Your Career Finder -

Build A More Meaningful Career

by Robin Ryan

11,000 days. That's the number of days you'll probably work over your lifetime. You'll likely have six or seven career changes and 11 or 12 jobs in total. You may be wondering if you need a change now.

30 million people go to work each day to a job they hate. The harmful feelings permeate their entire life, putting a negative cloud over the home, their friends and many of their other activities. They may lack the know-how to change, may be afraid of leaving the security of a paycheck, or have a hundred excuses for why it's okay to be so dissatisfied and stay at their job.

There is a better way to live your life. Meaningful purpose is a driving force that adds enthusiasm to your days. Taking a passion and making it your career -- living a dream -- can be not just a wish, but a true and certain reality. Here are a few steps to get the new career rolling: Do some self-analysis. Ask yourself -- What really matters to me? What problem or wrong would I like to fix? What do I enjoy? Where are my interests and hobbies? What are my priorities? What is my secret passion? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Reviewing these questions can give you new insight to where you want to go.

Use your unique genius and talents. Every person is born with a unique set of natural abilities. Talents, such as managing, creating, researching, training others, drawing, can all seem like easy work because you have a natural flair for them. True happiness comes from combining your natural talents, developing and excelling in them, and working in a field, job, industry that you have a passionate interest in. Others have done it and so can you. Sometimes it's easy to forget that we can change if we really want to. Although she was a prominent lawyer, my client Sarah was dissatisfied in her work, and glad to take a few years off to have two children. She told me she hated practicing law. She found it boring, yet she felt enormous guilt at abandoning a career she spent years training for and made great money in. We worked together, focusing on her real interests and natural talents. Sarah landed a terrific new job as an executive director for a nonprofit organization. She leads others, influences policies, develops programs, and is a very happy person. "I even make a great salary, but I love my job so much, I'd do this for free," she said.

Make a decision. Many people flounder for years and never turn their dreams into reality. They let themselves remain in a negative or stuck place. Only action can change your life. Read a book. Take vocational tests. Use a good career-management professional. Do some career exploration and gather all the information you need. Then make a decision and go forward. Outline the action steps to reach your career goal. The only thing at stake is your happiness. Finding meaning, passion and purpose every day you go to work is the wonderful reward, so don't wait any longer. Begin right now and set in motion your own plan to live a happier, more satisfying life.

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

Robin Ryan has appeared on the "Dr. Phil Show," "Oprah," "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw," CNN, and CNBC and is considered America's top career coach. She is the best-selling author of 60 Seconds & You're Hired!, Winning Resume?Ls, Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She's the creator of the highly acclaimed audio training program Interview Advantage and The DreamMaker. Robin's passion is helping people find better jobs, which she successfully does through her career counseling practice in which she offers individual career-coaching and resume?L-writing services. A popular national speaker, Robin has spoken to more than 1,000 audiences on improving their lives and obtaining greater success. To purchase her books and audio training programs, go to her Webiste: To contact Robin email her at or phone her at 425.226.0414.

Copyright by Quintessential Careers. The original article can be found at: Reprinted with permission.

Copyright (C) 2003 by Robin Ryan
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