Giving life a purpose is the surest way to make your life miserable

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“Giving life a purpose is the surest way to make your life miserable.”

I came across this comment on a social media post this morning and it made me sad that someone believed this. And was teaching others the same thing.

After all, one of the things I teach people is how to identify their purpose, as I’ve seen how powerful this knowledge is in helping people who are feeling stuck, are considering a career change, or are facing a major life decision.

Knowing your purpose is a game change and one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

And it makes it so much easier to find work that you love.

But that statement was correct…. in a way.

Let me explain.

If you think of your purpose as what you do, you’re setting yourself up for potential disappointment. And possibly more stress and confusion.

Let’s say you believe your purpose is to write a best-selling nutrition book.

Or perhaps you identify your purpose as being an entrepreneur.

How do you feel if you don’t accomplish these goals?

Because that’s what they are – goals, not your purpose.

For those who define their purpose this way, failing to achieve it can make them question their purpose.

Beyond the disappointment we’d all feel for failing to reach a goal we’ve set for ourselves – it can also call us to question our purpose.

But what if you re-framed your purpose from what you do to why you do it?

The author might restate his purpose to be - Helping people live happier, healthier lives by eating a healthy diet – chosen because of his personal success in achieving health this way.

He can then choose multiple ways to live out that purpose, whether it’s by writing a book, working as a nutritionist, volunteering to help others with their diets, or in dozens of other ways.

The entrepreneur might restate her purpose to be -  Improving the lives of millions of pets – chosen because of her personal loss when dealing with inferior pet products.

She can then live out her purpose by launching a business, working for a pet supply company, educating others through speaking opportunities or any other way that serves her why.

Re-framing your purpose statement from what you do to why you do it gives you a framework around which to build your life and your career.

And opens up worlds of opportunities with lots of different options.

So, to revise the quote from that unknown blogger at the top of this article - stating your life purpose as a goal can cause misery – but figuring out your “why” is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

 

 For help identifying your purpose, schedule a free, no-obligation Discovery Call.

 

 

 

 

Four Secrets to Finding Your Ideal Job

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The average person spends 90,000 hours working over the course of their career. That’s a big chunk of your life.

 Yet many people spend that time at jobs that they hate. Or at best, tolerate.

 Now there are people who love their jobs. You probably know some of them. They seem as energized at the end of the day as they are at the beginning. They’ve found a way to combine their passions with their skills and strengths in a way that generates a good income for them. They love going to work every day. People love working with them. Promotions and raises come easily to them.

 Before we look at their secret, let’s consider what typically stops people from finding their ideal job.

 In my years of coaching people through career transition, I’ve found the answer typically falls into one of these categories:

  1. You don’t know what you want to do. You’re 100% certain what you DON’T like, but you have no idea what you do want.

  2. Your mind is overflowing with all sorts of ideas about jobs that you could do, jobs that intrigue you, jobs that sound better than what you’re doing right now, but you have no idea which one to pick or how to figure out if it really is right for you.

  3. You have a couple good ideas of jobs you think you’d like, but you’re afraid of picking the wrong one and ending up being dissatisfied yet again. Maybe you’ve even changed jobs a couple times and already had this happen to you.

  4. You’re afraid that changing careers to something you really love means you’ll have to take a lower salary or go back to school. And you have a family to support, you have responsibilities, you have a way of life that you enjoy, you don’t have time. You just don’t want to start over again.

  5. You don’t believe it’s possible for you, or that it’s too late for you. You’ve tried finding that ideal career for years and have decided that finding work you enjoy just isn’t going to happen for you.

 

I used to fall into most of these categories myself. I spent decades searching for my ideal career and never feeling totally satisfied with my job. I didn’t hate everything I did - there were some jobs that I tolerated and some that I even loved for a few years. But I always ended up feeling that there was something more I was meant to do.

 So, after years of working in less-than-satisfactory jobs, I decided it was time to figure it out. It was time to figure out my ideal career and then help others do the same.

 What I discovered is that people who love their jobs know 4 things that others don’t.

They know what they want out of life – not just out of work.

People often skip this step when they’re first entering the workforce by looking for an occupation that is in demand. Perhaps it’s something their parents or a teacher told them they should pursue, or maybe they saw something online about the hottest 10 jobs of the year. So, they picked something that sounded the best and tried to fit themselves into it - and maybe it worked in the beginning. They may have even loved their jobs at one time.

 But over time, this approach almost always leads to unhappiness and a sense that’s something is missing - a feeling that there’s something better out there for them.

People who are happy with their careers take an entirely different approach. They identify first what they want out of life and what they value the most before they even start thinking of a profession.

They know what their unique genius is – what their strengths and talents are and how to use them in a way that’s valuable to employers.

People who use their strengths every day find that work seems less like work and more like fun. The days pass quickly. Promotions and raises come easily.  They feel energized and engaged by the work they’re doing.

It’s the difference between floating downstream and enjoying the ride versus swimming upstream against a strong current.

They’ve identified the voices inside their head that tell them they’re not good enough. Not good enough to do whatever it is they’ve thought of doing. They know what these beliefs are and have developed a way to overcome them in order to get what they want.

 They have an active system for finding opportunities, one that doesn’t depend on passively applying for jobs online and waiting for an employer to contact them.

Only 10% of jobs are found by applying online, and if you’re changing careers, the odds are even less. People who love their jobs and make the kind of money they want have an active system for finding and creating their own ideal jobs.

The great news is that all 4 of these are skills that can be learned, and even better, once you’ve learned them, they’re yours for life!

People who love their jobs usually don’t stumble upon them by accident –  they have a systematic process for identifying what they want out of life, knowing what their genius is and then implementing a plan to find those jobs.

It’s a system I use to help my clients find careers they love. And it’s something that anyone can learn and implement.

 If you’d like to learn how to utilize these strategies to find your ideal career, request a free, no-obligation Strategy Consultation at RevolutionYouCoaching.

 Shouldn’t your 90,000 hours be spent doing something you love?

 

How I Found My Purpose - and How You Can Too!

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My whole life I’ve had a strong belief that I was on this earth to serve a specific purpose. I knew it was going to be something big and impactful, and I knew I would be successful at it - but I struggled with figuring out exactly what it was.

During my career, I’ve made a number of pivots, trying things that challenged and stimulated me intellectually, hoping to discover my purpose along the way, but finding out time after time that something was still missing.

It took me years, decades actually, to figure out my purpose, but it wasn’t in the way I thought it would be. It all began when I was a child…

When I was growing up, my family lived at the end of a dead-end street with a creek in the backyard.  We lived in a small town, so the water was clear and clean and full of wildlife. All I had to do was step out into our backyard and see turtles, crawfish, tadpoles and even snakes.  All kinds of snakes. And I fell in love with them! I begged my parents for months at the time for a boa constrictor, but they said no, wisely now I realize, so I ended up with a garter snake from the yard and an iguana named Igggy. I thought I had found my purpose. I was going to be a herpetologist. I loved it!  But it only lasted for two years and the allure of playing with turtles and snakes and tadpoles went away.

Fast forward a few more years, and once again, I thought I had my purpose all figure out. I loved standing in front of a chalkboard and “teaching” my younger siblings and whichever neighborhood kids I could round up. I don’t know what I talked about, and I don’t think it even mattered - as long as I had an audience, I loved it! I thought I had found my purpose.

I entered college thinking I was going to be a teacher of some sort. I took the first required class in the education curriculum – early childhood development, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. I was completely turned off by the curriculum, my professor and by my fellow classmates. You see, as I was growing up, I had been told by well-meaning adults who loved me that teaching wasn’t a good enough profession for me. They thought I should be a scientist of some sort, like others in my family.

Those beliefs colored my perception of my fellow education students and resulted in a snap judgement that turned me off the profession before I even gave it a chance. It wasn’t my purpose after all – or so I thought.

For the next 30 years, I spent my career doing lots of different things, and achieving success in all of them. Each time I started a new job, I thought, this is it! This is where I’ll discover my purpose. I’d throw myself into the role for a few years, but after mastering the job and achieving some financial success, I’d realize that something was still missing.

I’m happy to report that I eventually did figure out my purpose. But it wasn’t by trying a lot of different careers and discovering what I enjoyed doing – although that was part of it.

It wasn’t by taking a lot of different career assessments to see what I was good at – although I took a lot of them.

It wasn’t by pestering all my friends to ask what they thought I should do – although I did that too.

And it wasn’t by reading dozens of self-help books on finding your purpose - although I have a whole library on this subject.

It was a journey of self-discovery that uncovered the limiting beliefs that had been holding me back – the beliefs that were preventing me from realizing something that I already knew – but didn’t want to acknowledge.

So yes, I eventually figured out my purpose – but it wasn’t until I enrolled in a coach training program and learned the tools to help others (and myself) figure out what filled them with purpose and passion and how to turn them into a career and life that they loved.

Before I went through this journey of self-discovery, I had assumed, like many people do, that my purpose was what I did – my job description i.e. “I teach children”, “I send rockets to the moon”, “I diagnose and treat illnesses in people”. But that’s not your purpose.

What I realized is that your purpose is not WHAT you do. It’s WHO you are at your core. It’s the talents, beliefs and values that make you special. It’s the reason, the WHY that you do something. WHAT you do is simply the expression of that purpose.

Which brings me to where I am today, a career and business strategist that helps people figure out what they want to do with their life, career or business – to identify their purpose, their genius, their why, and figure out how to go out and get it. I coach them, I motivate them, I inspire them, and I help them to uncover the beliefs that are holding them back. And yes, I teach them. That is my purpose. Turns out I knew it all along.

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Discovering my purpose transformed my life. Learn how it can transform yours by scheduling a free, no-obligation Discovery Call here.

10 Steps to Successfully Change Your Career at Any Age

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Changing jobs or careers can be a challenging task, especially if you haven’t been in the job market recently.

It’s especially challenging if you don’t know what you want to do next or how to go about getting it, a situation that causes many people to remain stuck for years in jobs they don’t like.

Given that the average person in the U.S. works 90,000 hours over the course of their career, it’s understandable that many people want to find work that provides them with more than a paycheck.

Although the thought of changing careers can be a daunting task, it’s possible to find work that you enjoy at any age, provided you understand what you really want.


Here are 10 steps to help you move from career burnout to work that you love.

1)      Get clear on what you want in all areas of your life, not just your career.

Understanding what you want in your career starts first with understanding what you want in your life. Set aside some quiet time to reflect on what your ideal life looks like in all areas, including your relationships, health, recreation, financial, career, personal development and community.

2)      Discover your purpose and determine how you want to live it out

Many people struggle with identifying their purpose and think of it in terms of what they do – for example, an engineer, a teacher or a banker.

A different way of looking at your purpose is to define it in terms of who you are.

For example, a person who thinks their purpose is to be a school teacher may realize that their true purpose is “to educate and inspire people to be their best”.

This person can now look for ways to live their purpose in activities as diverse as elementary school teacher, pastor, manager, baseball coach or inspirational speaker, as well as in everyday interactions with family members, friends and in volunteer activities.  

Change the way you think about your purpose and you’ll open the doors to new opportunities

3)      Discover what you’re uniquely good at – your inner genius.

We’ve probably all been exposed to employee evaluations that focus on our weaknesses and how to improve them, a typical experience in the corporate world.

Yet studies have shown that we get the most satisfaction out of work when we’re employing our strengths.

We all have things that we’re talented at, things that come so easily to us that we don’t always recognize them as talents, but they can sometimes be challenging to identify on our own.

A career coach can help you uncover those talents, but here is one simple method to stimulate your thinking. Send an email or text message to your friends, family and co-workers and ask them to identify three talents that you have, things that come easily to you, but not to others. You’ll get some valuable information that will guide you towards your next job.

4)      Understand your values.

Values are defined as the principles we live our life by, the core beliefs that drive our actions. Examples of values include achievement, kindness, independence, respect and creativity.

If you’re unhappy with your life or career, it’s likely that something is out of alignment with your values. Understanding what those values are, and which ones are the most important to you are critical components to finding a career you love.

Start by identifying your top 10 values and what they mean to you. Then consider which careers allow you to express those values.

If you’re unsure what your values are or how to incorporate them into your life, consider consulting with a career coach.

5)      Identify your skills

There are two types of skills that employers look for, hard skills (those technical skills required to do the job), and soft skills (interpersonal skills that are transferrable from one role to another).

Make a list of all the skills you’ve obtained through your jobs, volunteer work, education or any other activity you’ve been involved in. Include both hard and soft skills. If you’re having difficulty identifying your skills, here are two methods that may help.

Look up your previous roles on O-Net Code Connector. You’ll see a list of skills, also called “Detailed Work Activities”, from which you can derive a list of your skills.

Think of projects where you’ve been successful and write a few paragraphs about what you did. Then circle the skills that you used, or for even greater clarity, read the paragraphs back to a friend and ask them to identify your skills.

6)      Update your resume

Recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume, rendering it critical that yours catches their attention long enough to warrant a phone call or interview. Read the job description carefully and make sure your resume includes the skills and keywords relevant to the job.  Include specific, quantifiable examples of accomplishments that illustrate both your hard and soft skills. And don’t forget to double-check for spelling or grammatical errors.

7)      Perfect Your Linked In Profile

About 95% of recruiters look for qualified candidates on Linked IN, and nothing makes them pass you by faster than a profile that is out of date or incomplete. Ensure that your profile is current and contains descriptions of the work that you’ve done, your achievements and success stories.

Use short copy blocks or bullet points to make your profile easy to read.

Include a professional looking photo that is representative of the job you are seeking.

Set your profile to public, so you can be found in a Google search.

Let recruiters know that you’re open to opportunities by changing the privacy settings under “Career Interests”.

8)      Prepare Your Networking Strategy

Studies show that upwards of 80% of jobs are never advertised, which means that the fastest way to a job is through connecting with other people. Prepare a list of everyone you know, including previous co-workers, family and friends, and don’t limit yourself to those you think may have a job opening.  Consider everyone whose path you cross, including sports teams you belong to, your accountant, dentist, children’s teachers, veterinarian, religious organization and more. The broader your network, the more likely someone will hear about a job that is perfect for you.

Once you’ve identified your contacts, develop a system for systematically contacting and following up with them. You want to remain top-of-mind throughout your job search so that they think of you when they hear of an opportunity.

9)      Prepare for interviews

Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview. Now is the time to let your skills, accomplishments and personality shine. You need to be prepared to both ask and answer questions.

Learn as much as you can about the organization by reviewing their website, researching the industry, and investigating their culture on websites such as Glass Door.  Be prepared to ask questions about the company and your role in it.  You’ll not only demonstrate your interest in the job (which will put you a step ahead of other candidates), but you’ll also learn valuable information to determine if this is the job for you.

Prepare stories about yourself that illustrate your skills and accomplishments. Be ready to answer questions about your background as well as behavioral questions that illustrate how you act in challenging situations.  Enlist the help of a friend to practice answering common interview questions or consider consulting with a career coach.

10)  Notify your network once you’ve obtained your new job.

Your hard work has paid off and you’ve found an exciting new job. Don’t forget to notify your network and thank them for their help. Continue to remain active with your network so that you’ll always remain top-of-mind when that next opportunity come along. 

 

The process of identifying a new career and finding that next job can be challenging and time- consuming, but also life-changing. Follow the steps above and you’ll be on your way to finding work that you love.


Interested in learning more? Schedule your free Discovery Call here  

 

 

Are We Supposed To Love Our Jobs?

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Many years ago, before I launched my business as a Career Discovery Coach, a friend of mine said that she had given up looking for a job that she enjoyed.  She had tried jobs in several different fields, none of them which made her happy, and didn’t know what she really wanted to do. But her father, well-meaning, I’m sure, had told her that jobs weren’t meant to be enjoyed. They were simply something you did to make a living, to pay the bills and put a roof over your head.  So, she was going to give up trying to find work that she enjoyed.

I’ve since lost touch with her, but her statement has haunted me ever since.

A lot of parents say this kind of thing to their kids. Wanting the best for them. Wanting them to be able to support themselves and their families. And a lot of us tell ourselves the same thing. That we can’t make money at the things we really enjoy. That we need to be realistic and pick a career that’s “in demand”.

It’s a sad statistic. 70% of people in the U.S. today say they hate their jobs, according to a recent Gallup poll. 

At the same time, Gallup also reports that the amount of time full-time workers spend at their jobs has increased over the past ten years - to an average of 47 hours/week. That’s nearly 6 days/week. And 4 in 10 people report putting in 50+ hours.

Assuming a 40-year career, that’s 90,240 hours, give or take a few thousand.

That’s a lot of time to spend doing something that you hate.

It’s never to late to find work that you love, to find something that adds purpose and meaning to your life. It starts with self-discovery, a deep dive into your passions, skills, abilities and interests. It means discovering the work environment that fits you best, and uncovering the (hidden) limiting beliefs that may be holding you back.

It’s never too late. Sign up for a free Discovery Consultation to learn more.

And Lisa, wherever you are, I hope you’re doing something you love!