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by Fern Gorin, M.F.T.

Director, The Life Purpose Institute and

Nicole Olivier-Degere, CLC, OTR/L

A recent survey found that eighty percent of people are not satisfied with

their work. Most people wanted a more meaningful life — do you?

Are you confused about what you want? Perhaps you are facing layoff or

are in transition.

Maybe you are considering starting your own business

or, you'd like to bring more success and fulfillment to your current work.

The following will guide you through a process to clarify your career

direction and obtain the results you truly desire. During the past decade,

we have facilitated over a million people in using our life and career

clarification process. We invite you to begin your own journey of self-

discovery. The first step, regardless of your present situation, is to clarify

what you want. This seems like a very simple thing. In reality, it is very

complex for most people.

Often, we feel caught in our survival needs and the stress of a situation,

especially if it involves our livelihood. In panic, we revert to “fixing” the

problem as fast as possible. That usually means looking in the

newspaper and applying for job openings by fitting ourselves to the

position offered. After months of personal disappointment and rejection,

we are gratefully back to work. Ah, and again, here we are back in a

familiar, but non-satisfying position. It hurts so badly, yet feels so safe.

Oh, and here are the familiar headaches, upset stomach, anxiety,


Are there alternatives? Yes, self-evaluation — determining

what you really want and going after it — is one positive alternative.

Through self-discovery, you will identify talents, gifts and natural abilities

in very specific ways, and determine careers that most utilize these

unique components. All accomplishments, knowledge, interests and

experiences are considered in the process.

Creating your ideal career is like putting together a puzzle. First, you need

the pieces. At a certain point, the pieces come together — integrate —

and you're looking at the whole picture. This is when you arrive at your

life's work. From this point of strength, you design your career and

continue the process.

Here are seven steps to help you clarify your ideal career:

1. Self-Exploration

The first and most important step is to undertake a thorough self-

exploration process. You'll want to determine who you are as a unique

individual and what you really want in your ideal career. A key is knowing

the right questions to ask.

You can begin this process by asking yourself what components you

want in your ideal career. Example: flexible schedule, creativity, work with

people, type of environment, skills utilized, interests. Be as specific as

possible. If you'd like to be creative, how would you like to be creative?

There are at least 60 ways to be creative. How do you like to help people?

There are at least 101 ways to make a difference. (Call us if you would like to receive this specific information.)

2. Tailor-Make a Career

Taking into account what you want and key aspects of your personality,

design a career for yourself. Look at all the options — standard career

options and creative alternatives. Do you prefer finding a new job, staying

in your present job and making it more ideal, or starting a business?

There are 12,007 occupations listed in the Dictionary of Occupational

Titles. Are you aware of all your career options? If not, you may want to

obtain more information or seek professional guidance.

3. Overcome the Blocks to Your Success

Often, we have blocks and obstacles to achieving our goals. Usually a

block or obstacle is a signal telling you that you need to attend to

something. These blocks can be internal feelings, such as fear of failure,

fear of success, self-criticism or self-doubt. Or they can be external facts,

such as lacking necessary business skills, a plan of action or information

about possible career choices.

What is your block or obstacle telling you? Identifying and overcoming

these blocks is a necessary part of making the transition to work you love.

4. Research

At this stage, you will identify one to five career options that you wish to

explore further. Gathering information by reading books and meeting with

people in your fields of interest will help you be certain about the best

career choice and help you to develop an effective plan of action.

5. Strategic Plan

After researching your career options, you decide on short-term and long-

term goals and develop a step-by-step strategy to obtain these goals.

Many people start with a dream and want to leap immediately from A to

Z. In having an effective plan of action, you learn how to move from A to

B to C to D, building gradually toward your goals. No matter what your

circumstances, there is always a way to get started toward what you


6. Master the Skills to Get Your Ideal Job or Start a Business

In order to find work or develop a business, you must learn how to play

the job/business game. Since only 10 percent of available jobs are listed

in the want ads, learning to play the job game will greatly increase your

chances of getting the job you want.

Job skills include developing contacts, having an effective resume,

learning to present yourself as the best candidate, mastering the art of

successful interviewing and discovering “back-door” approaches to

getting the job you want.

For those seeking to start their own business, the skills include

developing a strong business idea, doing effective marketing/marketing research and developing a sound business plan.

7. Continue the Process

Clarification and achieving results is a continuing process. Keep referring

to and using this process. You may, for example, need to continue self-

discovery — redefining what truly matters to you.

In which of the above areas do you need to build your skills?

All the seven steps outlined above are important in a successful career

search. Finding work you love through this process takes effort and

courage, yet it is a wise investment in yourself and your future happiness.

For most people, I recommend professional support, as it makes the

process faster and easier. There are thousands of career options you

may have never considered. Also, a professional can assist you with

coaching to keep you focused and on track. People who are focused in

their search for meaningful work stand the best chance of success in

these times.

Fern Gorin, M.A. is the Director of the Life Purpose Institute in San Diego,

California. Nicole Olivier-Degere is a Life Coach, and is certified to provide The

Life Purpose Process© by the Life Purpose Institute. She is also a licensed Occupational Therapist. This process has been successfully utilized since 1984 with over a million people worldwide. Nicole Olivier-Degere may be reached at

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