Terrence Seamon on “The Next You: 3 Questions”

Terrence Seamon, a career coach who helps transitioners through the St. Matthias Employment Ministry, came to speak at a PSGCNJ general meeting a few weeks ago. Seamon, who also works for the Ayers Group in Princeton, asked to follow up on his talk with this special guest blog entry.

A colleague of mine once sent out a desperate plea for advice, saying that she was despondent in her job search and ready to throw in the towel. Perhaps you have felt this way.

If you (or someone you know) are in this same predicament, I have three questions to help you start thinking about the Next You:

1. What work do you really want to do?

2. What obstacles are standing in your way?

3. What is calling you?

Let’s take a closer look at these three.

First, I would ask, “What work would you really like to be doing? Do you want to stay in your chosen field? Or do you want to branch out into another?”

Articulating your vision for yourself, and the work you aspire to do, is a critical step in the direction you want to go. Each of us has been gifted with skills and talents. Putting those gifts to good use is one of the keys to happiness and success.

Second, I should ask, “What is standing in your way? What is holding you back? What is keeping you from moving in your desired direction?”

Even though we desire to change, nevertheless we may be stuck. Getting clearly focused on your own obstacles – those within you and those outside you – will stimulate energy for the change you desire to make.

Third, I would ask, “What do you feel called to? What impact do you dream of having on the world?”

Your “calling” is your purpose. I believe that we all have one. The trouble is, many of us never hear it.

First, as mentioned above, you need to become more aware of yourself, including your interests and values, as well as your skills and talents.

There is also the “where” of your career. Where do you want to work? For a large company or a small one? For someone else or for yourself? Close to home or far away?

Another aspect of one’s calling is “for whom?” How many of us really think about the audience we want to reach or the customer we want to serve?

One more item to consider is “with what effect?” Many of us are socialized to think that we work to make money, full stop. We want to make a lot of money, and so we gravitate to the for-profit realm. But that is not always the path to fulfillment. A not-for-profit company may be the place where your gifts will do the most good and bring you the most satisfaction.

The world of work is a much bigger landscape than we may imagine, and it contains much more diversity and opportunity than we know.

If you, like the person whose plea started this meditation, are feeling “bummed out” in your career transition, maybe this is a good time for some soul searching with a few helpful questions.

For additional guidance on career transition, follow Terrence Seamon on Twitter @tseamon.

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