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When I talk to people about the kind of work they want to do they often have a number of good ideas. However, they’re scared to make a decision and pursue one of them. They’re not sure it will be the right fit.
The Real Problem
Sometimes people aren’t really honest with themselves about who they are. They’ve spent so much time packaging themselves to the outside world to appear a certain way and they don’t really know who they are at their core. Often they know deep down how short they fall from how they want to be perceived.
How To Fix This
You need to know the wonderful parts of who you are as well as your blind spots. Although you may want to have certain characteristics, you can embrace the real you and find a higher level of success as a result. The more you understand where you shine the better equipped you’ll be to choose your next career move.
What Should You Do?
So let’s take a look at a few things you can do right now to get to know yourself better.
1. Take a personality assessment – Myers-Briggs, Disc, StrengthsFinder
2. Answer these questions about yourself:
3. Spend time doing something that energizes and excites you.
4. Observe yourself – when you make a key decision, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or twelve months later compare the results with what you expected.
5. Test yourself – put yourself in a situation that demands a lot from you. You will find out what your strengths and weaknesses are.
7. Ask your family and friends how you come across in different situations.
8. Identify what you truly value in life.
You can probably come up with ten other ideas that will help you understand yourself more and make a solid career decision. The better understanding you have of how you’re wired, you can make an informed decision about what you want to do next in your career.
So you hate your job? You’re not alone. Statistics show that 70% of Americans hate their jobs.
You may have resolved to find a new job this year, but in the meantime here are 3 ways to make your job slightly more enjoyable until you find a better fit.
Find the good in your work.
What does your current job do for you? It obviously pays you.
There is one good thing to be thankful for. Have you gained any friendships in this current job? How about more experience? What about the lesson of knowing what you don’t want?
Yes that’s actually a good thing because it aids in the process of discovering what you would love to do for work. Having knowledge of what you don’t want and understanding why you don’t want it will actually set you up for greater success in finding fulfillment in your next job.
Take on new challenges.
Perhaps you feel under-challenged in your position. You don’t feel like you are operating in your full talents, skills and abilities and that troubles you.
Find ways to enhance your skills or actually operate in the ones you have-even if you don’t use them daily at work. Start a committee or volunteer to do an in-service training on an area of interest that could be beneficial to the company. Offer to help the business with a social media campaign.
I personally have done all of the above and it has helped tremendously in my transition. I look forward to breaking the mundane, same old tasks by taking on new challenges and projects.
Talk to your supervisor about your struggles.
A good supervisor and healthy organization will welcome their staff being open and honest about the struggles of the job. Maybe certain tasks bore you and you enjoy other ones. Maybe your supervisor can help you have more responsibility for the tasks you do enjoy.
It won’t be perfect but at least it’s something. You are taking responsibility to make your time left in your current position as bearable as possible (and maybe even enjoyable) until you can transition out.
I know it can be tough staying in a job you don’t love. Until you identify what you would love to do and develop a clear plan of action to go and get it you will need to hang in there.
Unless the job is asking you to do something unethical and is an abusive/toxic environment the wisest thing for you is to stay until you find something else. If it is really bad and you need to get out quickly then find something that may be less than ideal in the next 30 days so you have a paycheck.
You don’t want to put yourself in a place of desperation. You do have bills to pay.
If you are really stuck- invest in a career coach.
If you are interested in working with Stephanie click here.
A few weeks ago I shared with you that I have been writing a book and asked for your help to choose the cover.
Well, the verdict is in and the cover design is complete.
You can see the cover in the image below.
Now I’m excited to share the next step with you.
My new book is called Paid To Be You: A Guide To Getting Unstuck, Finding Your Passion, and Launching A New Career.
This book will help you:
The book isn’t available to the public yet but if you join the Paid To Be You Insider’s group you can be the first to know when it’s available.
As an Insider you will:
There is a HUGE surprise I’m going to share with the Insiders group but I can’t tell you what it is yet. I’m dying to let you know but it needs to wait.
However, you can become a Paid To Be You Insider today and be in on some really cool stuff.
You may not know this, but over the past nine months I’ve been writing a book.
It’s coming together nicely but I need your help in deciding a few things.
The book is called Paid To Be You: A Guide to Getting Unstuck, Finding Your Passion, and Launching A New Career.
The book will help readers:
So the first thing I need your help with is deciding on the cover design for the book.
My cover designer Ana Grigoriu has provided me with multiple concepts to choose from and I’m excited to share them with you.
In the comments below, I’d be thrilled if you let me know which cover you think best represents the concept of the book.
Typically, after we find our passion we don’t automatically begin to make money working in our passion.
So what do you do when you’ve found your passion but you’re not sure how to apply it?
It can be difficult to determine how to begin the process of doing work you love because there can be confusion about how your passion fits into one of the available work models.
The first step to working in your passions is to understand the four ways to make money.
In his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad (affiliate link) Robert Kiyosaki outlines what he calls the Cashflow Quadrant.
The Cashflow Quadrant represents the four ways income is generated.
He says the four ways income is generated are:
When we apply this idea to work models you can determine how you want to make money doing what you love to do.
Employee Work Model
If you want a traditional job with a set rate of pay and employer sponsored benefits then this work model may be what you’re looking for.
Self-Employed Work Model
Someone who wants to “be their own boss” might choose this work model. Those who are self-employed do not like having their income be dependent on other people. They want to sell their services directly to the customer or client and reap the financial rewards of doing so.
Business Owner Model
You may think, “I thought being self-employed was being a business owner.” Yes, that can be true. However, the difference is what would happen if the business owner or self-employed person took a year long vacation.
If the self-employed person took a year-long vacation they would likely return to the business with no income being generated unless they started providing a service again.
If the business owner took a year-long vacation they could return to find their business continuing to generate income without them.
So what’s the difference?
A self-employed person creates a job for themselves that provides linear income. In other words, they create income that is dependent on the person providing a service.
A business owner creates a system to provide passive income that does not require direct effort from the business owner. Often the business owner hires others to operate the system.
Think of the difference between a self-employed doctor and the owner of a fast food restaurant chain.
The doctor must see patients in order to create income.
If the doctor takes a week off the doctor does not produce income.
The owner of a fast food restaurant chain has a system for making food that other people operate.
If the fast food owner takes a vacation their business continues to generate income for them even while they’re gone.
Investor Work Model
Investors make money by investing money.
They do not have to provide a service or product to customers because their money is making more money.
So which work model fits what you want to do?
You can likely apply your passion in at least three of the four work models.
Choose the work model that fits your design and your interests.
There are a number of resources and books available to help you succeed in each area.
Then create a plan to begin working in that model.
Stay true to your passion, enjoy the journey, and I’m confident you can do work you enjoy.
To get paid to work in our passions we must be intentional.
To borrow Stephen Coveys’ concept, we must begin with the end in mind.
How are you going to make money with your passion?
What’s the end game?
Do you want to be an employee?
Do you want to be self-employed?
Will getting promoted in your current job provide the satisfaction you’re looking for from your work?
Do you just need a change of scenery in the same line of work?
It’s been said that indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.
If you’re not clear on your direction, any idea or opportunity that comes your way could be a reasonable option.
If I’m presented with five career opportunities you can easily get stuck trying to evaluate all the options without any productive action being taken.
How To Stay Focused
To help stay focused I used to tell people one of the best ways to ensure you’re headed in the right direction was to create a mission statement.
We all know about mission statements right?
Mission statements are those things on the wall at any business that no one reads.
Usually they describe why the organization exists and what it intends to accomplish.
Now, how many of you know, by heart, the mission statement of your employer or of a company who makes your favorite product?
Why don’t we know?
Because they’re too complicated.
I’m a simple guy so I need simple ideas in order to remember them.
So instead of creating a personal mission statement, I tell people to create a mission tagline.
Think about it.
We don’t know Nike’s mission statement.
But we know their tagline right?
Just do it.
Why? Because it’s simple and easy to remember.
See if you recognize these taglines?
Are you in good hands?
Don’t leave home without it.
I’m lovin’ it.
Remember Two Things
When life gets crazy and complex and we forget where we’re going with all this we need a simple
mission tagline to remind us of two things.
1. Who are you?
2. What do you want to accomplish?
What is one word that describes who you are and what you want to be for others?
For me that word is catalyst.
I want to be a catalyst for others to propel them toward work they love to do and help them achieve their goals.
Then the second part of your mission tagline is what you want to accomplish with your career.
For me, I want to help others grow and improve.
Pretty simple right?
So my mission tagline is:
“To be a catalyst for growth and improvement in others.”
Having a mission tagline allows me to decide in advance the life I want to live and the type of career I want to have. It creates focus for every area of my life.
It will do the same for you.
Who are you and what do you want to accomplish?
When you answer those two questions you’ll have a mission tagline as an anchor as you pursue your passion.
Whatever you’re working toward right now I want to encourage you to stop and take a break.
We weren’t designed to constantly be on the go and constantly work.
This past week I gutted the kitchen of our new house to get ready for a kitchen remodel (more to say about that later) and, I must say, I’m tired.
I need to rest, so I’m taking this week off from blogging.
Rest up and I’ll see you here next week.
Working with college students, I tend to hear a lot of great, creative terms.
One such term is “schmedium.” It is used to describe shirts of students in denial they are still growing (this is usually men, but women can be guilty as well).
Photo Credit: Richard Ayers
As many college students often get free shirts, these maturing students continue to request size small shirts that, once worn a couple times, are well stretched to fit their now medium physiques.
Unfortunately, it is very obvious that they are wearing a shirt that is too small. It’s not a pretty sight.
This may be how you feel in your work. Perhaps you have grown professionally so that your current responsibilities no longer fit you well.
Or you have had to take on extra responsibilities over the years that never were a great fit, but you had the ability to do them and so they were assigned to you.
Only now that your organization has recovered (or maybe it hasn’t), so many extra duties have been piled on that you can no longer concentrate on those that use your strengths.
Either way, over time, that shirt that did not fit has become comfortable. It has become well stretched.
You realize by wearing it, you are no longer looking the best. Perhaps the gaps between the buttons are getting bigger or the extra rolls are beginning to show.
Either way, there is no denying that the shirt no longer fits.
There are a lot of studies that have found those ill-fitting day job are dangerous to your health.
They could also negatively affect your professional growth, relationships, income potential, and more.
For your health and your future, you need to get rid of the “schmediums” in your professional wardrobe.
How to move up a shirt size?
1. Change your mindset. Just like the college guys were in denial that the shirts no longer fit them, you may be in denial that a change is needed. At some point, as painful as it is, you will need to accept the fact that you no longer wear a size small. You are ready for a size medium. Don’t feel bad. Enjoy the fact that your skills and knowledge have increased!
2. Throw out what doesn’t fit. This is definitely the hardest thing to do. You have a lot of shirts that are very comfortable, even though they don’t really fit. You say you love them, but the truth is they have simply become comfortable and you are afraid you will never find another shirt as comfortable. Fear not! Soon enough, your new shirts that fit appropriately will be your favorites.
3. Find the right size. You may need to try on a few new things to find what really fits you now. Volunteer or seek out projects at work that will allow you to use new skills. Maybe you have jumped a couple shirt sizes. Regardless, don’t be afraid to try new things. Yes, it will be a little uncomfortable at first. In the long run you will be able to present yourself better. You will no longer be trying to squeeze into ill-fitting clothes.
4. Continue updating your wardrobe. Dan Miller of 48 Days fame encourages his listeners to cut 15% of their responsibilities each year. Why? To make room, in both time and mental capacity, for new ideas and opportunities. If you are still trying to squeeze into too-small shirts, you will stop growing professionally because your wardrobe won’t stretch anymore. Rejuvenate yourself by continuously clearing out the old to make room for the new.
Our passions can often seem elusive but there’s a reason for this.
This happens because our drive to find our passions is grounded in our own needs, comfort, interests, and desire for significance.
So in order to find our passions we must first ask ourselves why we want to find our passion.
Does it come from our own pride, envy of others, or a place to find our worth?
Or is it something more?
The solution to finding your passion lies in the very thing we often avoid.
To truly find our passions in life we must sacrifice our freedom for someone else.
This can sound almost foreign to someone living in western culture.
Our culture tells us there is nothing of more value than our own happiness and our own individual freedom.
Yet, it’s only when you shift your focus from serving your own needs and desires to serving the needs of others first that you will truly experience passion.
So How Do You Know If You’re Being Selfish or Selfless?
Ask yourself these questions:
Why do you work? Most are working to make money but ultimately money is an empty motivator. What most people don’t realize is they’re also working to avoid a sense of insignificance. When you’re working only for yourself to feed your desires for money, significance, power, or respect you will never experience the feeling of truly working in your passion. It’s only when your motivation becomes a way to selflessly serve others that you can experience the level of satisfaction you are looking for from your work.
Who will benefit the most when you find your passion? If you were working in your passions today is there someone who would benefit from your work? Would they benefit more than you? It’s not wrong for you to benefit as well, either monetarily or otherwise, but are you providing more value for them than they are for you? This will be a clue as whether or not you’re working in your passions.
Who would you be thrilled to serve and help even if no one knew about it? If you could do work you weren’t allowed to tell your family and friends about would you still do it? If you were to gain nothing from it would you still want to do it? Again, there’s nothing wrong with getting something from working (i.e. money) but would your motivation come from a place of desiring to serve another person? When you can answer yes to those questions you’ll know you’re on the right track to finding your passions.
We all want to know what we do with our lives matters.
So often we look to work to provide us with a sense of significance and identity.
However, when we let go of working in our passions to meet our own needs and focus on how we can serve others we can truly do work that is meaningful, enjoyable, and prosperous.
Prior to 1954 no one in recorded history had run a mile in less than four minutes.
The “experts” told everyone the human body just wasn’t capable of doing it.
Then on May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes.
Only 46 days later an Australian runner broke Bannister’s record.
Since that time numerous people have run a mile in under four minutes.
So what happened?
Did the physical abilities of human beings suddenly change?
No, but the belief and expectations of what could be possible changed.
How This Relates To Finding Your Passion
Often we don’t believe we can find our passion.
The “experts” in our lives tell us that finding your passion and loving your work is just not possible.
No one likes their work, they say.
They set the expectation that you’ll never be in a position to love what you do for work.
As a result, many people live their lives with the artificial barriers they’ve placed in their minds.
What You Can Do About It
Your level of belief determines the outcome you experience.
What beliefs in your life are holding you back?
Are you telling yourself you don’t deserve to get a better job, find a spouse, have more money, have meaningful friendships, or find your passion?
Are these things really out of reach for you or does your level of belief that you can attain them determine your outcome?
Sometimes you have to believe in the outcome before you know how you’re going to get there.
How To Change Your Thinking
If you want to change your current reality the best thing you can do is spend time with people who already have what you want.
If you want to have more money take a millionaire out to lunch and ask them questions.
If you want to know how to have an extraordinary marriage find a couple who’s been married for 30 years and spend time with them.
If you want to find your passion spend time with people who are living and working in their passions.
Jim Rohn said you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Who are you spending time with?
Are they influencing your thinking positively or negatively?
If you don’t believe you’re the best candidate for a new job, the company won’t either.
If you don’t believe you can pay off your debt then you won’t.
If you can’t envision yourself achieving a new goal you never will.
You have to believe you can achieve a new reality first and then you’ll figure out how you’re going to get there.
Think of how you can change the beliefs of everyone around you if you find your passion and do work you love.
Maybe you’ll be the Roger Bannister of your personal circle when it comes to work and careers.
Who knows, maybe you’ll change the course of history too.