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更新时间:2014-5-8 12:21:32 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

When Your Dream Job Disappoints, How to Find Plan B

After years of planning, preparing and perhaps paying for an extra degree, you finally land your dream job--and discover you don't like it.

It's a surprisingly common dilemma. The idea of a 'dream job' is drilled into job seekers these days. Increasingly, people expect to find jobs that provide not only a living but also stimulation, emotional fulfillment and a sense of purpose. The image of a career as a source of passion is promoted by career advisers, self-help books and even the glamorous characters in TV dramas. But fantasies about a job can blind job-seekers to workaday realities and to consideration of the best fit.

Told she had creative talent, Caroline Kelso Winegeart targeted advertising in college, heading the advertising club at her university and landing an internship at a big New York ad agency. 'This was going to be my foot in the door, to get this glamorous ad-executive job I thought I wanted,' she says.

Her first job after college in 2010, as an assistant media planner at McKinney in Durham, N.C., 'felt like my dream job,' she says. She liked the people and was thrilled to join an agency with national brands and a hip, creative image.

But she hadn't anticipated the complexity of managing a large budget for two accounts, while being bombarded by phone calls from media reps with ad space to sell. A heavier work load and more time pressure than she had expected left her feeling 'stressed and so overwhelmed all the time.' She had been naïve, she says, to think that 'the place I was working was more important than my actual role.'

Turning a dashed dream job into a win requires overcoming disappointment, looking hard at where you went wrong and making the most of the skills you have picked up. A good strategy is to ask yourself, 'Where can I go from here, to avoid making a complete U-turn?' says Helene Lollis, president of Pathbuilders, an Atlanta leadership-development consultant. That may mean using your current job to develop skills and contacts that might serve as stepping stones to something else.

Ms. Winegeart liked using social media, so she made building skills in that area a focal point of her work. That helped her land a new job building a social-media department at a smaller agency. The skills she gained equipped her in 2011 to leave advertising and take a position for two years as operations manager for IWearYourShirt.com, a marketing business run by her boyfriend Jason Surfrapp. Ms. Winegeart, 25, has since started her own branding and Web-design business, MadeVibrant.com.

Unexpected failures can be beneficial if they jolt people into new ways of thinking, according to a 2011 study in the journal Social Psychology. People who stop and think deeply about what they might have done differently tend to be more creative about reaching goals in the future, the study says.

All the plans Ashley Stahl made through adolescence, college and grad school were to prepare for her fantasy career in national security, she says. She got a master's degree in international relations, learned Arabic and networked intensively for six weeks in Washington, D.C., attending 90 different events. At age 23, she landed a job with a defense contractor to run a program for the Pentagon. 'I was excited and anxious about this huge opportunity,' she says. 'I was living my dream.'

The work, however--preparing senior officials for deployment to Afghanistan--had drawbacks that she hadn't foreseen. She felt isolated in the male-dominated, intensely competitive culture of military bases and the Pentagon. The hours were so long that 'my job took over my life, ' she says. She also realized she had underestimated her aversion to violence. When her employer asked her to consider traveling to war-torn areas overseas, she quit after eight months on the job. 'By that time, I'd seen too much raw footage of the worst-case scenarios in the world,' she says.

Working with a career coach, Ms. Stahl realized she had been ignoring feedback about her real skills from friends and acquaintances, who told her she was good at helping them open up, talk about their careers and learn to network, find jobs and win promotions. She worked briefly at two other jobs, in crisis-communication and political-risk consulting, Then Ms. Stahl, who is now 26, quit to work full-time as a Beverly Hills, Calif.- based speaker and career coach to teens and young adults.

How long should you stay in a dream job gone bad? Quick departures are more common in some industries, such as high-tech work, than in others. It can be fine for skilled employees who find a new job quickly to leave within a few weeks, says Kathryn Minshew, founder and chief executive of TheMuse.com, a career-planning website.

But don't flee unexpected challenges too fast. It is usually better to stay 12 to 18 months to show stability. Also, some people need time to recover emotionally after a career dream goes up in smoke, says Adele Scheele, Los Angeles, author of 'Skills for Success.' She adds, 'If Job A isn't satisfying to you and that's your dream job, you can't just flee to Job B. You may carry your depression with you.'

It's important to be aware of why you are drawn to certain jobs. A common mistake is to pick a career without weighing related factors, 'such as culture, management style or the work-life arrangement,' says Pamela Slim, a Mesa, Ariz., author of 'Body of Work,' a book about managing changing career paths. 'You can be passionate about being a trial attorney without realizing you have to work 20 hours a day,' she says.

Some people target dream jobs for unconscious reasons. People who enter sports psychology training programs are sometimes former athletes who failed to achieve their goals. They may dream of basking in reflected glory, according to a study last year in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. This makes the work--listening to athletes' problems and helping them figure out strategies to improve--harder, because the psychologists can't keep a healthy distance from clients' negative emotions and problems, says the six-month study of diaries and in-depth interviews with seven students.

Cheryl Heisler, president of Lawternatives, a career consulting service in Chicago for lawyers and professionals, recommends making a pro-and-con list of all the job characteristics that will affect your happiness. It may be important to you to have the latest job tools, or to avoid offices with a party culture, for example, she says. 'Any jobs get held up against that pro-and-con list, and that keeps you honest,' she says. Talking with people who are already working in the job you want can uncover potential surprises or red flags.

Ms. Heisler advises recasting your broken dream as an asset in job interviews. Stress what you gained, such as new skills or insight into another industry, sending the message: 'I got to learn something new. I'm a different person than I was before.'



因为别人说自己拥有创造天赋,卡罗琳·凯尔索·怀恩吉尔特(Caroline Kelso Winegeart)在大学读书时瞄准了广告行业,是学校广告俱乐部主席,又在纽约一家大型广告公司获得了实习机会。她说:“这是我获得后来那个令人艳羡的广告经理人工作所迈出的第一步,曾经我以为自己想要那样的工作。”



在有关梦想职业的预期破灭后想要反败为胜,需要克服失望情绪,深刻检讨你在哪些地方犯了错,并最大化地利用你已经获得的技能。亚特兰大领导力开发咨询公司Pathbuilders的总裁海伦妮·洛利斯(Helene Lollis)说,一个很好的策略是问问自己,“从目前的状态,我可以往哪个方向走,而不用彻底调头?”具体来讲,或许就是利用当前的工作来开发一些技能和人脉,它们也许会成为你转换方向所需的垫脚石。

怀恩吉尔特喜欢使用社交媒体,于是她把积累这方面技能当作工作中的一个重点。这帮助她在一家稍小的广告公司找到了一份筹建社交媒体部的工作。依靠所掌握技能的武装,她在2011年告别广告行业,在男友贾森·瑟夫拉普(Jason Surfrapp)开的营销公司 IWearYourShirt.com当了两年的运营经理。后来,现年25岁的怀恩吉尔特开办了自己的品牌推广与网站设计公司MadeVibrant.com。

《社会心理学》杂志(Social Psychology)2011年刊发的一篇论文指出,如果意料之外的失败促使人用新的方式去思考,那么这样的失败就可能是有益的。论文指出,停下来深入思考当初本来可以做其他哪些选择的人,在将来努力实现目标的时候往往会更有创造性。

阿什莉·施塔尔(Ashley Stahl)说,从少年时期到读大学、读研究生期间,她做的所有规划都是为她从事国防行业的梦想职业做准备。她拿到了国际关系专业的硕士学位,学习了阿拉伯语,并在华盛顿特区用六周时间结识了很多人,参加了90场不同的活动。23岁的时候,她在一家国防承包商找到了一份为五角大楼运作一个项目的工作。她说:“对于这个巨大的机遇,我兴奋不已、迫不及待,我的梦想变成了现实。”


在职业导师的帮助下,斯塔尔意识到自己一直忽略了朋友和熟人有关她真正才能的反馈。朋友和熟人对她说,她善于帮助他们放开自己、谈职业发展并学会结交人脉、找工作、获得晋升。目前26岁的斯塔尔后来短暂地做过另外两份工作,一是危机公关,一是政治风险咨询,然后又辞职在加利佛尼亚州贝弗利山庄(Beverly Hills)担任了一名服务于青少年的全职演说家和职业导师。

如果梦想职业不如你原先想象的那么好,那么你该保留这个工作多久?闪电离职在诸如高科技之类的行业比在其他行业更为常见。职业规划网站TheMuse.com创始人兼首席执行长凯瑟琳·明肖(Kathryn Minshew)说,对于那些很快就能找到新工作的熟练员工来说,上班几个星期就离职也是没有问题的。

但也不要过快地逃避你没有预料到的那些挑战。一般情况下最好是呆上一年到一年半,表明你做事情是有常性的。另外,《成功的技能》(Skills for Success)一书的作者、洛杉矶的阿黛尔·谢勒(Adele Scheele)说,一些人在有关某个职业的梦想破灭之后需要一些时间来让情感得以恢复。她还说:“如果工作A不能让你满意而它又是你的梦想工作,你不能直接跳到工作B完事。你可能会把抑郁的情绪带过去。”

要认识到为什么某些工作对你有吸引力,这一点非常重要。《工作主体》(Body of Work)一书的作者、亚利桑那州梅萨(Mesa)的帕梅拉·斯利姆(Pamela Slim)说,一个常见的错误是在选择职业的时候不权衡考虑相关因素,“比如文化、管理风格或工作-生活安排。你可能很想当一名出庭律师,却没有意识到这需要一天工作20个小时”。《 工作主体》是一本讲述如何管理职业道路变化的书。

有些人将某个职业设定为梦想职业是出于下意识的原因。有些从事运动心理学训练项目的人是未能实现职业目标的前运动员。根据《应用运动心理学杂志》(Journal of Applied Sport Psychology)去年发表的一项研究的论文,他们可能是梦想着沾他人的光。论文指出,这会增加他们工作——倾听运动员的问题、帮助他们设计改进策略——的难度,因为这些心理学家不能与客户的负面情绪和问题保持合理的距离。这项研究为时六个月,根据的是一些相关的日记以及同七名学生的深入交谈。

芝加哥面向律师和专业人士的职业咨询公司 Lawternatives的总裁谢里尔·海斯勒(Cheryl Heisler)建议用一张清单列出所有会影响到你幸福感的工作的特点,包括好的和不好的。她说,比如,掌握最新职业工具,或避开拥有党派文化的办公环境,对你而言可能是很重要的。她说:“任何工作都要拿去跟这个清单做一番对比,这会让你保持诚实。”跟已经在做你想做的工作的人交谈,也许能够帮你发现一些意想不到的情况或危险信号。