Friday, January 1, 2010

Guidance for Those in Transition

When asked the question "what do you do", often the reply is: I am an
Executive Director, Customer Service Representative, Membership Director, Meetings person.... In a transition situation, such thinking is very self-limiting. One that
we can not afford, particularly in this tight market. Therefore, even
more important to expand our thinking. To come through, it will help
to look at ourselves and our situation through a new lens. Read on.

Every human being has an inner purpose and an outer purpose.

Great majority of individuals define themselves, unfortunately, by
their outer purpose mainly. That is simply WHAT they DO. In this
rapidly changing global economy, structures will continue to rise and
fall, at an increasing rate. Thus, the WHAT will shift continue to
shift at an rapid rate too. As we know, more and more individuals are
having multiple careers. Therefore, if you define yourself by WHAT
you do, your job title for example, you are severely limiting

Instead, it is important to now turn your sights to identifying your
inner purpose. This is your BEING and HOW you do what you do. This
is your anchor and it NEVER changes. It's fixed throughout ones life.
You see, EVERY human being comes to this earth endowed with certain
gifts. As you reflect on back your career, times you were happy and
successful, you were using your gifts.

For example, some are born to lead, others to be number crunchers.
Some possess "blank page creativity" while others are great at
analyzing and organizing. When all is said and done, there are only a
handful of these. And very importantly, one can fairly easily map
these gifts to various typical business functions. These business
functions cut across all types of organizations, regardless of
industry, size, their products/service, and so on.

Unfortunately, very few individuals have ever taken the time to do
such deep introspection. Ones that do, they find more joy and more
success. If you want to do such an introspection but are unsure where
to start, here's a suggestion. It's a "simple" 4-step process.

Step 1: Identify 6 situations - 3 prior to your college graduation
and 3 after you entered the workforce, post college. For each
situation, identify those times when you accomplished something and
you really enjoyed the process. This would be where you were totally
lost yourself in your work, completely absorbed. Something you would
do even if you didn't get paid.

For example:

High School: Increased rate of hamburger flipping at McDonalds by 50%.
Post-college: Increased invoice processing rate by 35%.

Step 2: For each incident, go into great detail, as much as possible,
on how you went about accomplishing what you did. What specific
activities were you doing, who were you with, what was the
environment, were you working with numbers, alphabets, etc. Do this
exercise, mentally and from your gut. Go into that silent space. Let
it all perculate and let it all come up. It's not something to be
rushed through.

Step 3: Identify, for each incident, what was satisfying to you.

Step 4: Review/read what you came up with in steps 1 through 3. Feel
free to go back and add/edit. This is for you. The more you put into
it, the more you'll get out of it. Of course, it never hurts to share
with others who know you well. They may be able to add valuable

From this will emerge a strong pattern providing you with key insights
to your inner purpose. From these insights, the lens through which
you view the job market will expand. World of opportunities will
likely open up. You see, the gift is in you. Identify it and then go
seek your job from that place. It will surely increase the odds of
your landing a job. More importantly one that will provide you with
not just financial success, but great joy as well.

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