I'm honored to be a part of Quintessential Careers 2nd Annual Job Action Day, the goal of which is to encourage workers and job seekers to be positive and proactive. As painful as the economic challenges have been, I am positive. People are focusing more on what truly makes them happy and fulfilled. Going through the motions in a job is really leaving us in this new economy.
Rather than just landing another job, people now need to focus on the right job for them. They need to soul search more deeply than in the past to know what they're passionate about, what they're best at and what they're truly motivated and inspired to do with their skills and talents. As I work with my clients through Soul Search, Research and Job Search, I see just how actionable this approach is in the new economy.
Take my client Kerry for instance. Kerry has been in a series of less-than-fulfilling jobs, not following her heart nor getting well compensated for her efforts. Through our soul search work, it became clear that Kerry has dreams of owning a business. I even see a marked difference in her demeanor when she talks about her job versus her dream career. Pointing out this difference in motivation and energy has helped Kerry see why her career to-date has been so lackluster. It's not Kerry, it's the fit between Kerry and her career.
To help you find a career that fits, take these steps and you'll find reason to be positive:
--Start your own Soul Search by writing out your ideal day at work. Include all the details you can such as a flexible schedule, a better title or role, what motivates you, and what makes for the most comfortable work environment. (To understand your key motivators, see my recent work values blog post.)
--Research using sites like TheCareerProject.org and find careers where a "day in the life" matches your ideal. I also conduct day in the life interviews live on my weekly SIRIUS XM radio show. Listen in for free this week!
--Job Search using unofficial channels like your college alumni network. Many alumni associations offer online searchable databases where you can find contacts in your chosen field. Take a genuine interest in the careers of your fellow alums and they'll return the favor. After building rapport, ask for feedback on your ideal career. You'll get ahead faster learning from an experienced mentor!
More and more I hear people say they just aren't falling into jobs like they used to. They need to be the perfect fit to get hired. The good news: you ARE the perfect fit for your ideal career. Don't wait another day to do the Soul Search, Research and Job Search to find it.
Share your comments below. Are you following your heart? If not, what's keeping you from going after your dreams? Share your concerns. Share your successes too. Are you in a job you love? How did you find it? We can learn from each other & take smarter action with our careers!
Do you crave more meaning in your career? Is it time you had more control over your schedule? Want to work in a growing industry?
You are not alone.
According to a recent article in More magazine's November Issue, 98% of women over 40 surveyed wanted to feel as if they were contributing positively through their careers. 73% wanted a flexible schedule and 89% wanted to work in an industry with a bright future.
If you're not happy, perhaps its time you considered a career change. Start by thinking about what you would do if you could easily make a change. Are you interested in green careers, technology, philanthropy or another field? Are you open to building new skills or leveraging the ones you have? If money weren't an issue, what would motivate you to get out of bed in the morning - helping others, completing projects, improving the environment?
This kind of Soul Search is the first step in contemplating a career change. Once you're clear on what you'd love to do with your skills and talents, you can research careers that fit. The More article highlights 10 of the best jobs for women over forty including salary information, skill/education requirements and specific organizations looking to hire.
Here are some of my favorites:
Community Service Coordinator/Program Director. Make a living making a difference with this field expected to grow 48% by 2016. The top 10% make over $96K/year.
Environmental Scientist. For those with a passion for protecting the planet's ecosystems, this career requires a master's degree and the chance to work both in the office and out in the field, literally.
Small-Scale Niche Farmer. If you prefer on-the-job training and working outside, being part of the healthy, local food movement may be for you. Small farms are growing at a rate of 10,000 per year and most earn from $26K to $76K/year.
"Career changers tend to shoot up the ladder, their passion turns quickly into promotions - and an increase in pay" according to Amelia Warren Tyagi, who places senior talent and was quoted for the article.
I couldn't agree more (no pun intended). I experienced just that when I changed careers from business consulting to career development and training. Think you have to start over? Think again. Experienced workers have skills and experience that transfer and their passion shows in their performance.