In a 2005 Stanford University commencement
speech, the late Steve Jobs advised the young graduates to ‘find what you
love.’ He explained to the audience that
our lives are limited, that death would come for each of us. Death is a certain
fact. What isn’t certain fact, continued
Mr. Jobs, is how we each proceed with the time we’re given. In the speech, Mr. Jobs told the students to
‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ and to pursue a career that each loved. And Steve Jobs practiced what he preached -
he did work that he loved.
- Are you unhappy in the job?
- Are you bored? Feel unchallenged?
- Do you want to make more money?
- Do you like the work, but dislike the company culture or the people?
- Do you like the culture and people but dislike the work?
- Who are you professionally?
- What professional identity have you established?
- Do you have a brand? Can you write it in 1 sentence?
- What do others say about your professional identity/brand?
- What areas bring you the greatest professional fulfillment?
- More than just focusing on strengths, what work brings you joy, makes you feel strong?
- What motivates you to succeed?
- Who are your professional heroes?
- Who do you admire and list why
- · Fill in the blanks: I want a career that has ______________, _______________ and ____________.
- Then focus your energy on learning about careers with these attributes.
- List your talents, strengths and skills.
- These are the cold, hard facts of what you have to offer in a new career.
- Research careers that interest you. Do you need further training to be competitive? If so, seek out ways to gain the needed skills.
- From the three items above, create a professional identity (branding) statement.
- Start with “I am a ______________________________________________________________."
- To do so you need to spread the word and let people know what you’re looking for in a career.
- Put yourself in the middle of the crowd. Get out there and get some experience in the field. Volunteer, complete an externship or internship, perhaps freelance if available.
- Network, network, network. And do so in a variety of ways. Attend community meetings where people in your desired profession will be, find out where the ‘movers and shakers will be and be there, use social media – LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc… -- to connect with people in the new industry and to build your professional brand further.
- Act on your career search every day. Create a strategy, break it down into ‘doable’ steps and then carry out a step or two each day.