14 Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Career

career.gif

When it comes to our careers, modern culture has entrained us to desire money, fame, beauty and status (among other superficial things) and we have been taught that success is synonymous with these attributes. 

However, too many people are unsatisfied with their professional careers (yes, even those who make a lot of money, have possessions, and acquired fame) and are “stuck” in situations that do not make them happy and fulfilled.

Here are 14 wonderful exercises you can undertake to begin letting go of the expectations others have of you and uncover the path to a truly fulfilling career:

1. Write Your Own Eulogy

Years ago, someone suggested that I write the speech a loved might read aloud at my own funeral.  Although this sounds morbid, it is a wonderful practice to make your long-term goals crystal clear.  What do you want said about you when it’s all over?  This is the ultimate “thinking with the end in mind” exercise!

2. Talk to Your Friends

Ask them: “what do you think I am best at”, or “what do you think I enjoy doing most”.  Although this may seem like a strange [and awkward] conversation at first, their perspective may help you determine what you should be doing career-wise.  Make sure to return the favor and offer them similar advice!

3. Talk to Your Family members

Ask them the same questions.  You may be surprised by the differing answers between your friends and family, and these conversations will provide you with a more well-rounded view of yourself.

4. Make a List of Things that REALLY Interest You

Take a few days to compose a comprehensive list of ALL the things that truly interest you.  Understand that the answer to a truly fulfilling career probably lies within.

5. Do Research on How People Make Money in These Fields 

The act of becoming aware that others earn a living doing something you enjoy is an incredible motivational tool.  Find out specifics on how much money these people make and what type of job-training is entailed.  Start thinking “if she can do it, why can’t I”?

6. Go on Informational Interviews

If there is a specific job that begins to really stick out, initiate an “informational interview” with someone who knows a lot about it.  These meetings are less formal and will give you an opportunity to learn about a career-path without the stress of a “real” interview.

7. Read Voraciously

Continuously reading a wide variety of magazines, books, blogs, newspapers and any literature you can get your hands on will give you a constant flow of ideas and keep the mind fertile.

8. Take Courses on the Topics and Industries that Most Interest You

You will never meet the people who can help you make the jump to a fulfilling career if you are not “out there”, and taking courses is a wonderful way to expand your knowledge and generate important contacts.  Check out Learning Annex courses, for example.

9. Talk to Your Boss or Someone You Respect at Your Job

Not in the context of the usual work-related drivel, but as a human being.  Ask him/her what they would do if they had millions of dollars in the bank.  Would they still be in the same position?  This is a great way to start getting perspective that everyone has dreams.

10. Talk to the Happiest and Most Successful People You Know

Ask them how they went about fulfilling their dreams!  Be specific with your questions, and see if there is anything you can imitate (imitation really is the biggest form of flattery).  Have these people become your silent mentors.

11. Keep a Journal

Writing down your ideas AS THEY COME TO YOU is an important practice for your career growth.  Carrying an audio-recorder with you at all times is a great idea, as you never know when enlightenment will strike!

12. Conquer Fear!

The practices described in this article will most likely draw insecurity and fear once you start putting them in motion, and learning how to overcome fear is essential to moving your life in a more productive and fulfilling direction.  Start realizing that this ubiquitous emotion is the culprit that inhibits you from living your dreams!

13. See a Motivational Speaker

This is a terrific practice for getting yourself in the mindset to make

viagra order

positive changes in your career (and also helps overcome fear)!

14. Cultivate Patience

Although you may want a change in your career NOW, it is necessary to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to present itself.  However, integrating the practices in this article will bring about the right opportunity in a much swifter manner than taking no action at all!

Changing careers can be very difficult.  The first step is letting go of the inhibiting mindset that happiness is somewhere “out there”, and realize that the path to wonderful and accomplish-filled career is already within you.  The exercises described here can take you the rest of the way home…Good Luck!

Popularity: 10% [?]

16 Responses to “14 Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Career”

  1. Ian says:

    Great points that are too often forgotten or neglected. Another great post. Thanks Todd.

  2. Kevin says:

    This is a great article – thanks Todd. Changing careers is not easy and can be very nerve wracking. But, very rewarding at the same time. It’s proven that people flourish professionally in careers that satisfy them – they lead happier lives and are passionate about their work. I built a site to help people find their ideal career – it’s called http://www.careerpath.com. Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks – Kevin

  3. Todd says:

    Thank you Kevin. I will certainly check out careerpath…it sounds like a wonderful tool!

  4. Peter says:

    Nice one Todd. I almost feel as if it was written just for me :) .

    Actually I just visited that Learning Annex site and have found some cool classes, eg “How to Start a Private Investigation Business” or “How to Win at Craps”.

  5. Todd says:

    LOL Peter– I thought you might like this one! You’ve been very motivational for me as of late (I just re-read your article on the need to be a great salesperson)!

  6. [...] I loved MOST about ZTD was the 10th and last habit that Leo mentions—finding (and working) in a career that you are passionate about!  To me, this is the most critical step in becoming more productive; when you love what you do, [...]

  7. [...] Find and Work in a Career You Love  And spend your valuable time in a job that makes you truly [...]

  8. Jeff Chavez says:

    I really appreciated this post. I wanted my readers to see this also so I’ve provided a link to it from one of my recent posts.

    http://northstarthinktank.typepad.com/northstar_thinktank/2008/01/it-just-seemed.html

    Keep up the good work!

    Jeff

  9. [...] 10. Do Crossword Puzzles and Other Mind Games And challenge your intellect 11. Find and Work in a Career You Love And spend your valuable time in a job that makes you truly happy! 12. Purposefully Deal with Stress [...]

  10. [...] 14 Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Career [...]

  11. Megan says:

    Im doing a research project on how to find a career that fits you. I found your site and its really helpful. I never thought of writing a speech for your funeral would help me pick something I want to do in life. Thank you so much.

  12. Todd says:

    THANKS Megan!!
    Todd

  13. chinanu says:

    an intereting article and very informative

  14. Ed says:

    It’s been four years since this article was written and it still holds true today. There are some really good insights in the article. I think the two key things I took out of the piece was to “be patient” and to “network”. I believe that if you do those two things it will really help you on your career path. Thanks for the article, well done and much appreciated!

Leave a Reply