Our Heart’s Desires, Making Career Choices and Engaging with Others

I was inspired by a recent blog about how we interact with others. In initial encounters, we often ask what do you do? Perhaps a more engaging question might be, how did you get into your profession?

I chose acupuncture based on self-inquiry through reading the book and doing the exercises in “What Color is Your Parachute, A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers.”  (Click here for more information)

Through this investigation, I learned about myself. I discovered that I liked to use my hands, that I enjoyed moving around rather than sitting behind a desk, and I my inclination was to work one on one with people rather than in a group. This all fit very nicely in my career, however I was shy and lacked confidence.

How did I overcome this? One person at a time. As well, early success with the treatments that I was providing were encouraging. But mostly it was the humbleness that I encountered with other health-care professionals.

Within the first month of setting up my practice, I received a phone call from a medical doctor. He had run out of options in the treatment of a particular disease. I was certain that he was checking to see if my training was valid. After I asked if he had ruled out health concerns that could be potentially urgent, he said, “Lisa, I am really needing some help here.” Right there I realized that we were in the same position, just trying to help.

My confidence grew as I started to address patients whose illnesses had been not treated successfully and, then, seeing the results with acupuncture. When I was asked, “Do you think acupuncture can help?” I answered, “Well there is evidence in Traditional Chinese Medicine that supports this treatment. Let’s try.” I didn’t make any promises. With each case, I let the patient know that we would need a minimum of 10 acupuncture sessions to access if acupuncture was working. (Now, I often give the average number of treatments from 6 – 12 to account for those people who respond more quickly and for those whose case is more chronic.) Most health concerns require a maintenance program.

Through this blog I’d like to start a conversation. How did you choose your career?

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