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Career Coach: Do You Really, Really Want It?

In her first column for the New Year, Pamela Kleibrink Thompson offers advice to help you focus on your goals, decisions and choices.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson.

My mom Sue Kleibrink just turned 80 on Jan. 2. She is a remarkable woman and a generous person. My mother, like many moms, takes her job as mother seriously, still trying to teach me and my friends and siblings as much as she can. My mom always tries to help others and encourages them. At my high school reunion, the first thing people I had not seen in 20 years asked was: "How is your mom?"

Curious about people, my mom always asks a lot of questions. "Do you really, really want it?" is one she often asks. "Do You Really, Really Want It?" helps you focus on your goals, decisions and choices you make. This question has relevance in all aspects of life as it relates to your attitude and commitment.

Growing up in a family of three, my mom taught me frugality. We didn't have oodles of discretionary income so every purchase was carefully considered. ("Do You Really, Really Want it?") There were not many shopping mistakes made in our household. I learned to live within my means. My freedom from debt allowed me to take jobs that might not pay as much as others, but paid enough so I could earn and learn.

To land the job of your dreams takes persistence, passion and focus. You have to really, really want it. Many artists don't pursue what they want saying that it is too competitive. All jobs are competitive, whether you are seeking political office, or an office job. Whatever career you pursue will take a lot of hard work and commitment. To be successful in your career or in a job search, again, you have to really, really want it.

You have to really, really want it to put in the effort, time and energy required to achieve anything. Years ago, I attended a conference about acting. Dustin Hoffman advised the crowd to consider other possible jobs. Not because he wanted all the acting jobs for himself, but because like my mom, he knew that you have to really, really want it to be successful. If there was something else you could picture doing, Mr. Hoffman suggested you pursue that instead. Acting is hard. You have to really, really want it to be an actor. He did.

The job applicants who express the desire, enthusiasm and willingness to do the job and ask for the job are the ones who get hired. Tell the employers you interview with why you really, really want to work for them in particular. When you do that, your passion will come through.

At the movies, we root for those characters who overcome obstacles to get what they really, really want. In real life, we cheer on those who are clear about what they really, really want and, if we can, we help them. Once you commit to a career path and decide you really, really want it, your path will become easier on the way to the career of your dreams. When you commit to a goal and are sure that you really, really want it, let others know. Don't keep it a secret. Tell everyone. You never know who might be able to help you.

If you really, really want it, keep working toward your goal. If it's a job in animation, keep applying, keep improving your skills and expanding your knowledge.

Sometimes even if you really, really want it, you will not get it. Maybe someone else wanted it even more than you or was more prepared or worked harder. If you really, really want it, you will not give up.

But I can guarantee that if you are lackadaisical or lazy in your approach to the job search, or to work in general, the employers will sense that you don't really, really want to work for them and they will hire someone else.

Be committed, passionate and clear about what you really, really want. Set your goals, focus your efforts and work hard for what you really, really want.

My mom encourages you to go for it if you really, really want it. And so do I.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson wishes her mom Sue Kleibrink a happy birthday and may you have many more! You are the best mother in the world -- what a role model to live up to! Pamela wants to wish all her readers a fine 2009. Pamela is a recruiter, hiring strategist, career coach and speaker, available for personal consultations and speaking engagements. If you are interested in her professional services as a career coach, speaker or recruiter, contact her at