Here’s how you can avoid having your family on your case this holiday season about your career and life choices.

Client profile #2:


Name (changed of course to protect identity) – Paige


Age range – 21-25


Can you relate to Paige? 


Paige is a recent college graduate who finished her undergrad degree in 4 years (yahoo!).  Even though she was consistently on the Dean’s list, she doesn’t think she is smart and she wasn’t happy with her GPA (overachiever? – maybe).  What’s even more impressive about Paige is that she waitressed her way through school!  She wanted to get through school within 4 years so she could start getting a real paycheck in the real world.


Despite all this ambition and energy (even though Paige didn’t see herself as ambitious), she described herself as “indecisive” and said her biggest struggle has been in developing “confidence” in her choices.  Paige shared that she thought she wanted a degree in social work, rehab counseling or psychology but she was uncertain she could finish any of these degrees within 4 years.  So she settled for a double major in English (which was always her comfort zone) and Anthropology.


Family is the biggest influence in getting out of career indecision – and sometimes it can be the cannon that shoots us right into career indecision (especially if we think we are the black sheep of the bunch)…


Paige comes from a family of successful people who love their jobs (for some of them that love comes naturally and for others – they worked hard to develop that love – or at least an appreciation for the materials rewards of their work).  Her parents are successful in sales and her two older sisters are lawyers – a profession her Dad would have chosen if he wasn’t on a faster path to finding security and money in his life than a 4 year degree and law school could offer.


Paige doubts that she has the “ambition gene” her family seems to have and thrive on.


Can you believe this girl?  She doesn’t think she has ambition – Oy!  The truth is that if you don’t see it in yourself it just doesn’t exist no matter how many people may say they observe otherwise.


So when Paige had her free consultation with me I wasn’t shocked to hear that she was thinking that her next logical step was to look at graduate programs.  Because I got within 5 minutes on the call that she is ambitious (even though she said several times she isn’t), I also wasn’t shocked that she already had researched 4 different Masters programs and 2 different Phd programs.  Because I was once in similar shoes as Paige, and because I have experienced many other people her age share the same thinking as Paige, I also wasn’t shocked to hear that she sensed 2 things holding her back…


  1. She wanted to be certain about her chosen path if she was going to invest more time and money into more education
  2. She felt “out of steam” – she couldn’t find a source of ambition for more education (after all, it’s exhausting to constantly try to interpret AND follow someone else’s dream – especially a beloved family members dream).


Here’s a common problem Paige struggles with that so many of my clients also struggle with (no matter what their age or life circumstance)…


Sometimes achieving success within our perceived family’s standard of success can be more important to us than figuring and achieving our own standard of success.


When we stack ourselves up against others – especially family – and especially if we hold those people in high esteem – it can mess up our ability to be and feel confident in a path we feel attracted to follow.  Often we will try to compromise – try to find a way to get what we want in a way that looks similar to those who have realized achievement (according to the “family definition” of achievement) before us.


Paige always hears her Father in her head telling her “there is 1 formula to success”.  That chatter is like a fog that distorts her ability to discover and live by her own formula for success.


Young adults struggling with a career choice and nagging parents everywhere – now hear this…


When parents think their little ducklings are lost (on the road to happiness and success), they will do what parents do – panic and yell.  It looks like this…


They will talk to them through a “megaphone filter” that shouts their ideas for their children’s happiness.


Parents of young adults struggling with a career choice – now hear this…


Your panic-induced opinions and ideas occur to your young adult children as demands to stay in line with “the family way” – this includes what the family defines as:


  • possible (in life)
  • within reason (within the family resources, traditions, etc.)
  • expected – in order to preserve the love and respect of your parents, siblings and other close relatives who hold a special place in the heart.


No young adult child wants their family to think that their first, most important acts into the passage of adulthood (selecting a career) are off course, a sure-fire failure or a potential embarrassment.



Here’s the key to breaking this panic and relationship killing dynamic….


The truth is, what parents do and say will only eat at you if YOU (and they) do not see your confidence in the choices you are making.  It’s not about getting your parents to agree with your choices – it’s about seeing yourself (and them seeing you) as confident, happy and motivated to fulfill your choices.  Even if your parents don’t like your career path (i.e. the life of a “starving artist”, the “perpetual student”, the job that will put you in “danger and harm’s way”, etc.), they will proudly support you (as will be evidenced by a stop to the nagging or their voice ringing stupid saying or ideas in your head), as long as they see that confidence and daily commitment to manifesting your ambitions.



The magic of career coaching…


For Paige, she wanted to put her Father’s voice in her head on simmer.  His voice and her fear of not living up to it was stopping her from presenting her best self on job interviews.  She was interviewing, but not getting offers plus she wasn’t motivated to do what she needed to do in her life to be ready for an offer anyway.


In our free consultation, we discovered that a primary motivator for Paige was to do work that enabled her to express her compassion for others given the situations they were in.  Her most natural way of doing this was to use:


  • what she knew
  • what she could find out (research came easily to her)
  • her ability to influence others to “open doors” for people – doors they could not open on their own.


Interviewing for jobs in sales and in research were simply not enough to utilize the natural talents Paige had.  Being able to interact directly with people and express compassion (understanding what is so for another and being free to DO something about it) and share her specialized knowledge and ability to persuade others was huge for her.


What a beautiful combination of abilities – a combination anyone would welcome into their family – don’t cha think?  Paige could take this way of seeing herself and share it with her family to help them understand her and what she wanted to give an be valued for in her career.  The path became a bit more clear for Paige – clear enough to at least open up a different dialogue with her family.


My offer to you…


Let me help you re-connect to a set of traits you feel confident about and motivated to share with the world.  Call me and I will take you through the same simple and fun to do exercise that I took Paige through.


Get a breakthrough – for yourself or for someone you know – that can prepare you for a new year that includes a job you love!  Schedule a free consultation with me today by 888/560-8233 or email me


Get it before it’s gone…


Staring January 1, 2016 my “free consultation” is going to be a Career Success Insight (“CSI”) Session – an initial coaching session with me that can give you personal clarity about how to gain fulfillment right now from any job – even a job you don’t yet have!


This session will be $47 (a wicked bargain!) that can be applied toward any purchased coaching package.  PLUS, you can receive an additional 10% off my signature program – The Discover Your Life Calling 6 week coaching package if you sign up within 48 hours after our CSI Session.


So now is the time to secure a free consultation with me.


Already been through my free consultation?  


Then refer a friend and if they sign up for at least $250 worth of services – I will gift you with 60 minutes of coaching services that you can use whenever you want – that’s $150 value!  Or better yet – the holidays are coming, so you can gift the $150 to your referral and I will apply it to their services.  This referral offer is good through December 31, 2015.


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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