Career Choice Mistake #2 – To Settle

Is it possible to use a common process for finding an ideal mate for finding a job you can love?  Let’s explore that as we consider a second career choice mistake people commonly make…


Career Choice Mistake #2 – To Settle


For finding love in a relationship this might look like – committing to someone who doesn’t match your criteria for an ideal mate


For finding love with your work this might look like –  accepting a job that doesn’t match your criteria for an ideal job


You know how when someone is looking for an ideal mate they might create a “wish list” of all the qualities they want in an ideal spouse or life partner.  Maybe you’ve developed one of these lists for your ideal mate.


A brief example of things people include on these lists might look like this:

Kind and considerate

Good looking

Well educated

Makes good money

Likes to dance


Lives within 50 miles




As you can imagine, these lists can get quite long depending on how well in tune people are with their vision of “ideal” in a partner.  People might approach creating their list in different ways.


One way might be to say to yourself “This will be fun, let me include EVERYTHING I could think I’d ever want in a partner.”  Then if their partner takes too long to show up, they might become willing to settle for most of the things on their list.


Let’s imagine how sad it can be to scratch things off or compromise on even a brief wish list…


Kind and considerate  isn’t physically abusive

Good looking weighs less than 300 lbs.

Well educated knows the months of the year – and in the right order

Makes good money  earns income legally

Likes to dance  won’t roll their eyes when I watch “Dancing With The Stars”

Funny  not a mean drunk

Lives within 50 miles  is from Earth


… and what would you scratch off your list?  Similar likes, senses of humor, attractiveness?


But why settle?  Are you afraid you won’t ever get what you want, do you fear time might run out, do you think you don’t deserve everything you can imagine?   Do you think “if I have less criteria, I will get results faster?” – don’t be fooled into thinking that the more precise you are, the harder it will be or the longer it will take to get what you want.


When you settle you’re demonstrating that you don’t trust God/the universe to deliver or yourself to handle the responsibility of what you imagined.  This thinking is neither a good idea, nor is it true.  It robs us of our hope, self-esteem, and energy to take advantage of opportunities that can give us a more vivid experience of what we want.  As I tell those I coach, once you can imagine what you want, you already have it – you are just at the beginning of a fuller and more vivid experience of it.  And if you can recognize an opportunity, you are ready to take advantage of it.


Maybe an alternative approach to creating your list is to make sure that every quality on your list matters for your happiness – therefore no quality becomes negotiable.


I am a fan of this approach even though it may be more challenging since it takes more thought and self-clarity.  I learned from my mentors, Janet and Chris Attwood, best-selling authors of The Passion Test, that “when you are clear, what you want will show up in your life, and only to the extent you are clear”.


The more clear you are, the more confidently and persistently you will take advantage of opportunities that support what you want and the more quickly you will stop doing things that don’t support what you want.  Getting what you want may not be as instantaneous as ordering a cup of coffee or a pizza, but matters that matter come on God’s/the universe’s timeframe for the benefit of ourselves AND those we will impact – never on our timeframe for our benefit only.  Who we share our love with matters a lot – just as who we serve through our work matters a lot too.


So wouldn’t it be great if we found work we loved as much as we love (and are loved by) our ideal partner?  Finding such a job can start with developing an ideal job “wish list” just like you would create an ideal mate “wish list”.  Creating your list involves 3 steps:

1.  Become clear about your ideal job criteria – not doing this is creating career choice mistake #1 – to never discover your talents, interests, preferences and values.


This step also involves actually writing your list – pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  When we commit things to writing it is a fast track to fuller, richer experiences of what we want because the act of writing anything brings fuller clarity and makes it “official”.  Think about anything you write down vs. keeping it in your head – what difference does it make for you when it is written?  Think about a written food shopping list, a contract, an email vs. a voice mail.  We become more careful about our choice of words typically when commit something to writing.  Things that are in writing command action much more certainly and specifically than things that are just talked about.  A brief, typical example of an ideal work wish list might look like this…


great pay

great boss

fun, competent peers

close to home

big cube or corner office


Does this sound close to some things you would put on your ideal work list?  Want to scratch any of them off or compromise on them?  Heck no, right!


2.  Decide to have the job you imagined – this means living your life in a way as if this job with all the criteria you listed were already a part of your life.


For example, performing in the job you have the way you imagine you would perform in your ideal job and having the attitude you would have if you were already working in your ideal job.


3.  Persistently taking advantage only of opportunities that support the criteria on your ideal job list – this means not settling!


Don’t ever cross things off your list or compromise on them at the expense of your happiness.  You can, and you deserve, to feel wonderful and happy and excited about the job you do – and the people you serve will benefit as well from you feeling that way.  If you feel you have settled in any way, then you’re sacrificing your easy ability to be happy and enjoy success.


Choose in favor of an easy ability to be happy and enjoy success in an ideal job – one that is an ideal match with your discovered talents, interests, preferences and values.  Find out how at


About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

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