How often have you heard that defining your career is an inside job? If so, or even if you have not, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you now looking for work out of desperation?
- Are you more concerned about getting the job just because you have the skills or because the job appeals to you?
- Are you applying for everything and anything you can put your hands on that you think you may qualify for out of “guilt.”?
- Are you doing everything that the career gurus say to do (at least the ones you find for free on the internet) to find a job, but feel deep inside that there is something still missing?
- Did you take their advice, get the job, and once you got there ended up wanting to leave after the first week, month… you get the picture.
If you are buying into the song and dance that “the economy” has something to do with why you may still find pieces missing in the work you are doing, no worries. There is no mistake that you are reading this now.
This is not an article about how to find your spiritual path. However, this is an article that will not sugar coat the fact that finding your true career direction – the one that represents who you are as a person and will make you happy, requires going inside for the answers first. By that I mean allowing yourself to dream the big dream and connect with the part of you that wants to have it all… and defines precisely what that is.
So you may ask yourself (or me), “yes, but what does this have to do with reality.” My answer? Everything. Here’s why: If we are perpetually using the “economy” or some other reason why we are not finding career passion or finding a job at all and blaming others – our boss, our co-workers, our spouses, significant others, etc., too old, not enough education, yes but… , guess what happens? Correct – we go back to square one. By defining our dream work from an inner perspective, we are literally creating enormous possibilities that would never have materialized had we not.
Make that shift to knowing our career passions with no doubts and doors begin to open and opportunities abound.
However, I must confess that not everyone is ready in his or her life cycle to make this shift. It can bring up a host of feelings such as regret, guilt, resistance and even anger at even having to look within for the answers. Some even give up and go back to the same old same old. My question to you is, are you ready?
My friend, Michael, is a great example. I love him dearly. Yet, he is struggling with returning to a job in the career he is “comfortable” with and, leaving the exact job that has created more grief and disharmony than anyone should have to deal with in a lifetime. If he returns to this career, he can be assured of experiencing the same challenges and perhaps reaching a breaking point that could have physical repercussions. We are now working together on a way for him to take the time to do the inner work that will allow joy to come back into his life by creating opportunities for him to do what he is truly meant to do. It is not surprising that he has Career ADD. How much he is willing to accept, let go and redefine is up to him.
Here are a few examples of steps you can take to get the inner ball rolling:
- Relax and decide that you are going to take the time to discover now what you have spent perhaps a lifetime eluding – Career Happiness.
- Make a list of EVERYTHING in your past jobs that you did not like or that you were resistant to.
- Include in this list every task, skill, type of people or specific people and why you think you did not resonate with them, working environment (down to the type of chair you sat in), product you were selling or involved with through your work, industry you were in, etc. that made you feel bad.
- Now take that list and decide what the opposite of each item is for you – in other words what is your PREFERENCE to what you have listed (not necessarily the literal opposite.) You must be completely honest or this will not work.
Congratulations! You have begun your inner journey to career happiness. This will be vital information to use in developing a career direction. Explore more blog posts on this site for inspiration or contact me directly at to schedule your complimentary session and let’s explore your inner game.
To your joyful livelihood.
Shell Mendelson, MS, is a Career Counselor and ADD/ADHD Career Coach. Shell was mentored and trained directly by Richard Bolles, Master Career Counselor and author of What Color Is Your Parachute and has been listed as a resource for the past 20 years in the annual Parachute edition. Shell has helped hundreds of clients manage their Career ADD and find a career direction that fits them like a glove. She is recognized as a Career ADD Expert. Her mission and purpose is to guide her clients to joyful livelihood, which helps manage symptoms and impacts all aspects of life far beyond career.