One of the biggest challenges for anyone looking to change change careers is making the change. It's easy to rewrite a resume and go to networking events. It's much harder to put yourself on the line and face failure. One of my favorite thinkers is Seth Godin, who loves it when people "deliver." For someone trying to change careers, delivering begins when you go on the first interview. Delivering is also when you start to describe yourself in your new role. Change might be the most difficult thing we do as humans, but it is also the power that lets us grow and develop. Failure is part of the process, so is frustration. However, speaking for myself and the millions of other who have found happiness by changing career, every moment of sorrow will be repaid by years of satisfaction. Get out there. Find what will make you happy
Albert Schweitzer wrote: "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
If you feel unsuccessful in your career, it's time to start thinking about what kind of work would make you happy. Some career coaches recommend finding your "passion." For many job seekers or career changers, that search leads to a dead end. Passion is often hard to define. I recommend that clients focus on discovering their gifts. Think about gifts as skills and knowledge you use on the job that you enjoy. If you want to be happy and successful, find a job that lets you use your gifts.
I was on a tight deadline for three projects yesterday. A client called to cancel an hour long session. At first, I said this was great because it gave me more time to work. Then I looked out the window and saw a sunny beautiful day. I put on my coat and took a walk for about half an hour. Could I have spent that time working? Sure. But I also know that in a month it will be a lot colder. In two months, I will probably be shoveling snow.
What’s my point? Take some time to do what makes you happy. Even with my break, I met all of my deadlines and still got to spend some time enjoying the sun. Plan your time well, and find a way to do something that makes you happy. Life’s too short to let it be all work and worry.
The Dalai Lama teaches many valuable lessons. He presents his formula for happiness this way:
“Contentment is key. If you have contentment without material things, you are truly rich. Without it, even if you are a billionaire, you will not have happiness.”
Our ad and commercial filled world keeps telling us that we need things – new things, bigger things. I try to ask: Did my grandmother need this? Can I live without it? Keeping life simple is hard, but it’s also the path to contentment and peace, which is more important than the next new thing. Do you need “it” to be happy. Probably not.
Writing in Yes! Magazine, John Robbins explores the deep meaning of wealth. Robbins, an heir to the Baskin-Robbins fortune, rejected his family’s money because he wanted to make his own way in the world. He notes studies and common sense evidence that show people with more money aren’t necessarily happier. Children today are more anxious than they were in 1950. We worship GDP as a measure of our wealth while ignoring all the harm that comes with a philosophy of more, more, more. Robbins cites economists, including Joseph Stiglitz, who are designing alternatives to GDP, new ways to measure real wealth. Hopefully, we will find a new way to judge our economic success so it fits our real lives, not just theories to please Wall Street.
Click here to go to John Robbins’ website, which has many tools for living a better life.
Job seekers commonly evaluate new jobs by salary, benefits, and potential promotion. They often ignore a less tangible quality: happiness.
We need to analyze our work history and think about what has made us happy. What kind of tasks do you enjoy performing? What kind of boss and co-workers do you like to work with? Will your work schedule give you time for your personal life and interests? What kind of commute are you willing to tolerate? The answers to these question will help us plan and execute a good job search.
Some of the answers (tasks, commute) will help us decide what companies we will apply to. Others are impossible to judge until we go on interviews (evaluation of boss, co-workers). If we don’t make these evaluations, we could take a job that pays well but makes us miserable. Money is important, but quality of life is, as the credit card commercial says, “priceless.”
Take the time to find a job that makes you happy.