How Rob Got His Dream Job

Rob and family

Rob and family

I had the great privilege of having a client come back and visit me while he was on a vacation in Madison. He wanted to share his joy of a new baby and his appreciation for the role I played in helping both he and his wife land wonderful jobs in St. Louis.

Rob was working as an organizer for a labor union when we met.  He really enjoyed his role in educating union leadership, researching and writing content for the website, building and managing social media, and creating training and marketing materials.  What he didn’t like so much, was the constant travel and long hours.  

In 2011, Rob’s position required his involvement in demonstrations regarding the governor’s; “Budget Repair Bill”, which impacted collective bargaining agreements.  After 5 months of being embroiled in the protests, Rob was ready for a change of pace.  He has a high value for harmony and strives to build community and collaboration wherever he goes. Spending Feb-June with crowds of frustrated angry people was both exhausting and disheartening for him.  He decided it was time to update his resume and begin looking for a new job, preferably in St. Louis, Missouri.       

He attended both of my mini-courses; “Rock Your Resume” and “Ignite Your Interview” and had hired me to help him find a new position.  We went through the process of identifying what work tasks he did best and enjoyed most and emphasized those on his resume, his Linked In profile and in his correspondence with potential employers.  Next, I asked Rob to write out what his dream job would be. 

Rob’s ideal work needed to offer:   innovation, autonomy, collaboration, research, writing, teaching/training, advocating and community building.  One of the things we worked on was structuring questions he could ask in interviews to help him learn more about the work culture and management style to determine if the jobs he was applying for might be a fit to his “ideal work”.  It took a few months of networking and using Linked In contacts, conducting informational interviews and searching job listings in all the higher ed. institutions in the St. Louis area, but Rob found a great job as did his wife!  

 This month he is celebrating two years being in a job he loves in one of Missouri’s prestigious universities. His work not only combines his education and experience, but it is in alignment with his core values and fits his lifestyle, enabling him to spend more time with his growing family.  Rob’s wife, Laura, also attended the Rock your Resume class and was the first one to obtain work in the St. Louis area.  She is very happy in her job in higher education and will soon be starting classes towards a masters degree.

If you are unhappy in the work you’re in, consider a change.  It is possible to have fulfilling, satisfying, purposeful work!  Whether you do it with a coach, a book, or a friend, please explore your possibilities for a brighter, more fulfilling work life!  

 —Dee

Identify Your Skills and Talents and Find Your Ideal Career

glass squareAre you thinking it is time to get a different job or shift careers?  The first step is to identify your package of skills, talents, and natural abilities.  We all have abilities, life experience, knowledge, talents, passions, creativity, yearnings, interests, and skills within.  I imagine them as being different shapes, sizes, and colors–kind of like this picture I took of Dale Chihuly glass.

I find clients often assume that they are “stuck” in the same type job because that is all they have done in the past.  If we look beyond the job description and instead look within ourselves, we can discover a wellspring of transferable skills and hidden talents that can help qualify us for a variety of potentially satisfying jobs.  Let me give you an example:

Scott had been a master electrician for 15 years.  He climbed up ladders and crawled through ducts while wiring commercial buildings.  At 35, he was finding the physical demands becoming challenging and decided to explore a career change.  When I asked him what he liked best about being an electrician, he responded; “it is really satisfying to wire an entire system and then bring a building to life with the flip of a switch.” We began exploring how this could relate to other kinds of careers.  You see, if you start with what you really most enjoy about your work and look at where you can do something similar in a different environment, some times the ideal career reveals itself.  

After identifying his transferable skills and natural gifts, Scott decided to become a chiropractor.  He compared the work of being a chiropractor to his career as an electrician. In both cases he said; “you are working with the electrical system.  In the human body it is the nervous system but my role is the same.  Determine where the electricity is failing to connect and fix it.”  He went on further to say; “instead of working in a building with ducts and blowers to move the air and maintain the temperature and electrical wiring to circulate the juice, I work on the human body — it too has respiratory, circulatory and electrical systems.”

Today Scott has a thriving practice in Landrum, SC and says he just loves his work!  (He’s good at it too.  I often see him when I am visiting there.)

You never know what new wonderful career may be just around the corner.  Identifying your own skills and talents is the first step in exploring other kinds of work.   Need a nudge to start looking at your own?  Here is a list of Transferable Skills for you to select from.  After you identify the skills you possess, review the list and note those that you really enjoy doing.  Then mention those in correspondence with potential employers, emphasize them on your resume, describe them in interviews or launch a business built on them!  

YOU have a unique package of skills, talents and abilities.  Why not use them and live the work you love!

 

 

 

Ages and Stages in Your Career Life

I had the good fortune to be interviewed recently by Teresa Bryan Peneguy, an editor with the Wisconsin State Journal.  The subsequent article “Ages, stages are factors in education, career” was published in the newspaper on 12.10.12.  It was at the back of the Sports section under the heading “Education for Life” and I thought it might be helpful to share it with you.  Here it is in full:

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.”  –William Shakespeare  

The average American now works close to 50 years.  That’s a heck of a long time to do something you detest.  Luckily, you don’t have to.  Even in today’s economy and job market, you don’t have to feel trapped at a job that makes you want to run screaming for the exit.  Nor do you have to feel hopeless if your career is threatened by changes in technology and society.

Whatever stage of life you’re in – whether you’re new to the workforce or a seasoned worker – you have options in education and occupation.  “You just have to find out what you really want to do, know what your talents and gifts are, and figure out who needs what you have to offer,” says Madison-based career life coach Dee Relyea.

Your 20s

Although some people are questioning whether or not college still offers a good ROI, labor force data still reveals that the college educated do earn more than their peers without degrees, and the higher the education attained, the higher one’s earnings over a lifetime.  The times of spending seven years in college for a degree in Medieval Literature may be gone, but college is still a smart choice as long as one’s chosen career path requires a college degree.

An awesome thing about being in your 20’s is that you may have great flexibility at this stage of life.  Relyea talks about Sally, who attended college in Minnesota and earned a liberal arts degree.  After she returned to her home state of WI, she went to work in an off, “which didn’t suit her,” said Relyea.

Because she had a roommate, which lowered her living expenses, she had some wiggle-room in terms of her salary needs.  So she worked part time in retail and part time providing marketing for a martial arts school.  “She began trying on different workplaces,” says Relyea.  “She discovered she really liked social media, and since she had no need for a steady paycheck, she decided to do that (and be a freelance writer) full-time.”  Since all of her work was done via computer, she was able to live anywhere – so she moved to Denver.  It was the perfect scenario for Sally.

Your 30s

Another client of Relyea’s; Bob, got a computer science degree, went to work at Epic, where he had “no trouble getting his foot through the door.”  He loved his job, until his position changed and he was required to travel frequently.  This was a problem because he had dogs, “and he was miserable with the travel aspect of his job.”  Bob realized that his favorite thing was teaching computer skills to other people, so he stared a home business doing that.  He needed to earn a little more, so he picked up a part time job at the Apple store.  (Addendum to this story from Dee: “which evolved into a full time career and where, incidentally, he met the love of his life and is not only fully engaged in his work, he is engaged to be married!”  The universe works in wondrous ways…)

Your 40s

Betsy had a high-end marketing job at a Fortune 500 company.  As technology advanced and Betsy was required to carry a smart phone, “she found she had no respite from the office whatsoever,” says Relyea.  Betsy was a single mom with two adolescents, and she was working 70 hours a week.  Then she heard the company was going to be bought out.  “She came to me to create an exit strategy,” says Relyea.

Betsy completed a career assessment (the MBTI) which revealed her natural personality preferences and transferable skills.  She discovered she wanted to teach.  She had a master’s degree in marketing, but she needed to go back to school for a teaching degree.  When she was laid off, she got a severance package – which gave her the time (and the money) to get the education she needed.  “She was prepared and thrilled when she got that pink slip,” says Relyea.  Today, Betsy is a high school teacher and loves what she does.

Your 50s and 60s

In middle age, many people find themselves discontented with unfulfilling jobs.  “They want to do something they are passionate about,” says Relyea.  “Sometimes they have been downsized, and (sometimes) they want to respond to an inner calling.” 

You have a right to enjoy what you do for a living, says Relyea. “It’s really not a luxury,” she says.  “We don’t have much time on this earth.  You shouldn’t have to do something you don’t like.”  Often, people in this age range have “golden handcuffs” – they’re held hostage by a big house or a fancy car or expensive recreation.  “But you can choose to downsize your standard of living,” she says.  “People have successfully done that to find more fulfilling work.  A lot of people in their 50s freelance or consult, and work part-time in retail (or whatever) to make ends meet.  Multiple streams of income are the way to go.”

Relyea has answers for any questions you may ask.  For example, what if you want to start a home business but you need health insurance?  “You do have options,” she says.  “If you have a spouse, you may get it through them.  Umbrella group policies are available:  the Chamber of Commerce may offer insurance as do almost all professional associations.  You might be able to get COBRA to tide you over until insurance is easier to purchase through the Affordable Care Act.  You can find a way to do what you have to do.”

The bottom line is that you do have choices.  There are many paths available: just decide which one you want to take.  “I’ve seen some people achieve some amazing things,” says Relyea.  

I’d love to hear stories of your career experiences.  Please comment below.    —Dee

 

Expand Your Career Horizons

Irishfest sunset

Are you tired of your work routine, burned out on your occupation, or struggling to please your boss or coworkers?  Maybe it is time to seriously consider a career change.  Here are 5 Action Steps to help you get moving:

  1. Evaluate your current life situation and how your work fits into it.  Do you live to work or work to live?  Are you staying in a job that you don’t like just to pay your bills?  If so, how is that impacting your family, your health, and your precious time?  How do you want to spend your days?  Where you do want to live?  What lifestyle is desirable and what are your most important values?  Optimally, you want to have meaningful, purposeful, satisfying work that energizes and enlivens you as well as pays your bills.
  2. Look beyond your occupation.  Just because you’ve always worked in an office as an administrator doesn’t mean you have to stay in this field.  What are you passionate about?  What are your hobbies and interests?  What are you doing when you feel most exhilarated, alive and engaged?  Do you love to cook and fantasize about being a personal chef or having your own restaurant?  Well maybe you can!  Just don’t go after “hot jobs” because they might be lucrative unless they are truly a fit for your skills, talents and personality.
  3. Do the research.  One of my favorite sites to share with clients is http://www.onetonline.org/  You can browse occupations by industry, by employment outlook, by how much education or training it requires, by industry or career cluster.  This Department of Labor website links with others to provide wage and data info, hiring trends, and growth patterns.  You can even find out the prevailing salaries of workers in an occupation in your geographic area.  (Handy to know when you receive a job offer and want to negotiate your paycheck).  Another consideration is the physical demands a new line of work may require.  For instance, it may not be practical to become a massage therapist if you have joint problems. Find out before you enroll in a program.
  4. Identify your transferable skills.  What skills and abilities do you already possess that are valuable in a different line of work?  We all have them but often overlook them.  I’m talking about non-occupation specific skills such as public speaking, writing concisely, gathering resources, implementing new systems, mentoring others, translating complex information, and building consensus.  Here’s a checklist for you
  5. Examine the market.  The bottom line here is who needs what you have?  Where is there a problem you can solve?  Does your community need another coffee shop or chiropractor or whatever it is you plan to do next?   Consider the timing.  If you need to go to a 4 year degree program to enter a new field, better be sure it is in a growth mode.  New occupations are arising all the time.  Five years ago “Social Media Consultant” wasn’t an occupation.  Today, it is a promising field along with distance learning coordinators, GPS systems developers, nanotechnology engineers, and about anything in the green industry.  Again, check out Onet for info on emerging careers, as well as the outlook for careers you are considering.

            “You don’t have to do any kind of work, there is choice.  Get the information you need to chose well.”

                                                                                                                    —Dee

 

 

Work: Labor or Love?

Labor or Love?

Work, is it a labor of love?

Today is Labor Day in America.  It became a national holiday in 1894 when President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement following the deaths of workers during the Pullman Strike.  Fearing further conflict, the bill was rushed through Congress a mere 6 days after the strike.  Much has changed in the workplace since then.  Now we largely look at Labor Day as the last weekend of summer and the kickoff of the football season, a day off for fun and relaxation. 

If we view this occasion as it was originally conceived, it is a day to appreciate those in the workforce and celebrate employment. I ask you; do you feel celebratory at work?  Are you fully engaged and joyfully expressing your talents and skills?  Do you really like your job? Are you appreciated and rewarded for your contributions?  Do you feel energized by the work you do?  Sadly, I don’t think the majority of workers would answer yes to these questions. 

When my daughter graduated college, she had a hard time being motivated to get that first job.  I asked her what came to mind when I said the word:  work.  She thought a minute and then said; “I get a picture of a sweaty bald guy in a warehouse pulling a huge chain.”  My internal response was “yikes, she views work as drudgery!”  Sadly, I think many people view work from this perspective. (Happily, my daughter now loves her work as a blogger, freelance writer and social media consultant in Denver).

For many people, a job is tied to the idea of being in servitude to get a paycheck.  I’ve had coaching clients tell me they are miserable in their jobs but are locked into the “golden handcuffs”.  They feel they cannot leave their jobs for fear of losing health insurance and other benefits.  I ask them, “If you really can’t leave your work, can you find a way to be more satisfied with it?”

What would happen if you shifted your perception and viewed work as a creative expression of yourself?  How might you bring your natural talents and skills into your work life?  Can you see how your work could then become a “labor of love”?  I believe that each and every one of us can find or create work that is inherently fulfilling.  If you are currently in a job, consider how you can experience it with more joy.  Ask yourself:   

  • What is one thing I can do this week to find more pleasure and satisfaction at work?
  • How can I make the best contribution to my workplace, my co-workers, or my employer?
  • What can I change in my daily routine to make my job more interesting?   

If you are looking at career options, consider these questions:   

  • What am I passionate about?  How might I express my passion through my work?
  • Is my work an expression of me?  Is the work I do in alignment with my value system? 
  • What kind of work would energize me?
  • Who could utilize my natural talents, skills, education, etc.?  Where is there a need I can fill?   

If you can’t find a way to “love the work you’re with” it’s time to look elsewhere. You might consider creative self employment, starting a small business or a combination in income producing endeavors.  Remember you don’t have to do a particular kind or work, you have choice!

“Follow the path of your potential and live the work you love”  –Dee

 

Making Enlightened Career Choices

Roads in the forest

Are you making enlightened decisions about your career?

Are you doing work that is fulfilling and rewarding? Does your current work give you an outlet to make a difference, to feel alive with purpose? If not, you might want to consider making some changes. You don’t have to do a particular job, work in soul deadening surroundings, or be “chained” to a desk in a cubicle. YOU have CHOICE! If you want to create a different career path you need to make choices that will propel you to new actions.

How do you typically make decisions? Are they based on:
• Shoulds – doing what you believe you should do
• Pleasing others – doing what others want or expect you to do
• Fear – choosing the safe route, or being afraid to make changes
• Habit and reaction – you don’t even think about what you’re doing–you’ve always done it this way

Or, are you consciously considering each decision and maintaining an awareness of these factors:
• Feeling empowered – to choose truly for yourself, not to please others
• Authenticity – you know who you are and choose in alignment with your core values
• Creative expression – you have talents and skills to share, and seek to express these through your work

To make more enlightened, conscious choices:

1. Clearly define your wants and needs. Get in touch with your sense of purpose. Listen to your intuition. Ask yourself; “Does this choice feel empowering or disempowering?” “Is this decision in my highest good?”

2. Consider your current situation and ask yourself; “Why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve?” It may be helpful for you to write down your answers and ponder them. Be more conscious of how you are spending your precious time, because this is your life passing by.

3. Stay out of the victim mindset. You alone are responsible for your life. When you accept this, you will claim your inner power and make better choices. Change often comes from nothing more than a shift in perspective.

4. Be open to new possibilities for yourself. Select one area of your life where you are unsatisfied, and choose something new, something more for yourself.

5. Simply notice opportunities as they show up. We miss so many options because we just don’t see them! Wake up and look around. You have an opportunity right in this moment to choose something new or different.

If you find you spend a lot of time in a job that leaves you tired, frustrated and discouraged at the end of the day, it may be time for “Plan B”. You have gifts, talents, work and life experiences, skills and expertise to create your next career! Identify them and search out how who needs them. Then you can make a plan to move in a new direction.

Location Independent Careers

view of travel career setting

View from my “office” in Myrtle Beach, SC

With summer in full swing, many of us have trips and vacations planned, or are dreaming about long days on the beach. If you’re tied to an office job or have limited time off, this can be a challenging season, and one that gets a lot of people thinking about working for themselves.

It sounds great, doesn’t it? You could be working from home, or – better yet – poolside somewhere. Maybe you could design your schedule so you have the best parts of the day free to be outside and enjoy the sunshine. Or maybe your ambitions are bigger – a lot of people who want to work for themselves picture life away from the office as one full of adventure, traveling to exotic places, having the freedom and flexibility to just pick up and go. If you’re one of those people, then this series of posts is for you.

Whether you want to live abroad or just travel from time to time, there are ways to make a living on the go. Over the next few weeks we’ll explore the pros and cons of location independence and go through some of the how-to’s.

Thanks to things like laptops and wifi, being location independent is far more feasible now than it ever has been before. But that flexibility only exists if you’re not still tethered to one place, which means being very deliberate about the type of business you start for yourself.

If you want location independence, you probably aren’t looking to open a restaurant or a storefront. There are dozens of ways to have a virtual business by selling a product online, or offering a service that doesn’t require you to physically be present to do the work.

Thinking up a business that can be done from anywhere that you have a laptop and wifi can be a challenge, but with a little creative thinking you can find a way to take your skills and passions and make a living from wherever you are. Often times it is simply a matter of looking at the business you want to start or the work you want to do from a slightly different angle, or finding the niche within it that allows you to be on the move. You can also create a business that is partially location independent, allowing you to travel frequently but still having a home base.

Many savvy entrepreneurs are successfully doing this:

  • Chris Guillebeau is traveling to every country in the world and writing about it and making money doing it.
  • Barbara Winter ventures across the country and around the world speaking, writing, and teaching.
  • Lea and Jonathan Woodward have been making a living from Mexico.
  • Corbett Barr has built an online business that supports him regardless of where he happens to be from one day to the next.

My daughter, Nicole, enjoys a lifestyle where she’s got a home base and an office in Denver, but she travels at will – last weekend she was working from a resort in the mountains, and this week is sending me emails from funky coffee shops in Minneapolis. I took the picture above a few weeks ago while enjoying time with my mother at a Myrtle Beach resort (and still serving my clients’ needs) and will be traveling to Denver and Rochester, MN in coming months and conducting workshops.

Some of these people are writers, some are teachers, some are techies. There are many more examples out there, of people who sell crafts or products, do design or consultations – I’ve even heard of a woman who teaches remote voice lessons using a program like Skype! The thing they all have in common: they are inspired, innovative, and determined to find creative ways to earn a living while jet-setting, living abroad, or spending more of their time away from their offices than in them.

What do you want to do for work? How can you begin to reconfigure it to support your wanderlust?

Use Linked In and See Your Career Opportunities Blossom

I participated inTree with pink blossoms a webinar last week; Linked In Insider Secrets and it was an interesting perspective on the job search process.  The presenter, Greig Wells, provided some great tips on enhancing your marketability to potential employers by utilizing social media.  You don’t need to be a job hunter to appreciate the following tips for leveraging Linked In as I think they work equally well for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and the self employed.

Create a strong LI profile.  Think about why you are on Linked In.  Are you looking for a career change, trying to attract customers or clients, or are you just creating a network of colleagues and potential collaborators?  If you are in the job market, you want to be sure your profile includes key words commonly found in your ideal position description.  Demonstrate your abilities and highlight your accomplishments as your profile is like a mini-resume. Do put that you are open to career opportunities under the contact settings unless you are concerned that your current employer may see it as a red flag in which case, indicate you are open to “expertise requests”. Be sure to get your profile to 100% completeness by adding a picture, your education, specialties and recommendations.

Build your network. When you send emails to people you’d like to add to your network be sure to personalize your request and remind the person how you know one another.  LI offers to search you email address book and send a generic request to all.  It sounds like the easiest way to gather a network but there is the quality vs quantity issue.  There is some debate over whether to ask to link to everyone or just people you have some personal connection to. Linked In Open Networkers (LIONs) for instance, link to anyone who asks which is how they have those prodigious numbers!  I think it is more productive to approach individuals who are well known in your field and have a large network.  You are more attractive to recruiters if it appears that you are connected to leaders in your industry.  Additionally, you are much more likely to show up on recruiters’ searches if you have 500+ connections.

Join and participate in Groups. If you have been out of the workforce for a while, creating a group can be a good way to fill your gap in employment.  Greig shared an example of a marketing professional who started his own association on Linked in and subsequently listed his role there as Vice President under his work experience. Another advantage to being in groups include meeting new people with similar interests, learning from what others share in the discussions, and enlarging your sphere of influence though your contributions.

In summary, if you want to be found on Linked In, you need to be perceived as having expertise, providing value to others, and being well connected.  If you’d like more information on using Linked in and other social media resources for finding a job, I recommend this book:  How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other Social Networks by Brad and Debra Schepp.

 

Answering the Toughest Interview Questions

In preparing for a mini-course I’ve been teaching; “Ignite Your Interview” I came across some terrific “inside information” from professional recruiter Skip Freeman. He suggests that the most challenging questions for candidates are:  “What questions do you have?” And “What is your salary expectation?” From my own experience in the staffing industry I am inclined to agree with him.  Let’s look at the first one.

When the interview is about finished, the typical interviewee is relieved and ready to make an exit.  Not surprising then that many candidates respond to the interviewers; “Do you have any questions you’d like to ask?” by saying something like, “no, I think I got a good overview of the position, thanks.”  Skip refers to this as the “kiss of death” for your candidacy.  What the interviewer wants to hear is why you should be hired.  You want to finish the interview expressing your value, your intelligence, and your ability to assert yourself.  Here’s the answer Skip suggests:

“Mr./Ms. Hiring Manager, let’s assume for a moment that I am your candidate of choice and that I become your next (position for which you are applying). It is one year from now. You look back over the past year and say, ‘I made a good hire.’ What is it that I would have had to have done over the year for you to be able to say that?”

Talk about getting inside info!  Not only have you impressed the interviewer with your question, you now have a better idea of what the job entails and the employer’s performance expectations.  If you aren’t comfortable with the above question, here are a few others you may find beneficial to ask:

  1. In six months, what would the successful candidate have accomplished?”
  2. What is the most important and pressing problem for the new hire to tackle?
  3. What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this job?
  4. I noticed on the company website that your firm’s mission is to ___________. How do you see the successful candidate contributing to that mission?
  5. How does this department affect the company’s profit?
  6. How would you describe the organization’s culture and personality?
  7. How are risk taking and creativity rewarded?
  8. How does the company recognize outstanding employees?

Now let’s look at how to answer the second question; “What is your salary expectation?” If your inclination is to name a salary that your want, stifle yourself!  Here is the answer Mr. Freeman recommends to his clients: “I am very interested in this opportunity.  If I am your candidate of choice and, in turn, you are my company of choice, then I know the salary will be more than fair.”

In this instance, you have let the interviewer know that salary isn’t the deciding issue on whether or not you’d accept the position.

It is also important to know what the average salary range is for the position.  Often the salary is not divulged in the job listing and it is up to you to do the research.  Check out onetonline.org and identify the job title, ex:  Sales Manager.  See if the description is a match to the position you are applying for and then scroll down to “Wages and Employment Trends”.  The Dept. of Labor provides the median national wages and employment outlook.  You can find out the local median wage by plugging in your state and then county or city.  Armed with this data, you can also answer the salary question by saying:  “the average salary range for this position is ______, I would entertain an offer in this range. Keep in mind the DOL data is usually a year or so old so adjust the rates accordingly. The salary information is critical to know if you are offered the position and chose to negotiate your terms of acceptance.

Bottom line for going into interviews is: Be Prepared!  Research the industry, the organization, the employment outlook and the nature of the job itself.  Use your social media contacts and network to identify and connect to employees in the company you are considering and do some informational interviewing.

May you land the job you want!

Dee

 

Dream Careers are Like Butterflies

Butterfly on Yellow FlowerIn our culture, the mass media bombards us with the idea that there is a “dream career” or a “perfect job” out there for everyone. I believe this is true, but for many of us finding that ideal work situation can be like trying to catch a butterfly – it always seems to be just beyond our reach.

You may spend years in school studying to become a ___________ (you fill in the blank) only to enter that career and discover it’s not what you really want – or worse – that you just aren’t good at it.

Some folks chase the money and plan their career trajectory based on what work yields the highest paycheck, but even if they end up making the big bucks, most don’t report feeling they have the “work of their dreams.”

So the question is, how do we discover what the perfect career for each of us is?

The keys to determining what might be fulfilling work  for you are pretty simple:

1.     Identify what work tasks you both enjoy and do well

2.     Identify work tasks that you don’t like BUT do well

3.     Identify work tasks you enjoy BUT don’t do well

4.     Identify work tasks that you both dislike and don’t do well

Here is a video explaining this further:

The challenge is that most people get stuck in jobs where they have several tasks that they do well, but don’t really enjoy. In order for us to be fulfilled at work, we need to be engaged doing things that we both are good at and therefore can be successful doing, but that also connect us to our passions and have an intrinsic value to us. This is what makes work truly fulfilling. By identifying the things above, you are taking the first step toward determining what the best work for you may be.

Bottom line:  you’ll never find that dream job without first determining what you’re naturally talented at and enjoy doing.  You must to be willing to take some risks in following your heart’s desire for doing work you’ll really enjoy.  You may need to take a less than perfect job to make ends meet while you return to school to increase your knowledge or get training to learn new skills.  You may experience criticism from friends, family and colleagues if you decide to “leave the mainstream” and significantly change your career path.  You are the only one who truly knows what that great work will be and it won’t be found in a job description written by someone else.

If you’d like some support and resources to begin this process, check out the exercises and inventories in my free “Discover Your Calling” e-course.  Sign up on the top right of this page.