Flowered Doorway

Mission, Carmel, CA


Everyone has
been made for
some particular
work and the
desire for that
work has been
put in his
(or her)

- Rumi

upcoming workshops
Career Strategists - Career Planning, Coaching and Marketing  

Inspiration Café - Inspiring Creative Career Design

Listed below are suggested books, web sites and exercises to inspire, motivate and move you to design a career and life that works for you--inside and out.

"The greatest asset when it comes to navigating your career path is to know yourself--deeply, honestly and completely. Self-knowledge, and the ability to turn inward for the answers, is your ultimate compass. It will guide you more than any other single resource."
- Renee Trudeau, president, Career Strategists

Passion Play
Feeling stuck and looking for inspiration? Unleash your creative energy, relax and let your right brain take over for a while.

Swinging in a hammock (or playground swing) and letting your mind wander, recollecting how you used your creativity as a child-Drawing? Singing? Telling stories? Making up games? Exploring the outdoors?

Buying a small notebook or journal to serve as your "idea keeper"; anytime you have a great idea, wild notion or intuition about something (particularly in relationship to career) record it in the idea keeper. Keep the notebook with you at all times and review it weekly; watch as you start to see patterns, themes and threads of commonality emerge.

Calling a sibling or parent and ask them what excited you as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up? Ask them to share a favorite childhood story about you.

Volunteering at a local organization whose mission you feel passion about (i.e. working with children, environmental awareness, the homeless, AIDS patients or social justice-related causes, etc.).

Writing a letter of appreciation to yourself, applauding your strengths and listing all your attributes and things you're most proud of accomplishing to date (if its helpful, pretend you're writing this to "you" at age 16).

Thinking about what you're passionate about in life-gardening, cooking, world peace, music, etc.--and draw a picture, create a collage or take a photograph capturing what this passion looks like to you. Use crayons or colored pens and go wild. Tape this picture up in your home to remind you of this feeling/theme.

Reserving Saturday or Sunday afternoon to go to a nature preserve or wilderness area by yourself. See how much you observe when you become really quiet. Let all the chatter in your mind melt away. What do you hear? Smell? See? Feel? Bring a notebook and record your observations.

Writing a fictional short story just for fun--it could be science fiction, fantasy, romance or futuristic in nature. Let your mind serve as an explorer, mining for new ideas, images and scenarios.


Final question: During the course of these exercises, did you have any revelations about your work? What you're passionate about? What types of activities engage you on all levels? If not, be patient and keep at it. The answers are there, you often just need to get quiet enough in order to hear them.

Recommended Books
"Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life" by Gregg Levoy
"Inner Excellence" and "How Would Confucius Ask for a Raise" by Carol Orsborn
"Creating a Life Worth Living: A Practical Course in Career Design for Artists, Innovators and Others Aspiring to a Creative Life" by Carol Lloyd
"Work Less, Make More" by Jennifer White
"Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design" and "How to Find the Work You Love" by Laurence G. Boldt
"Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow" by Marsha Sinetar
"The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron

All titles by author/coach Cheryl Richardson

All titles by author/coach Martha Beck
Stress Management:
"Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a Simpler, More Peaceful Life from the Inside Out" by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey (and others by same authors)

Helpful and Inspiring Web Sites:
Career Strategists Newsletters (read past CS Career Management Newsletters)
Renee Trudeau's Life Balance Newsletters (read past Life Balance Newsletters)
Renee Trudeau
Live Inside Out (Renee's blog: Live Inside Out)
Creative Empowerment (author Laurence Boldt: How to Find the Work You Love)
Job Hunters Bible (author Dick Bolles: What Color is Your Parachute)
Callings (author Gregg Levoy - resources for a variety of "spirit and work" sites)
Families and Work Institute (research on changing workforce)
Career Journal (Wall Street Journal - career articles, information, top Internet job sites)
BizJournals and Hoovers (good sources for researching companies)
Salary.com (salary information)
HR Compensation Data Center (salary information from the Society of Human Resource Management)

Career Strategists Recommended Small Business Partners

Career Strategists Media Highlights


Original illustrations by Tisa L. Peterson.

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