Find Meaningful Work Tips

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Career Self-Assessment

If you're job searching, it's important to do an initial self-assessment to determine your strengths, talents, interests, and skills. To get started, try answering the questions below…

1. What are a couple of areas where your friends and family see you as an expert, or at least as someone who is knowledgeable about the issue?

2. What types of things energize you? Think carefully. What sorts of people are you naturally drawn to? What types of activities hold your interest? What kinds of places do you find the most stimulating or intriguing?

3. What are the skills that you possess? What are you a “natural” at? Try to name 3-5 skills.

4. How do you most enjoy spending your free time? Are there any common themes in these activities?

5. If you could do any job in your life, what would you choose? (Many have a hard time answering this question. If that’s the case for you, write down at least 5 careers that you think you would enjoy.)


Keep Your Day Job

Keep your day job. No matter how frustrated you are with your current work or company, let it pay the bills while you determine what to do next. Think about your current work not as an end in itself, but as a way to support yourself financially while you determine how to shift into a new career when the timing is best for you. Successful career changers often “test” their way into a new field by making small, incremental changes. You can volunteer in a new industry or field, take on a project as a favor to a colleague, or complete some freelance work to learn more about yourself and the kind of work that really matters to you.


Feeling Frustrated at Work?

All of us experience a certain degree of frustration in our work. Experiencing recurring job frustrations may indeed lead you to question your career choices. To work through the problem, begin by identifying the source. What specifically is causing you job stress? Next, find a good listener. You need a fresh, objective perspective! After some reflection, shift your focus on the part of the job you enjoy. How can you do more of what you like and eliminate or rework the parts that are stressors? Chances are, you are not dissatisfied will all parts of your position. Try this exercise to begin painting a picture of the kind of work better suited to your skills, values, and personality.


Focus on the Feeling

Focus on the feeling, not the thing. Think about the activities you’ll be doing in your position and how they’ll make you feel, not the end result or the prize won. Finding what you love is about the process, not the outcome.

Reflect. Remember a time in your past, when you were doing something that you loved, where you felt you were on a roll… What were you doing? What about the situation made you love it?

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Guru Spotlight
Sherril Steele-Carlin