Guest post by Maria Simonelli
“You’ve got to find what you love…The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
Why is it that in a time when we have so many job opportunities and so many ways to create a meaningful and rewarding career, we find that nearly half of those surveyed say they’re in jobs they would trade today if they could?
The modern workplace is afflicted with two career dilemmas – a plague of job dissatisfaction and the related uncertainty about how to choose the ‘perfect’ career.
Your career is more than just a job. It’s the place where you can combine your passion, create purpose and be rewarded. How many of us can say we have all of these in an environment that supports us? Why is this so elusive?
Here are five actions you can take to get you started on redesigning your career:
1. Start to collect some D.A.T.A
Want to change jobs, but don’t know where to start? To get yourself out of this bind and off the merry-go–round of wanting something new but thinking you only know how to do an ‘old’ role or job, start by collecting some D.A.T.A.
Together, your Desires, Abilities, Temperament and Assets will provide clues to help redesign your worklife. The goal is to find a role that is more psychologically suited to where you are in your life and what you really want out of life.
2. Recognise the value of small steps during career transition
As we start to dip into career action, start with small steps and see where they lead. This exploring could be through starting new projects, meeting new people, picking up new skills through short courses, considering pro bono work and simply investing time in things we enjoy doing. While this might seem slow, these small changes can help you to gather valuable information, prioritise and build self-awareness.
3. Overcome the inhibitors and embrace the challenges
If the idea of changing careers is not making you a bit fearful, then check your pulse. About the time when you start to come up with concrete options, a small voice starts to say, ‘Yes but…You’ve heard this before… You can’t do it… no way… what on earth are you thinking?’.
The ‘Yes, but’ thinking is a great way to avoid change. So know that taking on the unknown is bound to create anxiety. Your success rests on acknowledging and managing this fear.
4. Consider the cost of your career change
Have you thought about “how much is enough?” in relation to how to maximise your wealth and wellbeing? The cost of your career change is also about valuing time with your family and pursing your passions.
So think about your relationship to money and whether your finances is the factor that most often keeps you in unfulfilling roles and keeps you stuck when considering a career change.
5. Start with a side project
The aim is to discover if that idea you really love, can work in reality. If you think of this as a low-risk strategy, you can explore without the fear of failure. You’ll also discover if this thing you love, continues to be loved, or becomes more routine once you have to do it over and over again. But you’ll also discover if there are elements of the project that you want to explore further, revise and extend.
Maria Simonelli is the creator of the Career Redesign Program and author of Sweet Spot Careers: A Practical and Creative Guide to a Successful Midlife Career Transition. This book draws on her own success morphing her professional life into different forms to help others take practical steps towards a meaningful career during their often challenging midlife or midcareer transitions. Maria is on a mission to support people seeking new possibilities and help them use their innate creative skills to solve their career dilemmas.
For free resources and to find out more visit www.careerredesign.com.au