Q. I want to make a midlife career change but have a dilemma. Statistically, there are many fields that are predicted to be in demand, but...

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Q. I want to make a midlife career change but have a dilemma. Statistically, there are many fields that are predicted to be in demand, but the job I long for isn’t in one of these areas. Should I be realistic or idealistic in selecting my new career?

A. You can be both realistic and idealistic in choosing your new career.

Often when we have a dilemma, we think in terms of either/or and black/white. The solution is often found by combining both into a new, creative approach that sees the problem from a higher point of view.

For instance, you describe choosing a job through statistical predictions as “realistic.” However, would it be realistic to choose a spouse by statistics? Do you believe the future always unfolds in a logical, orderly and predictable fashion?

You describe the job you long for as being “idealistic” and thus impractical. I believe the same was said of the flying machine, the car and that critical invention, the sticky note. The people who pioneered those innovations were too busy considering how to do something new to worry about whether it should be tried.

The point I’m making is that our daydreams, fantasies and longings are often a doorway into careers where we have a natural genius. I’m not talking about brief flights of emotional enthusiasm but continuing, persistent yearnings.

Most of us have suspicions about where our real talents are buried. We just get good at discrediting ourselves before we take action.

I’ve seen clients who came to me frustrated after making every career choice based on perfect logic and detailed analysis. They were puzzled at why their careers kept hitting a brick wall that wasn’t predicted to be there.

If you want to be practical, realistic and effective, go with your persistent longings. That voice that whispers to us when we daydream has access to data that is impossible for logic to comprehend.

Each action you take based on this wise counsel will turn up the volume on the best career adviser you’ll ever find. In watching my clients’ careers blossom and my own career unfold, I’ve discovered the more we trust our intuitive leanings, the more we’re in the right place at the right time with the right people to do what we want profitably and have a heck of a lot of fun!

The last word(s)

Q. How do you let a co-worker know he is rude?

A. Skip the label “rude” and ask for the behavior you want. He’ll skip getting even and you’ll get what you wanted.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., is an executive coach, trainer, therapist, speaker and author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” (Hay House, 2006). She can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube