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'Be Who You Were Created To Be'

What would you live for and die without?

Jul. 03, 2013 | Cindy Lee

CL: So, you’ve told me that you don’t enjoy your job and want a change. What would you want instead?
- (Pause.) I’m not sure.
CL: What do you dislike about your current job?
- (Pause.) I’m not sure… I can’t articulate it, I just know I don’t enjoy it.
CL: What brought you to this job in the first place?
- It was time to leave my previous job, and this seemed like a good opportunity.

This conversation occurred the other day with a client, but it actually happens quite often with my other clients as well. For many people it’s not front-of-mind to state their values and standards for life. But, if you can’t clearly identify them, you also can’t align with them. With a little time and intention, you can begin to articulate these things that you’d live for and die without. This is crucial to establishing a solid foundation upon which to build your life.

We’re in the process of navigating your career situation with integrity – the job-searching approach I use to help clients find the right opportunities, which I’m sharing with you this summer (take a look to learn more about it).

Since our careers take up such a big part of life (and affect other areas of life), I believe it’s worth your while to pursue a job that you know will be fulfilling and a good fit so those 40+ hours/week can be more meaningful for you.

That said, what is meaningful for YOU is not necessarily the same for the next person. So, a key component of this approach is to get clear about who YOU are and what YOU are looking for!

Last week I covered the first step, which is the key act of “organizing your mind.” If you haven’t started there, please go back and do that first. This next step is more tangible and refers to capturing in words the core values that you hold most dear. In order to navigate a career transition with integrity, you need to understand yourself pretty well. You must have some sense of clarity about your standards and values and style in order to maintain integrity with them.

EXERCISE:  digging deeper to uncover what truly matters

I’ll guide you through some questions to help you explore this. Spend time on reflecting through these thoughts. There’s no rush, and if you’re not careful you actually could do this *wrong* in the sense that you could end up with information that is not truly accurate. In the opening conversation, this is what happened to my client (and many others) who took a new job that seemed good, but realized it was not in fact what they wanted.

As I mentioned last time, you may have already done work like this before either with me or elsewhere, or you’ve considered these types of questions before – definitely dig it up, and let’s build on it. I’d encourage you to start fresh with these questions and then compare back with what you’ve done before.

  • If you learned that you only have one year left to live, what would you spend your time doing? Why?
  • If you had unlimited finances, and you’ve already had your fill of expensive toys and activities, what would you do? Why is doing that meaningful for you?
  • If you knew you couldn’t fail, what kind of endeavor(s) would you pursue? Why, what’s the impact?
  • Think about someone you admire or want to model your life after. What is it about this person that inspires you? What is a characteristic or something s/he has done to have such an impact on you?

Here in the United States, Thursday is a holiday where many people spend time with family and close friends to barbeque and watch fireworks together to celebrate Independence Day. This is a great opportunity to explore your core values and consider these questions. See if you can learn more about yourself through the company you choose to keep and how you interact with those closest to you.

Next week I’ll guide you to organize these thoughts and help you get clearer about who you are.