Monday, July 7, 2014

My Job, My Life?


Do what you love and love what you do,
for what you do most, says most about you.

Stuck in a dead-end job? Feel like your work is no longer a good fit? Recently laid off and not sure where to turn? You're not alone. Many people have found themselves without a job or unhappy in their work, and unfortunately this stress is trickling into every other part of their lives. We can spend up to 60% or more of our awake time working, and since your work is an extension of who you are, you must be able to find some sort of purpose and fulfillment in it. After all, it's not your "life"... or is it?

Many of us are seeking more meaningful work. So how do you find a job you love? How do you create meaningful work? And what do you do in-between this love-hate relationship? 

Let's try some Q&A.

How do I find the right job for me?
Take a moment and think about what you are doing when you are really truly happy (something other than being on vacation =) What aspect of your current or most recent job appealed to you when you first started it? What type of work have you been drawn to in the past? What sounds like it would feel very rewarding and satisfying? Once you start identifying what you love to do, it's much easier to investigate new job roles that utilize those attributes. Once you know what you want, then update your resume, start to peruse job sites, read job titles and descriptions, and—MOST IMPORTANTLY—start talking to other people about what you're thinking. Your network, including friends and family, are always your best resource!

But I'm in a job that I hate. What can I possibly do right now?
As you are thinking about what you'd rather be doing, focus on those aspects of your current job that you "do" appreciate—perhaps it's the people, the customers, or when you get the opportunity to do something you really enjoy. Whatever you are paying attention to will become more of your experience, whether it's something you want or something you don't want. Pay attention to what you like about your job and the people around you, and it will bring you (albeit temporary) relief!

How do I write a good resume?
Create a first page with your contact info, a statement of who you are and what you want to do, and then use the rest of the page to outline your top three areas of expertise with three or four bullets below each topic area highlighting accomplishments from your previous jobs. Use numbers, percentages, statistics whenever possible (for example, "Exceeded projected goals by increasing program participation by over 400% in 12 months.") Make it active and measurable! On page two, list your previous employment, your education, and any other relevant awards or accomplishments, but no detail. Remember: a resume is simply a calling card; not an interview.

Now What?
Now that you've: 1) thought about what you want; 2) taken time to appreciate what you have; and 3) started to organize yourself, your network, and your resume to align with a new opportunity, then you can begin to imagine what it feels like to enjoy what you do and get paid for it. After all, your job is only one aspect your larger "life"... right?

To Your Better Balance!

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Find better balance in your life, relationships, and work. 
Visit 21daystobetterbalance.com and learn more.

Need some job coaching? Michael Thomas Sunnarborg is an educator, author, and life coach, who helps people reclaim their power of choice to find better balance and happiness in their work, relationships, and life. You can reach him at michael@sunnarborg.com