Café - Inspiring
Creative Career Design
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
"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
Feeling stuck and looking for inspiration? Unleash your creative
energy, relax and let your right brain take over for a while. Try:
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?
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
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.
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.).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life" by Gregg Levoy
"Inner Excellence" and "How Would Confucius Ask for a Raise" by
"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.
"Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow" by Marsha Sinetar
"The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron
titles by author/coach Cheryl Richardson
titles by author/coach Martha Beck
"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)
and Inspiring Web Sites:
Career Strategists Media Highlights
Career Strategists Newsletters (read past CS Career Management Newsletters)
Renee Trudeau's Life Balance Newsletters (read past Life Balance Newsletters)
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