How do you find the RIGHT
work for you?
By Craig Nathanson - The Vocational Coach™
Let's start with some definitions
First let's define the difference between right work and wrong
work. Wrong work is work which you don't enjoy. The work feels
stifling and constraining. Having wrong work you don't look
forward to going there every day. You secretly hope some crisis
occurs so you don't have to go because any alternative seems
better then another wasted day at the office. Wrong work causes
stress, anxiety, health problems, and relationship problems.
Wrong work leaves you drained at the end of the day. You leave
work asking yourself, how can I switch to anything else? Having
wrong work it feels like you are doing the work meant for other
people. The work doesn't feel right for you. It doesn't match
your interests and abilities. Right
work feels completely different! With right work you feel
full of energy while working and content. Right work leaves
you wanting more at the end of the day. You are excited, fulfilled,
and feel like you are contributing to an area that is coherent
for you. Having right work you feel happier and everything in
your life seems to work much better as well. Right work makes
you feel like you can do this work forever. You feel like your
abilities and interests are aligned. You like the people you
work with, and everyone seems to feel the same about you. Finally,
with the right work you can't tell the difference between play
and work, vocation and vacation, and you leave the office sad
on Friday that you have to wait until Monday to continue!
Start to look in the right places
First, decide what places are right for you. Many times people
tend to leave wrong work and continue to look for another wrong
work! Decide now what work fits you! Where do people like you
work? What type of people do you feel the most comfortable working
around? Do you prefer to work alone? What kind of work would
leave you breathless at the end of the day? What work would
feel like play? What kind of work would get you excited about
Mondays? Talk to people who want to do what you want to do?
If you can't decide now what you want to do for a lifetime,
that's ok, but at least you can begin the search. Change your
thinking perspective. Are you always thinking of the past and
worried about the future? It is time to change your thinking.
Right here, right now, what is the work that you would love
to do the most and why? If you know the why, you will find the
how. Try out test marketing approaches. Even if you want to
work for someone else the steps are the same. Make a business
card describing exactly what you want to do and who you want
to be. At the bottom of the card, describe the services and
or products that you want to sell. Use this new persona to promote
yourself. People can't help you if you don't tell others what
you want to do. If you plan to work for someone else, your elevator
speech should take less than 20 seconds and clearly state something
like this,"My name is Sammy and I have 23 years in the
insurance industry as an IT professional and I am currently
transitioning to working in the animal industry in a similar
role and to be closer to the industry which I care about''.
Ask the other person, “Do you have any ideas or contacts
I could follow up with to assist on my search?” If you
want to go into business for yourself the elevator speech is
slightly different. If someone asks you about you and your work,
you can respond with something like this, "I am the founder
of XYZ company and I help people to focus on designing and or
develop XYZ products and services''. It also adds a nice touch
when you can say "this is my passion and life's work!”
Talk to the right people
Don't talk to people who have little interest in what you want
to do. Best case is they will listen without adding value and
worst case their opinions will confuse and frustrate you. Do
talk to people who share your interests and passions. These
people are easy to find if you attend the right meetings, conferences,
read the right books, and join the right on-line forums. When
you talk to others, who share your interests and already might
be doing what you want to do, you can't help but pick up new
ideas and insights.
Think about right things
Think about why this work is important for you. Think about
how your life will be different once you start to do this work.
Imagine your new work day actually doing work which interests
you, gets you excited. Think about why this is exactly the right
time in your life for positive change. What you focus on you
will attract. Sadly, many people focus on what they don't want
and this is what they end up with.
Try out new approaches
Be creative and try out new ideas you would be afraid to try
before. Attend a conference, develop a new business card, or
join an on-line group. Actually, start to offer services in
the areas you feel most confident in! If you feel you need more
skills, attend school again, get a certificate, or at least
attend a seminar. The best way to start doing work that is right
for you is to give yourself small examples of proof along the
way that you can do this. It usually starts small and then builds.
Be flexible and open to BIG changes
Normally big change is needed when moving towards the work
which is right for you. Be prepared and open to this. Move towards
pleasure in your life. As a result, you will be more open to
change, more creative, and more proactive. The reverse strategy
just holds you back. When people don't take risk, they are more
negative, less receptive to new ideas, and reactive. Thriving
change and being flexible are great attributes when seeking
for the right work.
Don't be afraid to ask for support!
Get a mentor or coach to help along the way. Usually our family
members are interested, of course, but these are vested interests.
Our family members usually like it when we stay the way we are
and don't rock the boat-stability. No stability is good when
you are doing the wrong work. Better to seek out external experts
who can listen, guide, and help you plan the second half of
your life, which works better for you. Most people never had
a coach unless they were on a sports team in their youth.
Be prepared to make sacrifices
Ok, this is the part you don't want to hear! Finding
right work IS major change and requires great sacrifice.
The sacrifice can be different for each person. Generally, it
will be around money and life standards in the short term. It
can also be around relationships, and it can be around where
one lives and multiple other trades-off. The reason most people
don't do the right work especially after
40 is because these life changes are hard to make especially
without much external support.
Are you ready to make the needed changes NOW in your life?
Being ready is the most important first step. The second step
is actually doing something about it. With a little risk and
self trust, you can make the necessary changes now to find the
work which is right for you at this time of your life. It won't
be easy but it will be well worth it. As a result the bounce
and energy will return to your step, you feel happier and most
important gain a sense of fulfillment which will last a lifetime.
I’ll be cheering you on as you go!
Craig Nathanson is the author of "How
to find the RIGHT work during challenging times: A new approach
to your life and work after 40" and is
a coaching expert who works with people over forty.
Visit Craig’s online community at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com
where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathanson’s
books and CD’s, get some private coaching over the phone
or using skype and webcam and in Craig’s office, or read
other stories of mid-life change and renewal.
Craig lives and works in Petaluma, California. His office
is located at P.O Box 2823, Petaluma Ca, 94953. You can reach
him at 707-775-4020 or at email@example.com.
Craig's Vocational Passion Newsletters are edited by Anita
Flegg at The Sharp Quill. The Sharp Quill -- www.sharpquill.com
-- specializes in writing and editing for small business. You
can see Anita's vocational story at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com/_vocational_community/_real_stories/story_anita.html
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