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The Secret to Finding Lasting Career Satisfaction

Instead of Pondering It, Do It

We learn through experimentation, not by pondering.

We can’t really think our way into the right answer. We just have to try different things and then see how well we learn from those.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Secret to Finding Lasting Career Satisfaction

The Secret to Finding Lasting Career Satisfaction

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/secret-finding-lasting-career-satisfaction

gsb.stanford.edu

8

Key Ideas

Looking At The Big Picture

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Values: What do I like to do? What brings out my best?
  • Vision: How do I want to grow? What do I want to create for myself?
  • Competency: What do I bring to the table? What value do I have and how should this grow over time? What do I need to get to the next level?
  • Relationships: Who’s supporting me? Who’s in my posse? Who gives me resilience and validation? And who can I learn from?

Don’t Wait Until You’re Unhappy

We tend to only do something about our careers when we have a problem. But if you wait until you’re laid off or dissatisfied, you may take action but it won’t feel authentic.

A better way is to look at multiple factors and work on them consistently even when you feel satisfied at your job.

"Incremental efforts add up. You don’t have to do a big dramatic thing to make progress. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while."

"Incremental efforts add up. You don’t have to do a big dramatic thing to make progress. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while."

Working Toward a Goal

What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.  Incremental efforts do add up.

Like compound interest, if you make steady progress of your goals, you can get somewhere.

Instead of Pondering It, Do It

We learn through experimentation, not by pondering.

We can’t really think our way into the right answer. We just have to try different things and then see how well we learn from those.

Ask Someone Else How They See You

Ask a friend: "What do you see in me? What patterns are you detecting?"

Often, that will identify some of your core values.

Chart Your Options

If you are uncertain about your next step, but you have 5-6 job possibilities in your mind, chart out these options and ask:

  • How interesting would it be? Use a 1 to 10 scale to rank it. 
  • How easy or difficult would it be to make happen? 
  • How much do you actually know about this as a career? How deep is your knowledge? 

Add up the points and see where each job falls on the chart.

Career Paths Are Not Linear

Every career has transitions and cycles. Accept that.

Don't try to avoid them, rather think about what we can do for that cycle and move forward.

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You don't have to use the same skill set in all the work you do. You can mix and match the different ways you want to work, how you want to spend your time, the clients you prefer, and the frequency in which you want to get paid.

Your business model

  • Ensure you have a stable income stream before you take attention away from it.
  • Let your audience, customers, and fans tell you what they want. If you can understand when your market wants something from you and if they are willing to pay for it, creating other revenue streams will naturally develop.
  • Testing ideas is essential.
  • Not all projects should be monetized. Some will pay you back in other ways like creatively energizing you or letting you experiment and fail, that may be valuable.

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Mind Mapping

Mind maps are the best way to visually and textually organize your ideas, projects, thoughts, and tasks in a way that gives you a structure and sensibly links related concepts.

  • Mind m...

Pillars in the Career Master Plan

  • Current job or role: This is what you are doing right now.
  • Career Goals and Dreams: List your short-term (6-9 months) and longer-term (1-3 years) career goals and dreams.
  • Your Big Why: Know why you want to do the work. 
  • Core Values: What are your top 3-5 core values that you are not willing to compromise?
  • Limits and Boundaries: What is it that you are not willing to do? Whom do you not want to work with?
  • Top Strengths: A strength is a combination of your talents and skills.
  • Desired Strengths: These are the gaps you want to fill in your skills and talents. 
  • Education investment in Yourself: Are you going to conferences, joining a master-mind group, or hiring a coach?
  • Execution Strategies: For instance, you may start a business, a side-hustle, a website.
  • Role Models
  • Ideal Client or Company: It is critical to know whom you want to serve with your work.
  • Ideal Professional Self: A 25-word exercise where you describe your ideal professional self. 

Self-Assessment

Carefully evaluate your individual strengths, lifestyle preferences, passions, work style, and financial needs.

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Research

  • Brainstorm possible job options and investigate them thoroughly. 
  • Learn about the descriptions and qualifications for various positions, typical entry points and advancement opportunities, satisfactions, frustrations, and other important facts.
  • Speak with as many people as possible that are involved in work that is of interest to you to get an insider’s perspective.

Experimentation

Internships and part-time jobs are an excellent way to sample a field of interest. 

They provide the opportunity to perform some of the job functions, observe others work, and evaluate the “real world” workplace environment.

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