You are most likely familiar with the classic career handbook, What Color Is Your Parachute?, written by author, Dick Bolles. Updated every year, its insights and exercises are as relevant as ever. The companion website, JobHuntersBible.com, is full of excellent resources for conducting research, creating resumes and cover letters, and effectively using the Internet. We encourage you to check it out. In the following interview with Bolles, he shares his thoughts on how to find meaningful work, also known as “Right Livelihood”. Espousing the belief that “any career can be a conscious career”, Dick emphasizes taking the time to understand your innate gifts and that your ideal occupation might come in a form that varies from your original dream. There are several other good tips here, including always preparing to have alternatives because this puts you in a position of power.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Rumi
Today we have three stories of career reinvention. In one case the change was self-initiated while the other two reinventions were in response to abrupt and unexpected events. Comments Daryn Kagan, former CNN anchor and now head of DarynKagan.com, “The thing I wish I knew then that I know now is: Inspiration comes in pieces.” The moral she learned from her experience is: “What’s bad today may actually be good tomorrow.”
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Seneca
“I’ve found that the resources I get are no good unless I give them back,” says Russell Simmons, CEO of Rush Communications and one of the founders of the hip-hop movement. “That cycle of giving is the process that sustains you, makes you happy and makes you whole.” In today’s article from Success Magazine, Simmons shares his key principles of empowerment, one of which became the title of his book: Do You! “Always do you” means always be true to yourself. Of the principles that he outlines here, which are the ones that speak to you?
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
Whether it’s a career crossroad or a mid-life quandary, the exploration of what we are built to do in our lifetime seems to be a question that rarely can be avoided. What people are surprised to find is that our purpose in life is something that we’ve already been doing or already are. In fact, it’s often something that has been both a blessing and a curse.
Think of the most essential part of who you are, how you are and what you do without even trying. It’s that thing that you do and that people have sought you out for. It’s that trait that you likely don’t even value because it is such a given in your life.
Maybe it’s that you naturally lead, even when you don’t want to. Or perhaps, it’s the way you are relied on in a crisis or how you influence people to take action that you don’t seek out but happens anyway. It may even be that compassion you have for people who have had it tough because you were dealt a similar hand and can relate to them. It may be a memory you’d rather forget, but you keep finding yourself in the same situation helping those that are going through something similar. By doing so, you have hit upon the reason why it happened to you.
For years, it was a drain on John that people always cornered him in his office to talk about personal things. Despite feeling useful when he supported people through tough times, he could not get his own work done, so he often found it frustrating to be needed in that way. As he thought about his looming retirement, it occurred to him that he might be able to turn his blessing/curse into a new career. He went back to school for counseling and started his own practice a year after he retired.
Whether your purpose becomes a career in itself or just a way to turn up the volume on your talents (and I guarantee, your satisfaction) it’s an exploration worth doing.
What’s your blessing/curse? It may not really have a curse to it, so just live it up in a bigger way and watch your life change.
In previous posts we’ve cited examples of job seekers who successfully landed positions by blogging or using Twitter. Today we bring you some practical tips for using LinkedIn. Do you have an example of how you’ve used social media to land a job or help you in your research? We’d love to hear about it.