July 6, 2009

Your True Calling

Filed under: general — Paul Kilman @ 7:55 pm

As a search firm owner, I have the privilege to speak with many people about their careers and life aspirations.  In the searches we handle, we are expected to identify strong performers with the targeted skills our client needs who recognize that our client’s opportunity could be that right next step forward in their respective careers.  To be the kind of performers we are looking for, these people are usually happy in their work and possess a healthy outlook about the challenges their careers present on a day to day basis.

However, I know from the outplacement counseling I do that there are people out there who are just not happy in the work they perform – folks who feel that they are not making the fullest use of the talents that would provide them with their greatest satisfaction.  They are looking for something else.  Our past choices do indeed shape the lives we live.  When it comes to our careers, ideally, our choices should be made in a well-informed and balanced manner.  But let’s be honest, some of our life choices may have been more like compromises, some might have been accidents, some might best be described as learning experiences and some may no longer seem to fit us as we once thought they would.  I know that there are many people who are seeking more for themselves and their careers, but do not know how to get in touch with what that should be for them as unique individuals.   The question to be answered is:  What calling can you embrace with energy and joy despite the hurdles you will inevitably face in such work?

For those of you who are seriously rethinking your career choices, allow me to recommend the following excellent – and free – resource:  “Wishcraft:  How to Get What You Really Want” by Barbara Sher.  Barbara is a noted career counselor and author who has a very down-to-earth, nuts-and-bolts method for uncovering natural talent, pinpointing goals and helping to determine how to turn dreams into reality.  This book is actually 30 years old, but one of the most valuable resources of its kind.  The entire book is available as a free .pdf at:  http://www.wishcraft.com/.  Check it out.  You will know right away when you read the Introduction if this book is for you.

Of course, there are other books written specifically for lawyers about their career alternatives that may also be worth checking out.  Two notable ones are “Running from the Law” and “What Can You Do With a Law Degree?” both by Deborah Arron.  These two books are available on Amazon.com.

If exploring a new direction is what seems right for you now, I encourage you to do so with energy.  As George Eliot once said, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

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