Professional Career Coach
MyFox Job Shop - Picture a boat with an engine on the back. Now visualize the boat as your life and the engine as your job or career. The purpose of the engine is to power the boat to go where you want the boat to go; and to do all the things you want to do. Metaphorically speaking, the boat is your life and the engine is your career. The purpose of your job is to empower your life so you can achieve all that you want to achieve in life. The problem is, most people spend the first 20 years or more of their lives preparing to earn a living; not on how best to design a life.
Two Important Questions
To better understand the problem we need only go back to that infamous question we ask youngsters early on. At four years of age, the child is asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" As a result, the child's identity is directly related to what she does in the workplace, not what she does in life or who she becomes as a person. So, you begin your life's journey on the academic assembly line in preschool or kindergarten and then, for the next 12 to 16 years or more, you prepare for one thing - getting a job. Most of your time, from preschool through high school and college, is spent on the engine of the boat not the boat itself. And truth be known, the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" is so ingrained into your being, you wind up spending your entire life seeking that elusive answer to this question; even at the age of 50 or 60! I constantly have people come up to me and ask, "How do I determine my dream job?" I answer the question by asking two of my own: 1) What do you want to get OUT of life? and, 2) What do you want to GIVE BACK to life? In other words, what are your life dreams? Who do you want to become? What do you want to own? Who do you want to hang out with? What do you want to achieve and accomplish? What do you want to give back to your community? How do you want to contribute in making this world a little bit better place when you leave than when you arrived? And how do you want to be remembered?
Survey after survey confirms that somewhere between 65% and 90% of the working population are uninspired with or, downright dislike their jobs. Eight out of ten people claim they would quit their jobs if they won the lottery. And most feel that they are underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated in the workplace. However, those few people who seem genuinely happy and successful at their jobs, are those who acknowledge that they work at jobs and careers that inspire their life's goals and ambitions. They understand that the key to a full and rewarding life is to first identify what kind of life would be considered full and rewarding. They know how they want to live, what kind of person they want to become and what goals and desires they want to pursue and achieve. Simply stated, those people who are enjoying life's journey, regardless of the challenges they face along the way, know their values… those things that make them happy. Then, once defined, they identify career and job opportunities that will be a catalyst for attaining the life they have designed for themselves.
When the Promise is Clear, You'll Pay the Price
Every promise has its price. The truth is, you'll pay any price if your ambitions and goals are inspiring ones. Said differently, you'll do whatever it takes when you are passionate about and committed to your goals. And if you don't know what your life goals and ambitions are, you might consider becoming passionate about defining them. Here's a fact that should grab your attention. If you don't have ambitions and goals of your own, you'll be destined to spend your entire life working hard to help others achieve their ambitions and goals at the expense of your own. Goals that are not clear are clearly not goals. What cannot be identified cannot be attained. So the starting place for helping you identify your next job or career opportunity is not by determining what kind of job you want to work at; rather, by determining what kind of life you envision for yourself and your family. Once that vision is clear and you are jazzed about attaining it, meaningful job and career options will appear.
Jay Block is an industry pioneer and one of the nation's leading career and empowerment authorities. He is the author of 15 career and motivational books. Visit Jay at: www.jayblock.com .