6 Career Ingredients

We often describe ourselves primarily by the title of our profession or the name of our degree. These descriptions communicate one aspect of our lives at a particular point in time. But there are infinite other parts to each of us that add competence, distinction, emotional depth, strength, and meaning to the way we live each and every day. I call these other parts our … [ Read more ]

4 Dimensions of a Career

  1. Pace – options relating to the rate of career progression.
  2. Workload – choices related to the quantity of work output.
  3. Location/Schedule – options for where and when work is performed.
  4. Role – choices in position and responsibility.

Creating a Life Plan

Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, has met very few people who have a plan for their lives. Most are passive spectators, watching their lives unfold a day at a time. They may plan their careers, the building of a new home, or even a vacation. But it never occurs to them to plan their life. As a result, many end up discouraged and … [ Read more ]

The Genius Spiral (Gay & Katie Hendricks)

Gay Hendricks has a great little model to help us discover our genius.

Draw a square. Make four quadrants. In the lower right put “Incompetence.” In the lower left, “Competence.” Upper right, “Excellence.” And upper left, “GENIUS!”

The idea is very straight-forward: we’re going to live a much more powerful, fulfilled, happy life to the extent we spend as much time as possible … [ Read more ]

Mass Career Customization (MCC)

Mass Career Customization (MCC) is a way to enable a corporate lattice organization that allows employees to both dial up and dial down. The MCC framework articulates a definite, not infinite, set of options along the four core dimensions of a career – Pace, Workload, Location/Schedule, and Role – as well as the trade-offs associated with choices across four, highly inter-related dimensions. In collaboration with … [ Read more ]

Work Values Checklist

Use this checklist to get a better idea of what’s important to you. It’s divided into three categories related to intrinsic, extrinsic and lifestyle values.

Intrinsic Values

These are the intangible rewards, those related to motivation and satisfaction at work on a daily basis. They provide the inner satisfaction and motivation that make people say, “I love getting up and going to work!”

How … [ Read more ]

Assess What Is Important to You

Think carefully about what each of the words or terms below means to you, and then assess how they relate to what you want from work:

  • Achievement (accomplishing important things)
  • Aesthetics (attractive workspace)
  • Affiliation (membership in organization as a source of pride)
  • Alignment with boss
  • Artistic creativity
  • Autonomy & independence (most work self-determined, with limited direction from others)
  • Change & variety
  • Chaos (loosely defined environment; goals and priorities unclear)
  • Community activity
  • Commute
  • Competition
  • Creativity
  • Dual careers

[ Read more ]

Assess Your Skills and Interests

Educational Assessment

Every career starts in a classroom. Just to be sure you did not pass over a key moment in your formal education, consider these questions as you proceed:

  • What teachers did I like best and why? How did they help me learn about myself?
  • What teachers did I like least and why?
  • Which subjects did I like best and why? Do I see any connection

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8 Career Anchors

The concept of the career anchor was first developed some thirty years ago by Edgar Schein, a Sloan Fellows Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Schein says that people are primarily motivated by one of eight anchors–priorities that define how they see themselves and how they see their work.

The eight anchors:

  1. Technical/functional competence. The key for a person with

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Know Thyself

If you’re thinking about making a job or career change, the first step is to “know thyself.” I can’t help you figure that out in a letter, but I can give you a one-minute formula to help get you started:

  • G + P + V = your calling.
  • The G stands for your gifts; the P is for passion; and the V equals

[ Read more ]

How to figure out what you love to do

Richard Knight is a senior vice president at Keystone Associates, a premier career-transition firm based in Burlington, Massachusetts. After 16 years in corporate human resources, Knight realized he didn’t like where his current road was taking him. The process that he used to switch fields—to outplacement consulting—is the same process that he’s used to help hundreds of other people create new career visions.

  1. Find the

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Listening to Our Inner Voices

Identifying o­ne’s own dreams is an intuitive process. The brain uses a system of notifications (pleasant and unpleasant emotions) to warn us whether the profile of events currently unfolding is following a desirable pattern (satisfaction) or a dangerous o­ne (dissatisfaction). To some extent, these emotions are signals to act.

According to IESE Professor Luis Huete, author of the book “Construye tu sueño” (“Build … [ Read more ]

Stephen R. Covey’s 4 L’s

  1. Live (how much money do we really need to make to put a roof over our heads, food on the table and to finance our children’s education, etc)
  2. Love (What type of social environments do we need to work and live in to be content?)
  3. Learn (What do we want to learn next?)

[ Read more ]