"You will never find time for anything.  If you want time you must make it." Charles Buxton

I can't work out if it's my endless fascination with people's work choices or whether its just a reality of life that everyone is grappling with, but whenever I meet people having a drink or dinner or coffee, the conversation turns to the same topic: "I'm fed up with my job but I don't know what else to do."

Pondering on this I can see a common pattern of behaviour - and indeed one that I've experienced myself.  What happens is this;

choose a career...get good at it...enjoy it...take on new challenges...progress....get good income...get status and respect...stagnate...get cynical...get bored...want a change...wait for new career brainwave...it doesn't come...do nothing different...think of your pension...wait for retirement...THE END

Sound familiar?  Of course there are other reasons for sticking with what you know than not seeing your new career direction spelled out in six-foot high letters.  After all we're all resistant to change and enjoy being in our comfort zones.  But, so often what seems to be holding people back from getting out of a career they've had enough of is the lack of a "big idea."

But you know, the secret to a successful career change comes not from outside - but from within.  Research shows that those who are most satisfied and motivated by their work are in careers which reflect who they really are; careers which reflect their true nature and their real passions; careers which draw on their innate strengths and employ their favourite skills; careers which allow them to honour their deeply-held values.

Because of this, you can start YOUR career change right NOW   - by taking a long hard look at who you are.

I call this the "Explore" stage of career change and the aim is to create a richly coloured snapshot of who you are and what you need in order to be happy in your life and work.  You may think you already know yourself and don't need to do this homework but I'd be very surprised if the answer to your future career cannot be found by identifying that Dream Spot where what's really important to you and what you're really good at intersect.

So, take some pieces of paper and start exploring what you already have.  Here are a few questions to get you going:

Q: What is the greatest achievement of your life and why?
Q: When in your life were you at your most creative/committed/decisive/passionate/inspired?
Q: What are your professional and personal strengths?
Q: What excited you about your past/present jobs?
Q: What do you care deeply about?

Who you are is broader, deeper and richer than you think and what you have to offer in a new career may come from a surprising discovery.  So start your homework today...and enjoy exploring.



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