Here Are Three Ways to Find Out
you’re well into your career but still aren't really sure
what you want to be “when you grow up,” join the
mid-life career crisis club! Here are three ways to help you
discover your heart's content.
Forget skill sets, think satisfaction.
book, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, career
guru Barbara Sher points out that finding your passion is
more than just figuring out what you're good at. Reflecting
on her own life as a single parent, Sher realized she was
clearly “skilled” at raising two children and managing a
home on a tight budget. But did she love it? “You live the
good life not by doing what you can do,” Sher learned,
“but by doing what you want to do.”
attention to both past and present-day clues.
famous interview with Bill Moyers, renowned mythology
scholar Joseph Campbell said, “The way to find out about
your happiness, is to keep your mind on those moments when
you feel most happy, when you are really happy – not
excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy.”
first place to search for clues to your present day passion
is in your own childhood. I once read about a man, who, as a
young boy loved to make sand castles. Guess what he does for
a living now? He runs a company that travels around the
world making elaborate sand sculptures for ocean-side
about today? What so engrosses you that you scarcely notice
the time? Is it watching NASCAR racing? Gardening?
with a broken toaster? Surfing the Internet? Exploring a
museum? Traveling? Helping a friend work through a problem?
Tracing your family history? Organizing a closet?
with children? Get a small pad of paper or dedicate a
section of your organizer to your passion. As something new
hits you, add it to the list.
stumped? Try making up your own “I’d rather
be__________” bumper sticker. Would you rather be
following sports, writing poetry, gardening, shopping,
fixing things, fishing, watching reruns of your favorite
Enlarge your view.
the best way to expand your thinking – and your options
– is by stepping outside the confines of your day-to-day
life. Consider signing up for a class on something entirely
new to you like bookbinding, feng shui, woodworking,
cooking, copywriting, small engine, or computer repair.
reading publications outside your typical areas of interest
or expertise. If you usually stick to news or women’s
magazines, pick up a copy of National Geographic, Antiques
Monthly or Down Beat. Even if you don’t read a
single article the advertisements alone will open your eyes
to a multitude of fascinating ways to earn a living.
remember, “When you love what you do,” says author and
management guru Harvey McKay, “you'll never have to work a
day in your life.”
Young is Dreamer-in-Residence at www.ChangingCourse.com,
an on-line resource dedicated to helping you find your life
mission and live it featuring the new e-Book, Finding Your
True Calling. Her career change tips have appeared in such
publications as The Wall Street Journal, USA
Guardian [London], Reader's Digest, and Redbook, and online
at MSN, Careerbuilder, and iVillage. Valerie specializes in
helping her clients come up with creative alternatives to
having a j-o-b.