This Sunday I’ve been asked to give a talk at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside. I feel very comfortable with Unitarian parishioners because, as a group, they are remarkably tolerant, open to dialogue and dissent, and carry their beliefs into action in the larger community.
Several parishioners know I’ve launched Encores! and asked me to speak on how one might find “right vocation” in midlife. It’s one of many difficult challenges midlifers face while grappling with growing a family, caring for aging parents, putting money away for a child’s college education and, with good intentions, saving for retirement.
We live in an age of anxiety fueled by a global economic recession, wars without victories, Third World famine, and a host of other seemingly intractable problems. I don’t have answers to these Big Issues. However, I would like to share what I’ve learned both in my own search for right livelihood and my 12 years of experience helping others to identify and find fulfilling work.
Cutting to the chase, there are three keys to finding fulfilling work.
First, you must have a clear and specific vision of what you want your career to look like.
- Do you want to remain in your present career niche, change careers, or establish a consultant practice or business of your own?
Second, you must be able to work through your fears and resistance. Psychologists will tell you looking for work creates as much anxiety as leaving a marriage or losing a spouse.
- What is holding you back?
- Do you need more information?
- Do you need to admit you are frightened and take steps to work through your fears?
Third, you must put yourself face-to-face with a decision-maker who has the power to hire you. Relying solely on flooding the marketplace with resumes and cover letters for most people is an exercise in frustration. Unless your resume is a mirror image of the target job description, it will be discarded before it ever reaches the desk of the man or woman who can hire you. You must penetrate the hidden job market where 80% of the jobs are found.
How do you do this? To find out, please join me at 9:00 am this Sunday (November 6th) at the First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. If you are unable to attend, please contact me and we can schedule a complimentary session and I can share my strategies with you.