing to give a real life example of how you broke apart the boulder, stepped over the pieces, learning-moving forward, seeing how you may have contributed to the obstacle, etc?”

What were the steps I really took to break apart the boulder? Are there tools that we could use for professional challenges and, as one reader stated, “life boulders.”

I was vague about the original details on purpose; I did not want to reveal the specific companies or the negotiations. Generally, the challenge I faced was selecting an appropriate work situation for me. There were lots of pros and cons in the situations I faced; it was not easy to figure this out. Yet, I knew I wanted to move forward.

For me, “breaking apart boulders” is taking a huge challenge and splitting the boulder into small pieces, or manageable parts. Some of the manageable parts I used in the recent challenge:

  • Construct a pro and con list of each position.
  • Review the list – what points jump out and say, “Listen to
    me! I’m important to consider!”
  • Speak with folks who have held contracted positions to learn
    their views on this type of work.
  • Discuss the options with my personal, professional, and
    spiritual mentors.
  • Know that the decision is mine.
  • Be at peace with the decision.

I had to step over some of the pieces. For example, as a contractor, I’m paid per hour so I’m not paid for time off. I decided that specific situation was OK with me. And I’m grateful for the clarity granted to me to make the decision.

♦What professional or personal obstacles have challenged you?

♦What helped you smash those boulders?

→In memory of those who perished on September 11, 2001. May their memories be blessed.