Part of balance is to have the financial stability to be able to pay living costs and put money aside for a good pension. Unless a person inherited a lot of money, won the lottery or became a self-made millionaire then there is a necessity to work. It can be you just really want to work, and I understand that. However, we are better when we stimulate what we are passionate about. For some long-term happiness here are some tips to find the right role and focus:
• Find your passion. Speak to friends, your partner and have an internal conversation to identify what and where you are really great at and what honestly you suck at. Do not limit this to things that you do on a job, but also in life.
• Identify scope for passion. Speak to friends, and brainstorm on how it is possible to work in this environment. One of my strengths is working in innovative environments so that defined the types of firms that I would apply to or create myself. It may not be possible to work in every passion let’s be realistic. However, then it is important have a job which allows time for that passion. I have a friend that negotiated his contract so he could take time off to go diving each year. Myself, I teach yoga twice a month and practice regularly finishing.
• Identify your boundaries. Don’t equate success in career as success in life. You may still need to define your boundaries so as not to repeat mistakes of the past. Be strong enough to negotiate what will work for you. I negotiated to take a lower salary, but a job where I could get into work early and finish early in order to be there for play, dinner, bath, reading and quality time with my husband. It helped to define success in my eyes. In 20 years’ time I am certain I will not look back and say wow I was the Director of XY and Z. I will hopefully be able to look at my family and the impact of the time I invested in them, and of the difference I made to them, friends and society.
• Prepare. I won’t put too much emphasis on the logistics, because the purpose of this blog is not to cover basics. Prepare customised to each role a covering letter, CV, examples that can be given at interview where you have made a difference on the skills or aptitude written in the job advert and or conversation with the hiring manager.
• Find the network. Meet the people in your network that can enable you to get into that passion or environment, and I don’t mean surfing on Linkedin. Linkedin is a tool at best to analyse the market, your network and opportunities. To actually meet your network will bring results. Explain your goals of looking at this next move, what benefits you would bring (this should be easy as you are communicating your passion), get there feedback and ask how they could support you? Do they know of the right contact (if they are not the right contact themselves)? Before you say I can’t just approach people, the worst thing that can happen is they do not know of a way to help, and you are back where you began. The best thing that can happen is that you have more contacts that support your goal, and you are at the front of mind in your network for new opportunities. The same thing applies if you see a role that fits your passion pick the phone up and speak to a contact you have in the company, or the manager who posted the role. Your passion will come across in your communications, and you will have a higher chance of being interviewed.
• Stay healthy in mind-set. It can be all consuming searching for the right role in an economic crisis. It is important to stay healthy so don’t let it consume you. Yes apply energy and focus, but set yourself time limits in which you search for a job in a day. Then spend time on other things that enrich your life. Balance is still needed in your life even if you are searching for a new role, so give time to yourself for physical and relationship health.
• Set a time line. Set a realistic time line where you aim for your goal.
• Be flexible in approach after your timeline. Think about alternative roots to fulfil your passion, and in fact you may have many passions. Before you say there is no plan B. that’s great. However, in reality sometime other routes have to be realised to be successful and I would ask have you ever been in this position? It may be in the context you are in it is not possible to stay in your current career. How this change is managed in your mind can be critical. Be prepared to look at training in a different field, changing location, learning a new language and even launching your own company. Each requires a different mentality and capability, but what is important is the flexibility in approach.