The Soul Searcher
COMMON QUESTIONS OF SOUL-SEARCHERS:
- “Should I be trying to make my passion my work?”
- “If I make my hobby my job, will I get bored of it?”
- “I’ve tried several careers up until this point. Am I ever going to be happy?”
- “How wrong is it that I don’t know what I want to do?”
- “I think I have an idea of what I would be good at but I don’t think I can make a living as a harmonica player.”
How do I figure out what I should be doing for a living, so I can start feeling like I’m living again? (Because my job right now leaves me feeling dead inside.)
Soul-searcher in pursuit of work that’s actually compatible with skills, talents, interests, lifestyle preferences, cultural fit, and so much more.
Systems Analyst Director at a technology company, ten years into her career.
- Angela was in search of not only what kind of job she wanted but also what made her tick– a true exercise in self-awareness. We spent a lot of time in what we call a Deep Discovery process, which is the extended version of how most people get to know what they want and why. Significant parts of Angela’s program included getting to know what motivated her (and what demotivated her– like having to manage her team– kind of a big a-ha), what her special skills were, understanding her frustrations, and digging deep to find what really lit her up.
- Angela completed several personality and aptitude assessments that helped her to see herself in a new light and understand how she interacted with others.
- Once we ruled out the possibility of Angela staying with her current role and company (sometimes people are able to salvage their current situation), we co-created and embarked upon a plan to determine the best role options to launch her job search and continue her personal development. We learned that she didn’t need help with her resume or networking, but that she did need to learn about what kinds of roles were out there and what would make a good fit based on her assessment and Discovery results.
- One exercise Angela learned a lot from was the Day in the Life assignment: she met with three people in her top three industries of interest (one of whom she found through our Happy Spectacular network), gleaning what a typical day would look like in roles that matched her profile. She then visualized herself in those roles and assessed how closely the day-to-day experience aligned with her List of Musts (another neat tool we used to have Angela identify the components that absolutely had to be in her life and work moving forward). This exercise reiterated her lack of desire to be a manager, and helped her to see that she liked roles within companies that had a lot of structure and defined processes.
- Angela’s Happy Spectacular program gave her the permission to try things she was interested in but would have otherwise been reluctant to do, like revisiting her childhood hobbies (ballet, reading fiction books), rekindling a relationship with an old middle school friend (and getting feedback on what her friend thought she’d do for a living as a ‘grown up’).
- We realized that Angela had a hard time when she didn’t feel in control, along with a fear of the unknown, so she was assigned exercises that helped her embrace ambiguity. She took a weekend trip with a friend without input on the destination or agenda.
- We debriefed after each exercise, reading, and experience throughout her program to talk about what worked, what felt uncomfortable, what lessons were learned and how to apply them in the future. This back-and-forth during her program informed how we redesigned her plan while working together (like how we swiftly abandoned some career ideas after her feedback from her Day in the Life contacts, how to handle conflict in her workplace within her team after a specific issue popped up, and how we spent more time in exercises designed to work on her desire for control).
- Ultimately we created a Happy Spectacular Work + Life Plan that allowed Angela to flex as she evolved in her career. It was a plan that lived and breathed in its current fashion, but had definite shelf life.