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I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Learn Who You Really Are and Why

    Julie Jansen's book really makes you think about yourself, learn things about yourself, and charts a path for you to follow to change yourself, your job, and/or your career. The book is in three parts: (1) Where Are You Now? (2) Where Do You Want to Be? and (3) How Do You Get There? In Chapter 2, she describes six work situations from "Where's the Meaning" in my work to "One Toe in the Retirement Pool," but not yet ready to retire or can't because I need to keep earning. Chapter 3 talks about "Values, Attitudes, and Change Resilience." Here she lists several pages of values which the reader selects as "most important to you," and then narrows down to a top 10 value list. For instance, Advancement, Challenging, Competitive, Family happiness, Financial Security, Leadership, Personal Development, and so on. She then asks you to think about your own work situation to see if any of these values are being met in your work. If not, you are ready for a change elsewhere within the company, the industry, or very possibly, leaving the job altogether. The Values assessment is followed by an Attitudes assessment, a listing of 12 statements where the reader indicates: Almost Never (1), Seldom (2), Sometimes (3), Frequently (4), or Almost always (5). For instance, the first statement: I have enough confidence in myself and my abilities that I am willing to take reasonable chances and do things I haven't done before in order to create satisfying work for myself. You learn about your self-confidence, self-knowledge, managing relationships, maintaining motivation, goal orientation, and professional commitment. The author goes on to say: "If your work situation is less than desirable, your score may be low in one or several of these categories. If so, you can improve the above through motivation, guidance, and the right tools." This is followed by the "Change Resillience" test, which measures how adaptible, or resistant to change you are. I liked the fact that she illustrates her points with stories of people in all sorts of jobs (well, all sorts of white-collar jobs) who are unhappy or unsatisfied at a certain point in their career and are ready for a change. Sometimes they didn't know they were ready for a change. Chapter 4 helps you figure out your "Personality Preferences, Interests, and Favorite Skills." You go through more tasks and score yourself to determine if you're "Introverted or Outgoing," "Idealist or Realist," and so on and so forth. The authur states, "...if your personality doesn't match your work, you will not be satisfied." The personal stories of people in various jobs backs up each point made and provides much insight for the reader. In the back of the book, the author provides almost 20 pages of resources, listing other books to read and websites to visit which enhance and illuminate upon the points made in the book. There are also resources on networking, writing resumes, interviewing, starting your own business, and much more. This book is well worth the cost and I recommend it for anyone who is ready to make a change in their life's work.

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    Posted October 14, 2011

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    Posted March 7, 2011

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    Posted December 23, 2009

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    Posted January 15, 2010

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