Sunday, November 7, 2010

Finding Career Bliss

Have you been floating around all your professional life? Are you unhappy with the current state of your career and you just can't pinpoint the reason why? Do you feel you can do better but do not have the motivation to really pursue your passion? Or do you even know what your passion is? If you answer yes to all but the last question, you are absolutely not alone. Millions of professionals just go through the motions of work, finding it a necessary evil to get sustenance and maintain their lifestyles.

Whatever happened to find the work you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life? The truth is very few people know and dare to find that elusive road to professional bliss. Time to give your self a serious whack on the side of your head and wake-up from your zombie-like stupor of going through the motion and find the work that will really make you happy. It is now time to answer the important questions and make the necessary decisions that will lead you to the careers where you will truly shine inside and out.

What are the Things that You Really Love to Do?
 Do you love writing, talking to people, computers, cooking, decorating, selling, creating something out of nothing, what do you really love to do? Have you ever asked yourself this question and come up with a definite answer? One big problem that I experience from young professionals is their utter “clueless-ness “ on what they really love to do. If you cannot answer this question, some soul-searching is in order.  When you are able to describe in specific terms what you love to do like “ I love to teach, it gives me a certain degree of high to know that I am able to share my knowledge with other people,” You’ll pretty much have a clearer idea of what you should be doing with your career. Come up with a number of similar statements. About four or five is a good number. It gives you options and options are good.

What can you be great at and not simply good at?
All normal human beings have the capability to be great at something, you and I included. But in order for it to happen, we need to recognize the talents and potentials that we have. Knowing and recognizing your talents and potentials is an important complement to your answer to the question “what do you love doing?” If you listed singing as one of the things you love to do but you risk physical injury every time you try to and that’s because you are as tone deaf as “tone-deafs” come, then it narrows your options of things you can do with your career. Compare the things you love to do with what you can be great at and you’ll have a pretty good picture of your choices.

What will make you complete?
Sounds like a popular commercial doesn’t it? But have you seriously thought about what will make your life complete as far your career is concerned? Have you imagined yourself sitting on a rocking chair sometime in the future assessing  how your life has been and counting the things that you’ve done that really mattered? Take your answers to the first and second question and decide how far you want to take them to make you feel complete and fulfilled.  Make it your personal mission statement. Example: “ My mission is to help people achieve personal and professional success through training and coaching.” 

What should you be doing with your life?
 After crafting your personal mission, it is now important that you are able to create a roadmap towards getting from here to there. This is a critical part of your journey. If you’ve started on a path that is so different from where you want to be, you need to plan a sustainable strategy for redirection. A former staff of mine shifted from being a Human Resource Specialist to a Computer Programmer by first enrolling in a class. He made some personal investment of time and money and some sacrifices in terms of lifestyle because he recognize that getting to where he wants to be from where he is require discipline and determination. I’m glad to report that he is now a project manager in a software development company. He performed better as a programmer than as an HR practitioner because he realized  that this what he really wants to do. Your road map to success just like any road map, has to make sense. Planning a seamless transition will help you get rid of the fears that keep people from shifting to the careers that they really want.

 Successful career people become successful because they act out of passion for what they do. They pursue excellence in what they do because they have a clear standard of how they should perform. They are no different from athletes who strive to break their personal best.  They find ecstasy in knowing that they get better every time. Find your career like athletes find their sport and pursue it with as much intensity and you’ll never go wrong.

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