Finding Your Way to Your Authentic Career
Unfulfilled by your job? Wish the work you do on a daily basis were more aligned with the person you are? (your interests and values)
You're not alone.
In fact, the majority of workers would chose a different career path if given the chance.
The reasons span a wide range. Some simply experience a bad fit with the career that fate steered them into. For readers of PeakProsperity.com, there are often additional fears that their expertise will have little relevance to a future shaped by the “Three E” forces outlined in the Crash Course.
But the reality is, most people don't take the steps to find a more meaningful path. The potential life upheaval and uncertainty that can come with a full-scale career transition often prove too daunting and overwhelming for most folks. And so they resign themselves to a future of lowered expectations. Of enduring their job.
It doesn't have to be that way for you.
Finding a Purposeful Path
Perhaps the most frequent question asked by visitors to the Peak Prosperity website is What should I do?
Regular readers know we continually create a lot of content to address this broad and very far-ranging query. But at its simplest, our advice distills down to this:
- Protect what’s precious
- Cultivate resilience
- Live with purpose
"Work" is a huge part of #3. It occupies a large percentage of our waking hours and is often an equally large component of our self-identity. When our work is out of alignment with our passions, our natural abilities, or our values, it's nearly impossible to be content – and for good reason.
To bring things into alignment, a process of self-discovery is necessary. Big existential questions like Who am I? What do I value? What are my strengths? What fulfills me? need to be faced head-on, and articulated in detail.
This is a very tall order, and, not surprisingly, these are challenging answers for most people to resolve on their own. But these insights are absolutely essential for transitioning successfully to work you'll love, because they'll define the requirements a job will need to have in order to be a "great fit" for you.
So, based on the many continual requests we receive from readers wanting clarity and instruction on how best to undertake such a big endeavor, we've developed a guide to the career transition process. It's called Finding Your Way to Your Authentic Career, and it's just been published.
This book is a step-by-step manual for a tested process that yields the self-discovery, visioning, planning, and implementation that ultimately results in finding professional fulfillment. It has been analyzed for decades and is well understood by competent career counselors and coaches.
Its overall message is: Your purpose is out there waiting for you. There is a methodical process to find it and to transition successfully over to it.
Physical copies of the book are available for $15 at Amazon.com or through the CreateSpace store. Those with Kindles or iPads can download e-book versions for $9.95. (other e-book readers should be supported within 90 days). And if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow the book for free on your Kindle.
The book breaks down the transition process into 3 Stages:
- Developing the insights & vision that will guide your efforts
- Aligning your focus & resources
- Securing authentic work
Each Stage has a progression of Steps comprised of specific exercises and practices for you to follow, as well as experienced advice to improve your odds of success.
There’s little about this process that is novel or complex. It doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money. It doesn’t require you to go through any special training beforehand.
The challenge lies in both having the courage to wrestle with yourself, as well as the reserve to see this journey through to its conclusion. But if you do, the odds of you ending up with a clear understanding of your “purpose” – and in a job that’s consistent with it – are very good. Probable, even.
I can say this with confidence because I relied on much of the methodology within this book for my own career transition, from dissatisfied Silicon Valley executive to rural homesteader and proud co-founder of PeakProsperity.com. For those interested, I provide a glimpse into my personal story here.
During and after my journey, I spent many hours talking with seasoned career coaches and career management experts to identify the key success factors for finding one's "authentic work" and securing employment in that field. Many of those factors are discussed in this podcast with the most helpful expert I encountered in this process. I encourage those considering a career change to listen to it.
Another important lesson I learned was the value support networks lend. Other people in the midst of their own career transition are a fantastic (and free) source of emotional support, best practices, employer insights, and job leads. As a helpful resource, we've created the Finding Your Authentic Career Group for you to tap the collective nurturing of others who on the same journey as you.
Doing work you love is a critical component of your financial and emotional resiliency. A career that energizes you, plays to your natural strengths, and gives you purpose is highly likely one that you'll excel in. And that outperformance will give you options you can leverage within an organization that recognizes your value. Or by enabling you to strike out on your own; to be your own employer. But even if the financial returns aren't as high as you'd like, the self-respect and fulfillment that comes from doing work you believe in will almost always make up for it.
In coming posts, we plan to delve more directly into the importance of Work in a future defined by constrained economic growth and growing resource scarcity. If there are specific topics you'd like us to cover, please let me know in the Comments below.
I welcome any feedback on the book from those that read it. In the interim, here's what several reviewers have had to say:
Adam Taggart's new book, "Transitioning Into Purpose," is a terrific guide for anyone struggling to figure out not only what their ideal career is, but also how to get there. He walks the reader through a thorough, carefully constructed process full of helpful strategies and tips. I highly recommend it.~ Jennifer Winn, President, Winn Performance Partners
Adam Taggart shares the personal story of his own career exploration and discovery, while offering practical advice based on the lessons he learned from embarking on that transformational journey.~ Marie Mookini, former Director of MBA Admissions at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; currently Principal at the Admission Advisory Group
Millions of people have traded career satisfaction for job security. But that security is illusory, as the nature of work is being revolutionized by global and technological forces. Adam’s book provides a practical roadmap for navigating the new economy and gaining the key understanding that a fulfilling career based on self-knowledge is our only true security in a fast-changing world.~ Charles Hugh Smith, proprietor of oftwominds.com and author of Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It.
A Note on Timing
This book was written for anybody wishing for a different course than the one they're currently on.
But we pushed to launch it now as it has special relevance to those deciding for the first time which professional path to focus on: recent high school and college graduates. In particular, the self-discovery and visioning exercises are particularly valuable for these readers, as they are at a life stage when making the right decisions can literally save them from years (even decades) of dissatisfaction.
If there's a recent grad in your life whom you think would benefit from this book, please let them know about it.