There is an epidemic sweeping the world right now, career anxiety. It is evidenced by low job satisfaction and engagement rates and a need for all to dig deep and find resilience in a rapidly changing global economy. This blog series will be a conversation guided by reader questions and is designed to cure career anxiety and bring you to career clarity.
Question from a reader: I notice you talk about dreams a lot. I do not have dreams anymore and when people ask me what my vision for the future is, frankly I draw a blank. I really like the idea of enjoying my work but have no idea how to start.
The Cure: 3R’s
This is the question you need to ask yourself unless you want to settle for “just a job”.
The soul-searching process that leads you to your calling requires you to commit to three disciplines that work together — Reflection, Research and Resolve which are all often overlooked in traditional job searches. If you are looking for work now or contemplating a career change in the future these practices can bring you closer to work you love.
Reflection – Some answers come out of nothing when you are doing something unrelated like sitting on the beach, playing with your dog, shopping or doing yard work. Creating space for reflection is critical because the biggest obstacle we face in finding a purpose is our society’s addiction to being busy. Part of the practice of reflection is to create guilt free time to do nothing which is easier said than done!
Research – Before you can choose the absolute best use of your passions and purpose for the future, you have to research and explore the possibilities in a way that works for you. If you like bookstores or libraries, put aside time to wander and take notes on ideas through books and periodicals. If you like TV, put aside time to channel-surf and stop to take notes on shows that piqué your interest. If you are addicted to the internet, browse to your heart’s content and bookmark sites that interest you. If you like shopping or traveling plan an excursion and take notes about things you see that intrigue you. If you prefer meeting people one on one, organize some meetings with people who are doing work you find interesting to hear how they did it. If more than one of these ideas appeal to you, do several.
Resolve – Before you can create your best future, you have to commit and believe in the process which is an act of faith. Whether you do this by yourself or with the help of a program or facilitator, you have to believe that finding your soul work or calling is possible. The journey itself can be filled with obstacles or doubts so making up your mind to complete it, no matter how long it takes, are essential. Everyone I know or I have read about who has found, followed, and manifested a calling has one thing in common: They did not give up!
As you move forward on finding your true north you will have to revisit all three practices to keep you moving ahead. In addition, you may want to join me for one our free online workshops called Careers Inside Out.
CEO and Founder, Bright Livelihoods
Laurel has 30 years of experience as a leader, educator and coach and has degrees from Cornell and Columbia and consistently provides effective career education, organizational consulting and executive coaching programs Learn more about the Bright Livelihoods community, go to http://brightlivelihoods.com.