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Career Change

Below are the articles in the Career Change category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.

Career Change

Accessing the Power of Meaningful Work

In an interview late in his life, the psychologist Sigmund Freud was asked to expound on what he felt were the most important constituents of life. His answer? “Liebe und Arbeit.” Love and work.

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Freud’s answer is hardly a surprise: For most of human history, the meaning of work and the meaning of life intersected at survival. Work was life.

When cheap energy and mechanization started us down the path of staggering increases in productivity, some philosophers and visionaries began speculating about how we would use the extra “leisure time” we would gain from all this productivity. The reality has proved much different than projected. How do we spend the “extra time?” We work.

Yet for many of us, work that we would call “meaningful” remains elusive. We can’t always pinpoint what’s missing or what it is that would give our work lives meaning.

Finding Your Genius

Ultimately, the meaning in your work isn’t whether the enterprise you work for is local or “transnational,” but how closely the work you perform within that organization is in alignment with what author Dick Richards labels “your genius.”

Are You “On Purpose?”

Is your life being lived on purpose or just “to pay the bills?” This quiz offers questions to find the answer.

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Do you love what you do for a living?

Do you look forward to going to work every day or do you grudgingly show up in order to pay the bills? Do you work past quitting time because it's expected or because you're "into it" and lost track of time?

Many people know their calling in life, their true purpose, and live "on purpose."

Are you one of them?

Take this True or False Self-Quiz to determine whether you are operating from a place of purpose.

1. When I get up in the morning I look forward to the day ahead, whether it's a work day or my day off.

2. I love the work I do—any external reward I receive I consider "the icing on the cake."

Being Big in Your Life—If Not Now, When?

This article looks at what is in the way of creating the life you want NOW.

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Picture a graveyard. Under the big oak tree in the far corner, there’s a granite headstone. Look closer. See the name engraved? Yep, it’s yours.

So you’re sitting here, looking at your own headstone. There’s your year of birth, and the year you—heaven forbid—pass. And between them, there’s a little, coy hyphen.

Now, here’s the good news: that hyphen is what you get to play with.


Let’s take a moment to think analytically about that hyphen. There are two things that anyone who aspires to be big must face. The first is knowing what you want to do. Or, in the words of poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (We’ll get to the second in a moment.)

Determining what you want out of life—your career, relationships and your free time—is a surprisingly hard process for many of us. It’s much easier to abide by the rules and plans of others than to look within ourselves and see clearly what we are meant to—and would really, really enjoy with the whole of our being—do.

Creating What You Want In Life

Designing and building the life you want—these steps can help guide you along that path.

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We all wish to live the life we really want. If that's the case, why does it seem that so few of us actually do?

Creating the life we want should be easy, but for many reasons it isn't. Sometimes we're too busy working, paying bills or picking up kids to give it much thought. Sometimes we don't know how to get clarity so we put it off until "later." Or, perhaps, we have ignored what we really wanted and, instead, created a life that others wanted for us (or themselves)—ouch.

How to Create the Life You Want

If you aren't living the life you want, how do you get back on track? How do you get clear on what you want? And how do you stay committed to it?

Here are some steps that can help you get started:


Before getting what we want we must first know what that is. This may seem obvious but it trips up even the most intelligent people right out of the gate. Take out a blank sheet of paper and write "My Dream Life" at the top. List everything you want to have, do, be and share. From this list generate goals to help set you back on course.

How to Reinvent Your Career

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. This article offers ways to reinvent yourself and your career in uncertain times.

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Are you an employee, entrepreneur or manager who suddenly finds it necessary to reinvent your career due to the economy, a layoff or going out of business? Or, do these uncertain times simply inspire you to make a change?

If so, you may wonder if you can make a fresh start without having to start over.

The good news is, you can. Here’s how:

Feel Your Feelings...

Get angry or frustrated or confused or scared or excited.... It’s natural and healthy. No need for the stiff upper lip. Also no need to deny any enthusiasm. Respect your feelings, and then move forward.

Inventory Your Passions

Ask yourself (or someone you trust): What do I like about me? What do I do better than anyone else? What do I own or use that makes me unique, whether it’s the tone of my voice or jazz collection or...?

How to Try on—and Actually Get—the Life of Your Dreams

How do you turn what you say you want into what you actually get?

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Many articles, books and workshops advise dreamers to act “as if.” Act as if you've already got your dream job. Act as if you’re successful. Act as if you’re confident.

If we subscribe to the theory behind the action, it means that if we try on the thing we've always wanted, we’re more likely to achieve it. Another version of this is the 12-Step refrain told to newcomers: “Fake it till you make it.”

Problems arise, however, if we don’t actually want the life we say we want. For instance, we may say we want to run our own business, but if we actually don’t want the added responsibility, acting “as if” will be an empty exercise.

So what’s the solution?

How does a person turn what they say they want into what they actually get? Here are some ways to begin.

Job Transition: Why the First Few Months Are Critical

He got the job; the hard work is over. Right? Wrong. Getting hired is just the first step.

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You’ll need to spend as much effort and energy—and maybe more—preparing for and making the transition. And this is where it really counts, for the first three to six months in any new position is a period of extreme vulnerability.

“It’s the highest-risk period, and the higher up you are, the riskier it is,” says Jeff Gundersen, CEO of Executive Connections LLC, an executive search, coach consulting and placement firm.

During this transitional period, everyone in your new company—boss, direct-reports, other employees—and even suppliers and customers are all forming initial impressions that will shape their expectations and actions. This dynamic is exacerbated when people in your new company expect you to bring about change within the organization.

This transitional period might even be riskier today than seven or eight years ago. Shrunken budgets have meant less training, reduced staff support, increased workloads and, perhaps most of all, increased expectations for newly hired managers and executives. Should you end up leaving after a short stint, doing so can leave a black mark on your resume, raising questions for future employers about your judgment and ability to assess opportunities before making a career commitment.

Overcoming the Obstacles to Midlife Career Change

Making a career change in midlife can bring new energy and joy, so what’s stopping us?

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Midlife is a lot like being a teenager again—only with more wisdom. We may not stay out all night and run with a wild crowd, but many in their 40s and 50s experience the same restlessness and yearning for change. We’re still asking questions about what we want to be when we grow up, but the questions are deeper, more profound. This time we won’t settle for less than what makes us truly happy.

This is especially true for the work we do. Yes, we want to pay the bills, support a family, save for old age. But, many of us now want our work to be meaningful and make a difference. We ask ourselves if not now, then when? What better time to act on those unfulfilled dreams? Work is one of the most profound ways we live our true selves, and now is the time to start doing that.

Yet, it can seem as if there’s a chasm between the knowing and the doing. We know something’s not right with our job or career path, but we tell ourselves to live with it. We set goals but feel too overwhelmed with daily life to try something new. We worry that to make a change to follow a dream would be selfish, especially if it means a loss of income, or upsets our family and friends.

In fact, every person living out his or her dreams gives a gift to the world—a gift because it inspires others to do the same.

Starting Your Own Business

What you need to “be” and “have” in order to successfully navigate your own business.

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Lost your job during the economic meltdown and want to make sure that doesn't happen again?

Looking for more meaning and satisfaction in your work?

Want to be the one who decides how successful you are?

Got a great business idea burning inside you?

If any of those apply to you, you may be thinking of starting a business of your own. And though you may have a great deal of excitement, it pays to pause to consider whether entrepreneurship is really for you.

According to the latest Small Business Administration statistics, half of all new businesses fail before five years.

So before you give up the security of a steady paycheck, consider what you need to “be” and “have” in order to successfully navigate the waters of your own business.

The Business of Purpose

Know your purpose and you will create a meaningful life AND make a living.

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We’ve all met people who focus on the “what” they’re doing instead of the “why” they’re doing it. It’s difficult to feel passionate about something when we’re missing the meaning behind what we’re doing and why we’re here.

So why are we here? What’s our purpose?

How a person defines purpose has as much to do with his or her mindset as it does with personal, philosophical, cultural, religious and scientific beliefs.

The Purpose of Knowing Your Purpose

Defining purpose in work, life and business is not about the daily tasks, it’s about the reason for the tasks in the first place – the why, not the what. Discovering purpose allows a person to create the vision behind the tasks, and knowing that vision can dramatically change results.

The New Age of Retirement

Break free of the stereotypical definition of "retiring" and see how to bring meaning, health and wellness to your golden years.

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For many the word "retirement" conjures up images of "Gramps" out in the workshop making bird feeders and toys for the grandkids while "Gramma" serves afternoon tea following a game of bridge with the ladies.

That stereotypical image, along with the idea that aging is inevitably accompanied by diminishing mental capacity, is no longer true—if, in fact, it ever was.

A National Institute on Aging report, 65+ in the United States: 2005, found the 65+ population:

• Is better educated.

• Lives longer.

• Has a lower rate of disability and disease.

• Has more economic clout.

• Has more options for a fulfilling retirement than any previous generation in history.

• Will double over the next 25 years (from 420 million worldwide to over 974 million by 2030).

Top 10 Ways to Get the Job

There’s more to getting the job you want than having the best résumé. Here are ten strategies that work.

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In his book Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters, Jay Conrad Levinson suggests that getting the job you want is not a matter of luck, connections or the best résumé. “At the core of every job search lies one individual who will determine your success: You.”Here are some tips for creating your own job-hunting success.

1. Tune up your attitude. Keep your focus on how you can add value to the organization. Self-assess to get clear on what you want and what you have to offer.

2. Research. This is critical! Research the industry and companies. Know the needs and goals.

3. Target your networking. Don’t wait for others to refer your name; make the introduction yourself after speaking to current and past employees or industry colleagues.

4. Prepare for your interview. Anticipate questions, prepare your responses. Keep the focus on how your skills and experience will solve problems.

Top 10 Ways to Light a Fire Under Your Career

Good habits and effective behaviors that will recharge your career.

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Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the melting snow, blooming flowers and birds serenading their siren song of...

Spring cleaning.

Just like a home needs to be cleared to free up space and energy, so, too, does every successful career need a good spring cleaning to make room for the new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

So if you want to make your career red-hot, these 10 approaches can clear the space and create the spark.

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