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10 Ways To Achieve Your Career Goals

Woman in business attire is jumping to a JOB word as a symbol of reaching her career goal

We all have things we want to accomplish in all aspects of life, and career is possibly the most prominent. Unfortunately, for many people, it’s common to forget about those career aspirations and get lost in the flow of day-to-day tasks. But reaching those aspirations is what will bring you more happiness and success not only in your career but in all aspects of life. Luckily, getting there is all about knowing how to set effective career goals and the best ways to achieve them.

Whether you want a new career, a raise, or to enhance to a higher position, it’s all possible when you know how to set and crush career goals. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, you’re in the right place. We’ve got all you need to know on setting career goals and achieving them, right here.

Why You Should Set Goals


If you’re wondering why wanting something isn't enough and why you need to set goals to turn what you want into reality, look no further. Setting goals takes what you want to the next level and builds the foundation of achievement. Here’s how:

Destination and Direction

Enhanced Focus

Accountability

Motivation

The Best You

How To Set Career Goals


Career goals are essential to success, but not all career goals are created equal. There's a way to set effective career goals, and the steps below will get you there.

Understand Your Start Point

Before you can set realistic and effective career goals, take a hard look at your current situation. Sometimes this can be hard, but it’s essential to be honest with yourself in this step. Remember, if you find you’re not happy with where you are, that’s fine because you’re about to change it.

Some questions to ask yourself during this first step are:

  • Where do you stand on your career path? (just started, a few years in, etc.)
  • What are your past career accomplishments?
  • What are your skills and experience?

Get Real And Clear About What You Want

Once you understand where you are on your career path, put time and thought into where you want to go. Where you want to see yourself in the future isn’t a decision to be rushed for and requires careful consideration.

Don’t just set goals but tie them to every other component of your life. The more meaning you give a goal, the easier that goal becomes to achieve. For each major goal, connect a “why” to it, so you really connect with your career goals.

Set SMART Goals

A proven way of setting effective goals is by using the SMART method. This method allows you to make more achievable goals by ensuring that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Here’s how the acronym break down applies to your goals:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Timely

10 Ways To Achieve Your Career Goals


2 hands making a hand shaking with a building background

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Now that we’ve covered how to set your career goals, let's look at some tips on achieving them.

 Write Your Goals Down

Break Your Goals Down

Set Deadlines

Prioritize and Manage Your Time

Be Accountable

Track Your Progress

Set Milestones and Reward Yourself

Be Patient

Stay Informed

Listen to Feedback

Conclusion


A woman celebrating a success in front of her laptop

Image by Jerry Kimbrell from Pixabay

Whatever your career goals are you can accomplish them. With the tips in this article, you’re ready to set practical goals and crush them. Your best life is within reach, and it's time to grab it!

Featured Image: Image by Igor Link from Pixabay

10 Organizational Skills Every Successful Person Has

Ever look around your workspace or home and feel overwhelmed by all the clutter? If you have, you’re not alone. Being unorganized in your career and personal life will do a lot more than just help you feel less overwhelmed. Organizational skills increase productivity and are the reason so many successful people have accomplished their biggest goals.

Are you ready to see how being organized can change your life? Read on for the surprising benefits of being organized, tips on being organized, and organizational skills successful people use. Whether you have no idea how to be organized or just need a little more organization in your life, by the end of this article you’ll be on your way to becoming on organization pro.

Benefits of Being Organized

Organizational skills are some of the most desired and important skills in the workplace, so what makes them so desirable? It’s commonly agreed upon by the most successful people that organization leads to enhanced productivity and clarity, but being organized has some less expected health benefits too. Heres how being organized can positively impact your health:

More Energy

Getting organized can provide a much-needed energy boost. Whether you’re feeling slow to start the day or find yourself running on close to empty after lunch, taking just a few minutes to organize your desk and surroundings can give you the energy you need to get through the rest of the day.

Improved Sleep Habits

Who doesn't want more, better, and deeper sleep? Being organized not only helps you through the day but has been shown to lead to better sleeping habits too. Having a disorganized bedroom, even when you don’t notice, can lead to sleep problems. Decluttering and organizing your room can help you ease into a night of sleep and have you sleeping sounder through the night.

Better Diet C​hoices

Being organized has been found to lead to better eating habits. One study from Psychological Sciences found that people with a neat and organized workspace were twice as likely to pick an apple to eat over chocolate compared to those with messy workspaces.

Reduced Stress

There is so much stress in almost everyone's life today, but most people probably don’t know being organized can reduce stress. A study by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people with unorganized, messy, and cluttered homes had higher cortisol levels and were more depressed and fatigued than those with organized homes. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and when it increases that means more stress. Keeping your home and work area organized can help keep your cortisol levels in check.

Lower Heart Attack Risk

Believe it or not, organizing can lead to lower chances of heart attacks. A Swedish study found that people who did the most organizing, home cleaning, and DIY projects had around a 30 percent less risk of heart attacks or strokes than those who didn’t perform such activities.

 Tips for Getting & Staying Organized

Woman writing in a red notebook

I​mage source: Pixabay

If the amazing benefits of being organized have got you motivated to bring more organization into your life, then we’ve got tips to help you get started.

Clean and Organize Your W​ork Desk

Get Rid of Unnecessary Items

Make Lists

Stick to One Calendar

Write Down Your Goals

10 Organizational Skills Every Successful Person Has

Notebook with pen and four bulbs

​I​mage source: Pixabay

Now that you have tips on how to get organized and stay that way, let’s look at 10 organizational skills every successful person has, so you can apply them to your life.

1.

Time Management

One of the most important organizational skills to have is time management. Managing your time is how you make sure to never miss a deadline and stay on top of meetings, calls, appointments, presentations, projects, and everything else you have to do. A big part of time management is scheduling your time, and this is where our one calendar tip comes into play again. Scheduling everything on one calendar is a big step forward in managing your time, but there are other time management skills you should research and practice.

2.

Starting Early

Starting your day early might not seem like it belongs on a list of organizational skills, but it does. Organizing your life and your day to allow for an early start is a key to success. Many of the most successful people start their day as early as 5:00 AM for increased productivity. Waking up early and organizing your day in advance allows for more clarity, creativity, and accomplishments throughout your day.

3.

Using Prime Time

While waking up early is a great way to enhance productivity, it’s also important to understand your internal prime time. Prime time is the time of day based on your internal clock when you are the most productive and it’s different for everyone. While someone might do their best work early in the morning, you might do yours around mid-afternoon. For organizational skills, scheduling your day so you do your hardest work and take on your biggest projects during your prime time is a huge asset.

4.

Delegation

Organized individuals don’t let work pile until it becomes overwhelming. Instead, they know when to delegate tasks to others. Whatever your career position is, good organizational skills mean learning when to take on a task and knowing when it’s better to delegate.

5.

Efficient Files

We mentioned organizing your workspace on our tips list, but organized files are so important that knowing how to keep them well categorized is on our organizational skills list too. A large part of your day can often be spent just looking for things, so optimal file organization is key for career success. Whether your files are physical or electronic,  an organizational skill successful people use is keeping their files organized and easily accessible.

6.

Advanced Preparation

For every project, task, or goal, advanced preparation is a big factor in organizational skills. We covered advanced calendar notes and lists before, and they are important tips because being prepared in advance ensures that you show up ready to perform optimally in any situation.

7.

Meal Preparation

Prepping meals might seem like it's more geared to fitness goals, but meal preparation is an excellent organization skill that can set your entire week up for success. When you prep your meals for the week ahead of time, you keep your daily to-do lists in check because you don’t have to step away to prepare food or grab takeout during your productivity time.

8.

Prioritization

Organizational skills aren’t all about knowing what you have to do and when, but knowing how to prioritize all your tasks too. Successful and organized individuals know how to prioritize tasks based on deadlines and urgency, so the most valuable work is never on the back burner.

9.

Goal Setting

We mentioned in our tips section that writing down your goals is a great way to stay organized, but organization takes goal writing to the next level. Organized people don’t just know their big goals, they break them down into exactly how to get there and what smaller steps to take daily. Take the big goals you have and break them down into smaller more achievable steps that can be accomplished on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Breaking your goals down is a great organizational skill because it provides a plan of action.

10.

Self-Care

Highly successful and organized individuals understand that being healthy and happy leads to increased productivity and greater success. An organizational skill that is essential to have is fitting self-care into your busy schedule. Finding the time to be with friends and family, getting outside, eating well, exercising, and enjoying their favorite self-care activities are part of the organizational skills successful people use.

Conclusion

Photo of a woman jumping high

​Image source: Pixabay

Being organized can be life-changing, and when you apply the tips and skills in these articles to your life, you’ll see more productivity and less stress. The organizational skills covered here are a big part of why so many people reach the success they do, and now you know how you can apply them in your life. Start developing them, and you'll be on your way to a more organized and successful you.

​Featured photo via Pexels

10 Low Stress Jobs Today

Some people like to say, “It’s not work if you are doing what you love.” Many such people may thrive on a fast-paced, quick-decision sort of environment. Many others prefer more predictable environment and low stress jobs.

If you dream of a job that pays you enough but does not stress you out, then you are definitely not alone. In certain ways, United States workers are as over-stressed as those in any country in the world. We often bring home the stress that unavoidably comes with working in an environment that is too demanding. Although a little stress is healthy, too much stress can post some serious health risks. The big question for us today is, “Are there low stress jobs out there that pay well and won’t cost us your sanity? Luckily, there are plenty of low stress jobs. Not so fortunately, though, some of them are tough to land.

Types and Causes of Work-Related Stress

Many Americans lose sleep due to the overwhelming stress of their jobs. The range of work environments and conditions is so broad because every industry and business has its own problems and goals to meet. It is one thing to deal with a stressful time when problems arise, but it’s especially difficult and exhausting when every day you work in a business causes plenty of stress.

There are many types of work-related stressors and factors that cause them. If you are busy from the second you come into work until the second you clock out, you may well be in a high-demand/low-control environment. Employees in these roles are always on the move and have endless to-do lists. With so little freedom or time to breathe, jobs like this can cause serious psychological strain.

What Can Companies Do to Offset Work Stress?

Often, employees feel like they work incredibly hard but never get recognized for their dedication and commitment levels. This is a product of what analysts call “effort-reward imbalances.” These environments produce many frustrated and disloyal workers. Genuine recognition and incentives are good cures.

Loyalty to a company can feel great, and feeling like we belong is vital in our lives overall. If you don’t feel welcomed or a sense of belongingness at your workplace, this can cause major stress and symptoms of social isolation. On average, we working adults spend nearly 35 percent of our waking hours at our jobs, so if such a large part of our lives is spent unhappily, it can cause depression and physical illness over the long haul.

Unhappy Customers and Rugged Working Hours

People who work in customer service areas like retail and call centers, often as the “face of the business” on the front line, can usually tell some alarming stories about stressful situations at work. If an accommodation cannot be made for a customer, these employees are stuck in the middle trying to deal with that customer’s anguish. This becomes mentally exhausting for many.

Demanding hours also cause people to burn out and search for more low stress jobs. Many employees in corporate and restaurant positions pull 12-to-16-hour shifts routinely. Doctors and nurses are the saving grace of millions each year, but with that rewarding work usually comes demanding hours and a boatload of stress. In reality, this becomes dangerous because one mistake often has a very high cost.

Negative Effects of Too Much Stress

No one wants to feel disdain for their jobs or feel like they spend more time there than at home. Do jobs with lower stress levels hold the answers? Stress is normal and can even be a good motivator in situations that require quick thinking. However, if you suffer from high amounts of stress often, it could turn into a chronic stress problem.

A chronic issue is an illness that persists for a long time or is constantly recurring. Chronic stress affects you mentally, but it can also quickly move into causing physical problems, too. Chronic stress disrupts every single part of your body. Beyond making you anxious and depressed, it can overwork your nervous system, weaken your immune system, and increase your chances of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Various symptoms may indicate that you are suffering from chronic stress. You may be affected cognitively, emotionally, physically, or behaviorally. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance between your work-life and home-life, and a great way to do that is to make sure you are working a low stress job… or, at least, one with stress levels you can manage.

10 Low Stress Jobs Today

There are dozens of low stress jobs out there today. It’s easy to think if you’re not working hard, then you’re not getting paid much. The good news is that this is by no means a hard rule. We will run through a list of ten of the best low stress jobs today, considering average salaries and education required alongside the Rahe Stress Scale rating for each position. On this scale, 100 represents the highest stressors and 0 indicates the lowest.

1. Online Merchant

An online merchant conducts retail business over the Internet. This is becoming a very popular position as many businesses are becoming primarily or only online-based in today’s digital age. Your days might involve researching business strategies, managing inventory, and other important tasks and decisions. These kinds of low stress jobs are rated 57 and the median salary is about $70,000. Most online merchants have bachelor’s degrees or equivalent experience.

2. Post-Secondary Law Teacher

A position as a law teacher can be a low-stress job if you know about our system and its laws through your education to become an attorney. Teaching can certainly be a challenge, but it offers flexibility. These positions are collectively rated 63 on the stress scale, and the median salary is about $104,000. You’ll need a law degree and some peripheral skills to land a position.

3. Anthropologist

An anthropologist is an interesting and educational low stress job. Anthropologists study humans. Often, studies focus more specifically on primitive behaviors, cultures and religions, languages, and biology. An anthropologist’s work is never done because one can always ask: “What does this finding tell us about modern culture?”. These low stress jobs are rated 59, and the prevailing median salary is about $62,000. It generally requires a master’s or doctorate degree.

4. Bookkeeper/Accountant

If you are good with numbers and like to work in solitude at your own pace, then bookkeeping and accounting are good career paths. You must keep track of financial transactions for people and businesses. You’ll need to know accounting and math to help analyze and create income statements and balance sheets. These low stress jobs are rated 58 and have a median salary around $39,000. Remember that most accountants’ stress levels and demands rise at tax time, and that such a career generally requires at least some post-secondary coursework in accounting.

5. Massage Therapist

Imagine that your office is dimly lit, it smells of lavender, and the only noise is hushed music. A massage therapist helps their clients relieve stress and pain by manipulating muscles and tissues through stretching techniques. These kinds of low stress jobs are rated 55 on the Rahe scale. The median income is about $40,000, depending greatly on market demand. Massage therapy generally requires a post-secondary certification.

6. Statistician

A statistician requires a good amount of knowledge about math, but this low stress job focuses on collecting and analyzing data to help predict outcomes and trends. Statistician are needed in many businesses. These jobs are rated 62 for stress, and they have a median salary of approximately $84,000. Most statisticians have completed a master’s degree or Ph.D.

7. Web Developer

Web developers are sought-out professional in today’s digital age. A web developer uses code to create and develop websites, pages, apps and other work product specific to each client. These low stress jobs have a stress rating of 60 and a median salary around $68,000. Employment generally requires an associate degree, but many in this role have four-year degrees in related fields.

8. Transportation Equipment Installation and Repair

A worker who specializes in transportation installation and repair installs and adjusts electronic equipment in various vehicles. This includes sound, satellite, and navigation systems. These kinds of low stress jobs are rated 60 on the Rahe scale, with the median salary at about $60,000. Installers and repair pros often have post-secondary training and a certification.

9. Environmental Restoration Planner

With ever-growing concern about preserving our environment, environmental restoration planners are greatly. In these relatively low stress jobs, planners help oversee and create restoration products like windmill installations and solar HVAC systems. These kinds of low stress jobs are rated 57, and the median salary is about $69,000. Generally, this role requires a bachelor’s degree.

10. Cartographer

A cartographer collects geographical information based on surveys, photographs, and drone footage to help create maps. Cartographers are useful for lesser-known locations and they also help digital companies through tasks such as creating maps for navigation systems. These kinds of low stress jobs are rated 62 and pay in the neighborhood of $64,000.You’ll need a bachelor’s degree or astounding natural talent for cartography.

 

Ways To Reduce Stress

 

Believe it or not, even low-stress jobs come with a certain level of anxiety. There’s always pressure to perform well or met certain goals. Not to mention, the unfortunate circumstance of having an unpleasant boss. Luckily, there are ways to reduce stress if you find yourself having unhealthy emotions. Here are a few suggestions:

 

Set A Calming Ambiance 

You can calm your nerves by either lighting a candle or warming up some essential oils. Just by changing the smell of a room is enough to relax you and put you in a better mood. Furthermore, there are apps that have calming music like spa sounds and thunderstorms. Combining that with a candle should reduce your anxiety and help you unwind for the day. Here are some of the best aromatherapy scents:

 

Vetiver

Sandalwood

Bergamot

Rose

Lavender

Neroli

Ylang ylang

 

Keep A Journal

Sometimes you just have to get your emotions out! But you might not have anyone to talk to, or you may not want to vomit your problems to your family and friends—and that’s okay. Keeping a journal will help you get your thoughts out of your head and also help you find solutions. Sometimes with you have too many thoughts swirling around in your mind, and it’s hard to really process what’s happening. However, if you clear your mind and actually read your problems, it might help to give you more perspective on your situation.

Chew Gum

Popping in a stick of gum can help you get quick stress relief. The taste of the gum and the chewing helps promote blood flow to the brain. You’ll feel a sense of calm and control as you continue to chew.

Laugh

Sometimes all you need is a good laugh. It’ll make you feel better and get your mind off of whatever is worrying you. Even if you don’t have anyone to hang ou and laugh with, you can always put on a funny movie or look at comedy videos on Youtube. No matter which option you choose, you can always count on a laugh to bring you positive vibes.

 

Take A Yoga Or Pilates Class

There’s something about breathing and stretching that provides a sense of relaxation. Doing yoga can get your blood flowing and help you calm down by centering and meditating. Exercise is an antidepressant that reduces anxiety and stress, and it’s perfect to do after a long, hectic day.

 

Practice Gratitude

Sometimes stress comes because life isn’t going your way. However, if you write down what you’re grateful for helps to put things into perspective. You might not like having to wake up early for work, but if you focus on the fact that you have a job, it makes things easier. You can also practice not complaining. When things don’t go as planned, the natural thing to do is to complain. But, if you accept things for what they are, you’ll feel a lot better.

 

How To Find Low-Stress Jobs

Let’s be honest, the job search process isn’t fun—only if you’re searching for a career you don’t love. Here are a few ways to make work-life better:

Indulge In Your Hobbies

This article is all about finding stress free jobs, but most people find their passion by indulging in the things they love. For starters, doing your hobbies after work can relieve your stress. It gives you some time to do the activities you love, and do it for fun—not for a paycheck. Not to mention that your hobbies can also turn into revenue. One of the best ways to find low-stress jobs is by monetizing the hobbies you like. For instance, if you’re good at baking cookies, try selling them; it could turn into a business.

Write Down Your Interests

Write down all the things that interest you. For example, if you’re good a making drinks, you might like being a bartender. Likewise, if you enjoy being around children, you can build the trust of your family and friends, and babysit their kids for pay. Once you write down a list of of all the things you enjoy, you can start looking for jobs online or within your circle of loved ones. 

Ask Around

This might be an old school method of doing things, but it’s still effective. If there’s a job that you’ve had your heart set on, but you don’t know how to get it, there are always alternative options. Sometimes it’s not about what you know, but who you know. Therefore you should always be asking around and telling your loved ones about your interests. Not only that, but it’s also important for people to know what your talents are. If the people around you know what you’re skilled to do, they’ll refer you to others with connections. It’s the best way to advertise yourself.7

Final Thoughts On Low-Stress Jobs

We discussed some of the most popular low stress jobs, their stress ratings, median salaries, and types of education that these positions generally require. These low stress jobs are all fairly popular, pay reasonably well, and could offer relief from work-related stress. There’s a lot of truth in another common piece of folk wisdom: “Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.” Finding your ideal career might just start with this detailed look at what low stress jobs are out there.

Getting Unstuck By Timothy Butler

Getting Unstuck Book Cover Getting Unstuck
Timothy Butler
240

We all have those points, impasses in our lives where we feel stuck. Getting stuck is easy, getting unstuck is not as easy. Timothy Butler teaches us how to better understand and identify being stuck and some practical exercises to get unstuck. His deep dives to describe real situations and insights was extremely valuable.

Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths
by Timothy Butler

Focus: Health and Wellness – Healthy Mindset/Positive Outlook; Career – Career Change

Consider This:
• “Psychological impasse,” though unsettling and uncomfortable, is an important milepost in life.Dead_End_TOWWT
• Many people mistakenly regard an impasse as checkmate instead of an open door.
• From impasse, you can chart an entirely new vision and path.
• Most people do not move ahead in life in a straightforward, sequential manner.
• Established patterns and habits are comfortable, so people resist change.
• To embrace change and move valiantly ahead, you must let part of your old persona die.
• Consider all the options available to you; don’t let fear hold you back. You can get “unstuck.”
• Use an intuitive, not an analytical, approach to contemplating a new direction in life.
• Impasse must lead to choice, then action. Anything else is fantasy.
Never make a serious life change without first testing it out as thoroughly as possible.

What You Will Learn
You will learn:
1) Why psychological impasse is often needed to achieve a meaningful life turnaround;
2) How to use mental exercises to move beyond a frustrating impasse; and
3) How these exercises and other steps can help you chart a new, rewarding path.

Crisis Time
You are going along great, then suddenly everything blows up in your face. Maybe you got fired. You lost your money in the stock market. Whatever it is, you now are in deep crisis. Even if you haven’t been struck with a disaster, perhaps you’ve been feeling a deep sense of unease. You are not sure when, how or why, but you somehow made a transition from feeling happy to being worried and depressed. In short, something is wrong and you are not sure what it is. You are stuck in the mud and don’t know how to get out. You are scared to make a move. You are stuck and at an impasse. Mustering old strategies to deal with new emergencies is normal. You feel the need to act fast, somehow, whether it helps or not. But now is not the time for bold action. Don’t make a move. Slow down. This feeling is uncomfortable, but don’t turn away – and don’t be afraid of the impasse. In mythology, the dark can be useful. In the dark, your senses become more acute, so trust your senses and your intuition. Do not flee. Instead, embrace the impasse. See it as a portal out of the dark, and into a new, better life.

At a Standstill
You feel bewildered and perplexed. Impasse is a time to reflect, a time of self-examination and the needed prelude to growth. Without impasse, many people would continue to put one foot in front of the other, never trying new paths. But impasse stops people cold. It says, “Your old way hasn’t been working. Isn’t it time to try something new?” Be aware that change, in whatever form, will not come easy. Your ego will try to keep you fastened to your old habits. The ego hates change and will fight it. You can look closely at the old fears that rule your life – then find a way to move beyond them.

These ghosts and fears often represent the voices of people from our early lives: our parents, a sibling, a teacher, someone in authority. When their messages are negative, your task in life is to move beyond these voices. Putting those voices aside can take a lifetime, but you must do it. Unfortunately, most people cling to what they know, even if it is painful. Sigmund Freud called it the “superego.” By whatever name, it is the brake that stops you from trying new things. It tells you not to trust your instincts because they are worthless. But impasse is not a box. It is an open gate. You can go through it, and find a new and better “you” that didn’t previously exist.

Let It Go
An impasse is an epiphany. It enables you to put aside your “mental models,” to look at the world differently and to see new possibilities. The most effective way to do this is by using a mental exercise known as “free attention.” Sit straight but comfortably in a chair. Place your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap. Gaze straight ahead. Become aware of all of your sensations, internal and external. Focus only on them. Do not muster your feelings, thoughts and judgments. Let them develop spontaneously. Now, focus on your right hand, specifically, the palm. Don’t look at it. Focus your mind on it. You will become aware that thoughts and perceptions are interfering with your focus. Ignore them. Think only of your palm. Make it the entire world.

Now reorient to your right kneecap. Hold your attention there. Think about your breathing. Your breath is all there is. As you focus your attention, you may experience a sense of sadness or fear. Do not fight it. It is the ego, retreating from the new perceptual frontier you are creating. When you engage in free attention, you clear out a space for perceptiveness that is central to your being. In so doing, you can begin to sense that some of your thoughts aren’t valid. Free attention puts you directly in the here and now. It helps you become “unstuck” and shift to a new understanding of things. This impasse may be a sign that you have not been attentive to the primary tensions and themes in your life. Stop. See them for what they are. Smell the roses. Do not analyze your impasse experience. Trust your intuitive powers to help you discover a fuller, more all-encompassing meaning than anything provided by mere analysis.

Picture of dress shoes with Business Starts Here written aboveAnother way to get in better touch with yourself is the “100 jobs” mental exercise. It can help you identify your primal life themes, and is particularly good if you are at a career impasse. First, read through the following list of 100 jobs. Operating instinctively, select the dozen that interest you the most. You may find the idea of being a “music composer” exciting even if you have a tin ear. Rank your choices 1 through 12. Review your list for themes that encompass several of your choices. Try to find “dynamic tensions” in jobs that seem to be exact opposites. In a free attention mode, attempt to experience spontaneous images that develop as a result of listing these 12 jobs. Note all the images, themes and dynamic tensions that occur to you. Do not assign the images to categories. The point is to expand your understanding of the primary themes that affect you, in your work and your life. This enables you to understand your essence, what you hold most important, and what you find most engaging. Most crucial: It tells you about the self that awaits discovery.

The 100 jobs are: “1) marketing researcher; 2) child-care worker; 3) computer software designer; 4) sports coach; 5) manufacturing plant manager; 6) retail store salesperson; 7) social services professional; 8) high-tech products salesperson; 9) litigator; 10) psychotherapist; 11) retail store manager; 12) public relations professional; 13) advertising executive; 14) TV talk-show host; 15) theologian; 16) speech therapist; 17) newscaster; 18) secretary; 19) auto mechanic; 20) electrician; 21) entertainer; 22) optometrist; 23) actor; 24) hospital manager; 25) fine artist; 26) school superintendent; 27) product development team leader; 28) religious counselor; 29) financial analyst; 30) TV or film director; 31) personal finance advisor; 32) human resources director; 33) graphic designer; 34) economist; 35) business strategy consultant; 36) homemaker; 37) senior military leader; 38) CEO; 39) librarian; 40) R&D manager; 41) real estate developer; 42) music composer; 43) veterinarian; 44) ad copywriter; 45) manufacturing business senior manager; 46) nurse; 47) ship captain; 48) research sociologist; 49) information systems manager; 50) investigative reporter; 51) medical researcher; 52) CFO; 53) office manager; 54) police officer; 55) investment banker; 56) restaurant manager; 57) entrepreneur; 58) vacation resort manager; 59) electrical engineer; 60) high school teacher; 61) professor of political science; 62) theoretical physicist; 63) computer systems analyst; 64) fiction writer; 65) newspaper editor; 66) university professor; 67) military serviceperson; 68) diplomat; 69) venture capitalist; 70) military strategist; 71) logistical planner; 72) city planner; 73) accountant; 74) bank manager; 75) architect; 76) carpenter; 77) manufacturing process engineer; 78) firefighter; 79) marketing brand manager; 80) surgeon; 81) investment manager; 82) stockbroker; 83) director of nonprofit organization; 84) event planner; 85) administrative assistant; 86) credit manager; 87) elected public official; 88) motivational speaker; 89) mayor; 90) community charity president; 91) real estate salesperson; 92) professional athlete; 93) clerical worker; 94) foreign trade negotiator; 95) bookkeeper; 96) emergency medical technician; 97) statistician; 98) mutual fund manager; 99) proofreader; and 100) civil engineer.”

Your Passion Points
When you understand your primary interests and passions, you’ll do better at predicting what types of work environments, activities, lifestyles and people you would prefer. If you are at a professional impasse, consider your passions when planning which new job to pursue. Ten primary personality “archetypes” reveal a great deal about an individual: 1) “the engineer” likes to know how things work; 2) “the numbers cruncher” enjoys analysis; 3) “the professor” needs constant intellectual challenges; 4) “the artist” has to create; 5) “the coach” enjoys mentoring; 6) “the team leader” is comfortable managing people; 7) “the boss” likes to run the show; 8) “the persuader” uses ideas and cause us to lose language to influence others; 9) “the action hero” is a hands-on problem solver; and 10) “the organizer” tries to create order. These categories apply to jobs and life. They target dimensions of personality, passion and meaning. To be happy, to move beyond impasse, let your passions guide you. At a crossroads, listen for that interior voice that reminds you what you truly love. An impasse is a stressful time, but that is when the difficult task of self-assessment returns maximum dividends. If you know who you are and what you like, it is easier to know which direction to go in and what to do.

People, Achievement, Power
To some degree, you can determine what will make you happy by considering where you fall on the spectrum of the three “social motivators”: the need for accomplishment, the need for personal ties or the need for power. All three will apply, though one usually dominates. Are you an “Alpha” type who needs to be in control? Are relationships important? Is accomplishment your key? In short, know thyself. People often hit impasses because they are mismatched on the job or in life.

To understand yourself better and end an impasse, map the insights you have uncovered about your personality. Write a list of categories of life and career concerns. Capture highlights in each area: career and life interests, social motivations, plus the theme of the tensions in your life. List these categories, and then fill in the blanks as they apply so you can really understand the patterns in your life.

Self-knowledge is important to moving beyond an impasse. But you cannot move along if you are afraid to act. In fact, if you do not act, you will simply stay in the same mental quagmire that bedevils you now. The nature of your action depends on the problems that caused your impasse. Maybe, to get “unstuck,” you need to buy the building materials for your delayed construction project. Whatever it is, you must act, but do so intelligently. If you plan to pursue a new career, talk to as many people as you can who work in that field. If you want to move to a new city, travel there first to find out what it is like. Don’t make an uninformed decision. Trust your head and your heart.

Whatever form your personal action takes, it represents movement into unfamiliar territory. Now you can change based on the hard work you have done, the mental exercises you have applied, and the self-assessment you have undergone to learn about yourself and what makes you happy. Often the choice you make will be a hard one. Do not compromise. Be bold and brave. Make the decision that in your heart you know is right. An impasse is a door that you open to enter a brand new life. Open it.

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