Calling Tools

Step 3:
Take Charge

Personal Agency – the ability for a person to act or intervene to produce a particular effect or result.

Opportunity - A time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.


You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.”

Rosalynn Carter

You can have unbelievable intelligence, you can have connections, you can have opportunities fall out of the sky. But in the end, hard work is the true, enduring characteristic of successful people.”

Marsha Evans

Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city...Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.  Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’”

--Isaiah 52:1-2, 6

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”

--Helen Keller


Identify Competing Options

Often we have competing options, values or priorities, or other challenges when making decisions about a career. This exercise helps you identify and articulate those competing voices to possibly find a way forward.

  • Identify the competing voices, explaining the different messages you’re hearing in your own mind.

  • Narrow these competing dilemmas down to two major messages. Envision these two sides as different versions of yourself.

  • Set up two chairs. Sit in one chair that represents one of the voices. Articulate the emotions, attitudes, assumptions or actions of this version of yourself. What kind of voice and tone are you using?

  • Sit in the other chair to represent the other voice and ask yourself the same questions.

  • Invite these two “voices” to speak with each other. What does each version think of the other? What would they like to say to each other?

  • Reflect on this “conversation.” Has either side of yourself changed? Which of the voices now seems louder or more convincing?


Have an imaginary conversation with your role model

If you find yourself in a career dilemma, or doubts about the best way forward, imagine having a conversation with someone you admire, whom you feel would give you good advice.

  • Make a list of these dilemmas or doubts in detail. What are you worried about?

  • Explain your career dilemma or personal doubts with your imaginary conversation partner/role model.

  • Ask them a question related to your dilemma or doubts.

  • What response do you think your role model will give you? Be as detailed as you can be.

  • Does this seem like good advice? What parts are especially valuable or useful?

  • Do you think you should act on this advice? Why or why not?

  • What would you need to change to enable you to act on this advice? What is the first step you need to take? 

  • Make a commitment to change your thinking about your dilemmas or doubts.

  • If I wasn’t afraid, I would…

  • If I had no problems, limitations, worries or challenges, if all my excuses disappeared, I would…and my next step would be…

  • If I knew I couldn’t fail, the next tiny step would be…

  • If I had all the confidence and skills needed, I would…

  • Find a network of support to help you move ahead with your new commitment.


Envision a miracle resolution to your career dilemma!

Imagine that you go to sleep tonight, wake up in the morning, and a miracle has happened so that your career dilemma is resolved! Journal the following questions:

  • When you wake up in the morning, what has changed? What is different?

  • Provide details of your life, routine, emotions and relationships.

  • How are you feeling?

  • What are you thinking about on the way to work?

  • How does this inform your goals for the future?


Take Practical Steps!

Take Practical Steps that are within your control

Even when you feel like there may be no opportunities for you, there are many practical steps you can take that are within your control!

Links to Tools to explore for practical steps:

  • Build a resume and cover letter that will attract attention with these useful templates


Say yes to every opportunity that comes along, because you never know what will lead to what. Have a bias toward action. Think of yourself as a fish that is hoping to get caught. Go out there among the fishhooks.” 

--David Brooks, The Second Mountain

I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

--Thomas Edison

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

--Franklin D. Roosevelt

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