As a professional astrologer, I encounter a fair number of people who are trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. This is one of those common life dilemmas, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 56, or 63 and retired, or much, much younger. I thought I’d share a few observations on astrology and career choice based on my observation. So here are 5 Things To Know About Choosing the ‘Right’ Career.
1. Your intuition is probably right. I’m frequently amazed at the ingenious ways that people manage to choose occupations that are ‘astrologically correct.’ People find jobs doing all kinds of things I’ve never heard of, it turns out. And there are many ways to use your chart’s energy. If you have a strong intuition about the kind of career you’d like, listen to it. The chances are that you have an inner sense of what will make your chart (and you) happiest.
2. Your intuition is probably right. Yes, I’m saying it again. Often people want a consultation when they are doing work they know is not right. But they have a desire, an aspiration to do something else. They’re just pretty terrified that they’ll never get the chance to do it, that it’s a pipe dream, that they will suffer terrible humiliation if they ever reveal their secret ambitions. This happens all the time. Almost every time, the chart indicates that the secret and embarrassing aspiration is perfectly appropriate astrologically. Yes, the person has the right motivations and talents to be a nurse. Yes, the person has the intellectual ability to get a teaching degree. Yes, the person has the right kind of caring and patience to be a youth counselor. At least, the astrological chart indicates the person does. Just as I am amazed at how resourceful people are in finding the ‘right’ kind of work, I am equally amazed at the normal human terror so many of us have of sharing our gifts. Sometimes I think there must be a vast nationwide conspiracy convincing people that they are not going to be allowed to do what they like and are good at.
3. Timing’s important. The aspiration may be exquisitely valid, astrologically speaking, but the timing may be terrible–again, astrologically speaking. Sometimes a woman with two kids, no husband, inadequate health insurance, and a whole lot of bills is not realistically going to be able to pursue that degree in education right now. It doesn’t mean that she won’t be able to later. But there are steps that will need to be taken first. When I do consultations, my first priority is to try to hear the person’s own intuitive sense of how their chart works for them. My second priority is to validate people when they need validation and encouragement to be themselves. But my third priority is to give people a realistic sense of timing. If a person wanted to be a doctor, it would not serve her to expect to make the decision and then start practicing medicine the next day. It takes a long time to acquire the necessary education and credentials. Charts are often constructed with their own ‘long-term’ processes. Sometimes it takes a lot of life experience and maturing to be an effective entrepreneur or youth counselor or even artist. When a chart says ‘not right now,’ to a dream, it does not mean ‘never, you arrogant fool.’ It means ‘not right now.’ Part of my job is giving a person a sense of when ‘yes, right now’ can be expected to occur, when opportunities will open up.
4. Confusion works. Many, many people start down a career path and end up dissatisfied at some point. And with the dissatisfaction comes confusion. Confusion is a good thing. It is not a pleasant thing; I personally hate it. I would abolish it from the astrological lexicon if I could, but I can’t and thank goodness. Confusion is incredibly effective, and often a signal that a major career upgrade/breakthrough is in the offing. Confusion and stuckness are two of mankind’s greatest friends, which kinda makes you wonder why we need enemies. If you come to me for a career consultation, you will probably want me to make the confusion vanish instantly. And I won’t. But I can tell you how long the confusion needs to last, how to make the confusion productive, and I can help you understand why the confusion is so valuable. Basically, it means your chart is working on something big, and you’ll gain from cooperating. You just need to know how.
5. Honesty works, too. Honesty is often painful for us humans, and strangely it is often acutely painful when it comes to what we want out of work. I don’t know how or why so many of us seem to end up in environments that tell us that we ought to value things that we don’t, but somehow we do. A woman with a chart that wants to make money and be a powerful business owner somehow is raised in an environment that wants her to be an altruistic homemaker. She wants to rule the world of plumbing supplies and yet she’s told that only greedy people make money and she should teach inner city schoolchildren. A man who doesn’t care if he ever makes enough money to support a family, who would be happy traveling the world as a folk singer, is told he needs to be the accountant in a family business. A natural freelancer is encouraged to get a steady job. A woman who wants nothing more than to be an administrative assistant with a satisfying family life is told she needs to get a law degree and make partner. I see this all the time. The first step to finding one’s ‘right livelihood’ is often admitting that you don’t want to save the world, make a mint, be poor, dress for success, get a job with good benefits, plan for the future, or whatever other truly admirable thing your parents have told you that you must want but you just don’t.
Given our conditioning, it’s not surprising that it’s often hard to figure out how to make our talents work with the world around us. Coming to terms with our true vocational natures is not always easy. But boy does it feel good when you get up the courage to do it.