Your eyes pop open at the jarring sound of the alarm. You roll over in bed wishing you could go back and finish your dream, but it’s too late. You’ve realized it’s Monday morning. Again.
You drag yourself out of bed, splash some water on your face, and take a good look in the mirror.
Who is that stressed-out woman looking back at you? Are those new wrinkles around her eyes? Is that another gray hair?
You glance at your calendar and remember that tonight is girls’ night out. It’s been three months, and last time when everyone played a round of “why I hate my job” you declared (after finishing off your third martini) that you were definitely looking for new work.
As you commute, you listen to your recorded affirmations and repeat them aloud:
“I am a truly valuable person.”
“I complete my work effortlessly and easily.”
“People appreciate my hard work.”
You park your car, remind yourself to smile, and walk through the office doors determined to make it a good day.
Reaching your desk, you see an unexpected pile of reports that have been dumped, dozens of emails waiting to be answered, and a note that says your boss wants to see you, yet again, about last month’s debacle.
Your shoulders slump, you feel the knot in your stomach tighten, and you wonder whether you have the strength to pour yourself a cup of coffee.
My guess is that you’re reading this book because something is off with your work-life.
It may be just a tad off, or you may be light years from where you thought you’d be. No matter what—you’re unhappy and know you need to make a change, but you aren’t sure how to go about doing it or even what direction to take.
At the same time, you’re questioning whether it’s wise, given today’s unstable economy, to contemplate making a career move. All you have to do is check the online news sources (formerly known as reading the paper) and you can gather all the evidence you need that the world of work is a pretty nasty place, especially for…
…People who are new graduates with no work experience…and people who are no longer in their 20s…and people who are returning to the workforce after an absence…and people who are no longer in their 30s…and people who are being laid off…and people who are no longer in their 40s…and people who are being forced to retire before they want to…and people who are no longer in their 50s…
Hang on! Let’s catch our breath.
Yes, it’s a competitive career market. And no, you may not have the kind of resume that compels employers to roll out the red carpet and woo you into their corporate inner sanctum.
But the bottom-line remains the same: you’re unhappy. And you simply can’t continue on in the same way.
Why? Because something is warning you that what you’ve been doing is no longer working (if it ever really was).
The old approach to making a career choice is about:
• Doing whatever it takes to make the most money
• Following trends—the fields that are expected to grow
• Following in someone’s footsteps
• Doing what someone else thinks is best for you
• Taking any job that pays the bills
• Picking a job that allows you to use your talent or your education, or fits in with family commitments, but doesn’t consider anything else that is important to you
Can you spot what’s missing from this list? Any mention of fulfillment, meaning, or contribution.
If you’re just not feeling your work anymore, chances are good that it’s missing one or more of these three things.
The old approach to career choice is based on the philosophy of “Bloom where you are planted.” The premise is that you should adapt yourself to your situation and make the best of it.
Wow. I must admit that I have a hard time with this!
I’m not saying that this philosophy is never applicable in life. Situations do exist in which you have no power to make a change. You simply have to try to make lemonade out of lemons.
But is that really true about your work? Are you powerless to take charge of your career?
The new approach to choosing a career is based on the philosophy, “Plant yourself where you will bloom.” The premise is that you define the work that will fit you like a glove (by discovering and combining your tal¬ents, interests, knowledge, values, and preferences regarding people, money, work environment, and lifestyle) and then you use a very specific approach to finding or creating your perfect job.
It’s the same as if you want a plant to bloom profusely. Do you drop it on a rock, walk away, and expect to come back in an hour and see a flower? Of course not!
You learn about what it takes for the plant to bloom—things like the best soil conditions and the right amounts of sunlight, water, and fertilizer. You seek out the spot in your yard that easily provides these things. You plant it lovingly. You tend to its needs. And before you know it, it’s blooming.
Your ideal work is no different. Your perfect job is the set of circum¬stances in which the best of you can shine. You love your work, you do the work in a way that fits your integrity, and you live the life you want most.
Maybe at this point you want to jump through the pages, grab me, shake me, and emphatically remind me that you have bills to pay!
Yes, you do! But it’s not an “either/or.” It’s an “and.” Over the course of 15 years as a career coach, I’ve discovered that the best careers are about both money and meaning.
So how can you make all the money you want doing something you find personally fulfilling?
This is what you’re about to learn in this book.
In these pages, you will learn how to open yourself up to what you were put here to do. (It’s not just some of us who were put here to accomplish
important things—it’s all of us. And we weren’t meant to suffer financially in order to do it.)
You will learn how to approach the job market in a fun and effective way
And you will learn how to ensure yourself the job security you crave
I love the “Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom” approach because I know that in using it, your life will never be the same.
You will love what you’re doing each and every day. You will know how to create long-term security for yourself. You will feel you are making a real contribution to the world. You’ll stress less, get healthier, and have stronger relationships.
Sound good? I hope so! We’ll be exploring all of this in depth, but for now, let’s keep it simple by saying:
The difference between the old style of career choice and the new is that you flip the order of questions you ask yourself. Instead of asking what you can do to make money, you figure out what you want to do and then ask what it takes to make money at it.
This is what makes “Plant yourself where you will bloom” so powerful and will have you realizing the personal fulfillment and financial reward for which you long.