Feb 16

nicolelogoMany JETs and JET alumni find themselves at a crossroads regarding their careers and career options.  Nicole D. Mignone (Akita-ken, 1991-1993), a certified life coach, will be periodically posting articles for the benefit of the JET Community. You can read more of her life-related articles at her blog thealchemyofbalance.blogspot.com.  She also offers individual life and business coaching. For more information, email Nicole at drmuse@jetwit.com.

Dear Dr. Muse:

I am ready for a career change, but I have no idea what I really want to do.  My current job is one that personality and career aptitude tests said I would be good at, but I am still not in love with my job. Any ideas?  Cindy B. in New Jersey.

Dear Cindy B:

 A vocation calls to us because of our experience, skills, and education; an avocation, however, calls to us from a deeper place.  Sometimes we need a stable vocation to allow us to pay the bills and fulfill our obligations.  If you feel restless and yearn for more, and if your discontent does not relate to some imbalance in other areas of your life [see other Dr. Muse posts related to this topic], then perhaps it is time to identify the ember of your avocation and fan it to a fire.  The following two tasks may help you:

Task 1: Pick 4 jobs from your past and your very first job.. On the blank pages of your journal, draw 5 big circles with some space between [you may need several pages] .  Above the circle, label the job. Then, for each job, inside the circle write 3 to 4 things about that particular job that you liked–e.g., projects; people; environment; anything.  On the outside of the circle, write 3 to 4 things about that job that you did not like.  Next, in a different color ink, go back and write inside the circle how you felt AT the job. Take your time to think and feel the whole experience of your past jobs.

Task 2 [different day]: Take out your circles of past jobs.  On a single sheet of paper write a list all the items you wrote inside the circles.

When you are finished, take a moment to read through the list of all the things you liked about the past jobs.  Then, reflecting on this list, write a paragraph describing as many details about the characteristics of the job/environment you like.  Add anything else to this paragraph about the profession, such as your ideal day, the ideal coworkers, and ideal environment.  This should provide the template for your avocation and you can analyze your current choice or potential choices against this template.  The task is aimed at starting the process for exploration, and I wish you a happy journey on this adventure!

Like hiring a personal trainer to reach your fitness goals, a personal life coach can assist you to attain your personal goals.  You may write the Muse with any coaching questions, or inquiries into life coaching options on a one-time or ongoing basis at drmuse@jetwit.com.

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