Q: I'm in my late 40s and feeling burned out in my job. But whenever I think about changing career paths, I feel overwhelmed and mentally paralyzed. Do you think I should just ride it out in my current field and wait for retirement?
Jim: These days, choosing a career isn't a one-time event. For most of us it's a series of decisions we make as we progress through different stages of life. Career paths may change multiple times based on age, family size, maturity and so on. So really, there's no right or wrong answer here.
That said, keep in mind that determining your career path takes healthy amounts of wisdom, reflection and prayer -- not to mention the support of your family. If you do decide to change careers, here are some important things to consider, courtesy of Crown Financial Ministries:
1) Don't always choose the first or easiest job you can find. The goal should be to move into work where you're using and developing your strongest talents.
2) Don't select a job based strictly on salary. Making more money won't be worth it if you don't like the work.
3) Avoid taking a position just because the title sounds impressive. Doing what you enjoy, and what you're good at, is far more important than what appears on your business card.
4) Don't accept a position just because you have the minimum ability to do it. There could be many jobs that you can do, but that doesn't mean they're the best options available. Put in the effort to seek a career that's the right combination of challenging and fulfilling.
Q: My teen son is struggling with self-confidence. It's obvious in how he talks about himself; he shows a lack of motivation or interest in things that usually make him excited. As his dad, how can I help him through this struggle and build his self-confidence for his future?
Dr. Danny Huerta, Vice President, Parenting & Youth: This is a common challenge. The teen years are filled with insecurities and pressures. Many factors can influence whether your son's confidence levels go up or down, including his interpretation of what happens around him. His personality, past experiences and emotions can all impact those interpretations.
As a reminder, you have an incredible opportunity to deeply influence your son's self-confidence. He needs you -- especially now as he wrestles through his fears of rejection, failure and weakness! While he may dismiss your positive and genuine affirmations, be consistent in giving them. Patiently help him interpret his life experiences through a lens of truth, self-compassion and accepting his own imperfections.
Here are two practical and consistent gifts you can give your son on his journey toward building (or rebuilding) his self-confidence.
Prioritize listening. Your son appreciates being heard. Giving your full attention while listening develops trust and security. It helps your teen realize his opinions and independent thoughts are worthy of attention and care. It also gives you insight into what might be going on underneath your son's behaviors.
Provide genuine and sincere affirmation and loving affection. Sons desire approval from their dads and affirmation that they're worthy and competent. As a father, you can also provide a sense of belonging, security and safety by taking the time to show affection despite the chaos in your son's life. Finds ways to demonstrate this that are meaningful to him. It could be a hug, life-giving words or asking to spend one-to-one time with him.
These are just two quick examples; there are many other ways you, as a dad, can encourage your son as he grows toward adulthood with confidence and humility. For more tips, see FocusOnTheFamily.com/parenting.
Jim Daly is a husband and father, an author, and president of Focus on the Family and host of the Focus on the Family radio program. Catch up with him at www.jimdalyblog.com or at www.facebook.com/DalyFocus.
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