Should You Have a Plan B?

When you are setting goals related to your career or business, should you have a Plan B? There are successful people who argue that you absolutely should not. Actor Will Smith says, “There is no reason to have a Plan B because it distracts from Plan A.” (1) Sunny Nunan, founder of Core24, a business […]

Great Bosses Do Exist!

If you have had several terrible bosses in a row, you might despair of ever working for a great one. Be reassured, though, that great bosses do exist! I searched for people willing to describe what made their great bosses so excellent. Here are their stories. “My best boss was Craig Duran, Cheese Specialist, HEB. […]

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Dear Dr. Civitelli, I am a former newspaper journalist who was finally affected by all the layoffs in my industry. I don’t have a lot of savings so I need to make a career decision fairly quickly. I’ve read about hundreds of careers and the only thing I really want to do is write, but […]

Avoid the Sunk Cost Trap

Sometimes my educational backgrounds in economics and psychology converge. One of those times is exploring how to avoid the sunk cost trap in making career and life decisions. In the field of economics, sunk costs are costs you already paid and that you cannot recover no matter what you do. Examples of sunk costs are […]

How to Use Journaling to Make Decisions

For many people, writing is one of the best ways to increase clarity about your true feelings about different life and career choices. This article explores how to use journaling to make decisions that are aligned with your values, interests, and goals. I also recommend keeping the journal so that if you question yourself later, […]

Rate Your Boss

Career coaches often say that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. It is easier to rate your boss if you have a checklist of qualities to use for assessment. To create this list, I asked people to describe what matters to them about their boss. While no boss can be perfect, the more your boss […]

Success Story: Career Interest Assessment

Brian Stewart was uncertain what career to choose so he decided to use career interest assessment to help him make a career choice. Brian took an assessment that uses a Holland type code to categorize his interests. (This is the same type of code used in the most widely used career interest assessment, the Strong […]

Advice on Turning Money-Making Hobbies Into Careers

I asked people with money-making hobbies what advice they have for people considering whether to keep their hobby as pure pleasure or as an income-producing career or business. Not surprisingly, they had very different things to say about their experiences and their advice varied. That’s because there isn’t one path that is true of everyone, […]

What to Do About Ambivalence

If I were asked to pinpoint one dynamic that keeps people from achieving career happiness, it is ambivalence. Because so many people ask me how to resolve this, here are some thoughts about what to do about ambivalence: First, recognize and name your ambivalence for what it is. Ambivalence is a psychological condition where you […]

The Truth About Overnight Success

Everyone loves instant gratification, but in reality, success rarely happens instantly. The truth about “overnight success” is that it takes up to a decade to make it happen. Paul Buchheit, creator and lead developer of Gmail, blogged about how overnight success takes a long time. He wrote that it took 7.5 years for Gmail to evolve from […]