Dusting off the Dream

Mixing in a bit of vocational psychology, this is a “reblog” from a post I wrote for the Career Services Professionals Group on LinkedIn. Whether helping, managing, or developing people, I believe personal development fuels corporate development. 

For many of us, helping others find their calling is our calling.

As a fairly new addition to the field of career services, I couldn’t be more elated to intentionally aid college students in vocational development. From difficult realizations to “A-ha!” moments, I’ve experienced a broad spectrum of dream dissonance and discovery.

Recently, however, I realized that I stopped dreaming. It became easy to hide behind the false mantra of “I found the secret—I can help others discover who they want to be, so I never have to.” For me, finally gaining job competence feels like nesting in a warm, cozy sweater. It’s not easy to push out into cold uncertainty from stable safety. In the dawn of a new year, I hope to challenge and encourage myself, my colleagues, and my students to regularly dust off the dream. Three ways that I hope to role model this practice include:

Creating more

We all have a perspective to share and a story to tell, whether that be in speech, words, design, or another medium. For me, writing has been a great creative outlet to develop personally and professionally. Whether it’s starting a discussion, writing a new resource, or drafting a departmental webpage, I plan to grab a proverbial or literal pen and give it a go. Whatever your creative bent is, may your passion know no bounds!

Taking and giving more feedback

Change is best achieved collaboratively. The professionals at CPP, Inc. coined feedback as “the currency of every individual’s development.” By consistently providing and receiving input, I hope to evoke strengths-based, intentional growth in myself and in others. Humbly presenting your work or opinion for feedback isn’t always easy. However, we remain stagnant, scared, and stunted when we are unwilling to speak tactfully and listen honestly.

Risking more

So often, it’s easier to focus on the roadblock rather than the open door. This year, instead of seeing what lies ahead and shirking back, I want to launch forward. The perfect time to make a change or to take on a challenge will never come. There will always be something blocking the way or someone we deem more fitting to lead the charge. If risks are well-chosen then, even if failure comes, we come out one step closer, one bit wiser than we started.

In the words of Edgar Magnin, “You are the one who can stretch your own horizon.” What ways are you growing and dreaming in your current role?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Allison says:

    This is excellent Kelsey. Thank you for writing this. Too often in Higher Ed we forget to dream about our own next steps when we’re helping students with it on an hourly basis.

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