Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom: How to Turn What Makes You Unique Into a Meaningful and Lucrative Career

Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom: How to Turn What Makes You Unique Into a Meaningful and Lucrative Career

by Jennifer G. Anderson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452578606
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 08/19/2013
Pages: 178
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

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PLANT YOURSELF WHERE YOU WILL BLOOM

How to turn what makes you unique into a meaningful and lucrative career


By JENNIFER G. ANDERSON

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2013 Jennifer G. Anderson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4525-7860-6



CHAPTER 1

What it Means to "Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom"


Your eyes pop open at the jarring sound of the alarm. You roll over in bed wishing you could go back and finish your dream, but it's too late. You've realized it's Monday morning. Again.

You drag yourself out of bed, splash some water on your face, and take a good look in the mirror.

Who is that stressed-out woman looking back at you? Are those new wrinkles around her eyes? Is that another gray hair?

You glance at your calendar and remember that tonight is girls' night out. It's been three months, and last time when everyone played a round of "why I hate my job" you declared (after finishing off your third martini) that you were definitely looking for new work.

You haven't.

As you commute, you listen to your recorded affirmations and repeat them aloud:

"I am a truly valuable person."

"I complete my work effortlessly and easily."

"People appreciate my hard work."

You park your car, remind yourself to smile, and walk through the office doors determined to make it a good day.

Reaching your desk, you see an unexpected pile of reports that have been dumped, dozens of emails waiting to be answered, and a note that says your boss wants to see you, yet again, about last month's debacle.

Your shoulders slump, you feel the knot in your stomach tighten, and you wonder whether you have the strength to pour yourself a cup of coffee.


* * *

My guess is that you're reading this book because something is off with your work-life.

It may be just a tad off, or you may be light years from where you thought you'd be. No matter what—you're unhappy and know you need to make a change, but you aren't sure how to go about doing it or even what direction to take.

At the same time, you're questioning whether it's wise, given today's unstable economy, to contemplate making a career move. All you have to do is check the online news sources (formerly known as reading the paper) and you can gather all the evidence you need that the world of work is a pretty nasty place, especially for ...

... People who are new graduates with no work experience ... and people who are no longer in their 20s ... and people who are returning to the workforce after an absence ... and people who are no longer in their 30s ... and people who are being laid off ... and people who are no longer in their 40s ... and people who are being forced to retire before they want to ... and people who are no longer in their 50s ...

Hang on! Let's catch our breath.

Yes, it's a competitive career market. And no, you may not have the kind of resume that compels employers to roll out the red carpet and woo you into their corporate inner sanctum.

But the bottom-line remains the same: you're unhappy. And you simply can't continue on in the same way.

Why? Because something is warning you that what you've been doing is no longer working (if it ever really was).

The old approach to making a career choice is about:

• Doing whatever it takes to make the most money

• Following trends—the fields that are expected to grow

• Following in someone's footsteps

• Doing what someone else thinks is best for you

• Taking any job that pays the bills

• Picking a job that allows you to use your talent or your education, or fits in with family commitments, but doesn't consider anything else that is important to you

Can you spot what's missing from this list? Any mention of fulfillment, meaning, or contribution.

If you're just not feeling your work anymore, chances are good that it's missing one or more of these three things.

The old approach to career choice is based on the philosophy of "Bloom where you are planted." The premise is that you should adapt yourself to your situation and make the best of it.

Wow. I must admit that I have a hard time with this!

I'm not saying that this philosophy is never applicable in life. Situations do exist in which you have no power to make a change. You simply have to try to make lemonade out of lemons.

But is that really true about your work? Are you powerless to take charge of your career?

The new approach to choosing a career is based on the philosophy, "Plant yourself where you will bloom." The premise is that you define the work that will fit you like a glove (by discovering and combining your talents, interests, knowledge, values, and preferences regarding people, money, work environment, and lifestyle) and then you use a very specific approach to finding or creating your perfect job.

It's the same as if you want a plant to bloom profusely. Do you drop it on a rock, walk away, and expect to come back in an hour and see a flower? Of course not!

You learn about what it takes for the plant to bloom—things like the best soil conditions and the right amounts of sunlight, water, and fertilizer. You seek out the spot in your yard that easily provides these things. You plant it lovingly. You tend to its needs. And before you know it, it's blooming.

Your ideal work is no different. Your perfect job is the set of circum- stances in which the best of you can shine. You love your work, you do the work in a way that fits your integrity, and you live the life you want most.

Maybe at this point you want to jump through the pages, grab me, shake me, and emphatically remind me that you have bills to pay!

Yes, you do! But it's not an "either/or." It's an "and." Over the course of 15 years as a career coach, I've discovered that the best careers are about both money and meaning.

So how can you make all the money you want doing something you find personally fulfilling?

This is what you're about to learn in this book.

In these pages, you will learn how to open yourself up to what you were put here to do. (It's not just some of us who were put here to accomplish important things—it's all of us. And we weren't meant to suffer financially in order to do it.)

You will learn how to approach the job market in a fun and effective way

And you will learn how to ensure yourself the job security you crave

I love the "Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom" approach because I know that in using it, your life will never be the same.

You will love what you're doing each and every day. You will know how to create long-term security for yourself. You will feel you are making a real contribution to the world. You'll stress less, get healthier, and have stronger relationships.

Sound good? I hope so! We'll be exploring all of this in depth, but for now, let's keep it simple by saying:

The difference between the old style of career choice and the new is that you flip the order of questions you ask yourself. Instead of asking what you can do to make money, you figure out what you want to do and then ask what it takes to make money at it.

This is what makes "Plant yourself where you will bloom" so powerful and will have you realizing the personal fulfillment and financial reward for which you long.

CHAPTER 2

Why You Need to "Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom"


Over the course of a 40-year career, you are likely to spend 100,000 hours of your life working. That's one hundred thousand hours.

Just saying that, I almost feel as though I don't need to write anything else about why you need to "plant yourself where you will bloom."

But just in case, now that you have that statistic front and center, here are some things to ponder ...

The hours you spend working will largely dictate whether or not you find it easy to be a happy person.

They'll have an impact on your health. They'll have an impact on your relationships. They'll have an impact on your finances.

Those 100,000 hours will have an impact on the world.

Every year, I talk with hundreds of women about their career hopes and dreams. The one thing I hear more often than anything else? "I just want to make a difference."

They don't even realize they're not being completely honest.

They don't just want to make a difference—they're already doing that. Everything they do has an impact; it makes a difference in the world. The problem is that they're not making a difference that matters to them.

Often when I'm working with a client, and she has pinpointed her perfect work, I ask her, "How happy would it make you to impact the world in this particular way?"

To a woman, a smile slowly spreads across her face, tears well up in her eyes, and she struggles to find the words to express her feelings.

No matter whether it's ...

... Makinglife better for senior citizens, children, or animals ... or taking patches of earth and transforming them from barren fields to community gardens ... or helping people make their homes more energy efficient ... or bringing families closer together in this hectic day and age ... or helping athletes reach their peak performance ... or helping people laugh in difficult times ...

... Making the difference you want to make will make all the difference in your happiness.


* * *

Would you say you're someone who lives to work or works to live?

Most of the women that I coach find themselves in the camp of working to live. They want to have rich, full, and joyful lives filled with family, friends, and fun activities. Work is just a part of the picture—not the whole enchilada. They're simply not willing to sacrifice enjoying the other important aspects of their life in the name of making money. Don't get me wrong—money is important to them and being able to meet all of their responsibilities is crucial—but it's not the only bottom line.

Life/Work Balance is extremely important for many of us. Unfortunately, there isn't just one magic formula. Which means it's often hard to achieve—especially given the necessity for the corporate world to maintain order by instituting standard employee policies.

And what is the result?

Stress-related illnesses such as chronic fatigue. Failed marriages. Strained parent-child relationships. Weight gain. Depression. Anxiety. Financial trouble.

Big sigh.

If you are experiencing any of these problems, there's hope. You're reading the right book.

Here are some of the results my clients have reported once they've planted themselves where they can bloom:

"I no longer have that knot in my stomach that I thought would never go away!"

"I've started enjoying my hobbies again—my photography is better than ever."

"I'm engaged!"

"I'm living a healthy life. I'm happy in my relationships. I'm happy and strong with myself. I'm able to contribute to the world. I feel totally engaged in life."

"I finally bought a house."

"I've released my excess weight and you will often find me in my art studio, expressing my artistic talents to my heart's content! I once again treasure my time with friends and family and have a clear plan to get my financial life back in the mode of prosperity."


* * *

It's your choice how you will spend those 100,000 hours of your life—and thus you are also choosing the ripple effect that you will create in your own life and in the world.

If you see the need to plant yourself where you will bloom, keep reading ...

CHAPTER 3

Why the Old Career Approach Wont Work for You


I have good news for you.

It's hardly a big secret: The world of work is changing rapidly. And truthfully, it's not just the world of work, but also the entire world that's changed.

Think about it: just 15 years ago, the Internet was an unknown quantity to most of us. Today, many of us organize our work-life—in fact, our life in general—around this ubiquitous, invisible behemoth.

Couple this with the fact that we are becoming far more globally-oriented than locally-minded, and you can see that the old adage, "Adapt or Die!" may be more imperative than ever.

And this is all great news!

Never before has it been so important, or in some ways easier, to make the difference that you most want to make in the world.

Why? Because whenever there's a major upheaval, there is chaos and fear and overwhelm. New problems develop that have to be solved. And that's where you come into the picture ... since you are a unique blend of talents, interests, and values (and many other important things) you have the power to solve those problems. You have the opportunity to give your unique gift to the world.


* * *

It only stands to reason that if the world of work is changing, you have to be willing to change along with it.

You can't win a new game playing by the old rules!

Time and again, as I'm teaching, I hear the frustration and desperation of talented people who simply can't find a job playing by the old rules of job searching. Wallpapering the town with dozens of resumes yields few, if any, actual job interviews.

It's not that work isn't out there. It's that the old system of cattle-call resume drives based on stale job descriptions simply doesn't meet the need for specialized employees. Instead of encouraging people to stand out and really shine, the system forces people (as one of my clients so aptly describes it) to fit into uncomfortable boxes with no holes for air.

When you see the need to plant yourself where you will bloom, you might also see that you are not just any flowering plant. You are probably an African Violet. Many of my clients are.

Do you know much about African Violets? The fact is they are one of the pickiest flowering plants in the world. Without exposure to just the right light (my mother swore by a western exposure), without putting the pot in a saucer with pebbles to keep the roots from getting too saturated, and without special fertilizer, they will never bloom.

If you are an African Violet, using traditional job search tactics will create the same effect in your life.


* * *

In case you need convincing, let's illustrate just how ineffective the old approach to career choice and job search really is.

Get ready, because I'm about to take down the time-honored application tool known as "your resume."

Take a moment to think back over your career.

No matter how long or short it's been, would you say that you've been actively engaged in doing the best you could no matter the circumstances? Would you even say that at times you've put your whole heart and soul into it? In other words, have you been trying really hard to bloom where you are planted?

I bet you would.

Would you also say that your resume does a great job of showing this?

I bet not ...

Resumes are simply not designed to highlight your heart and soul and dedication to your work.

Let's face it, your resume is a white piece of paper with black squiggles on it. Just like everyone else's resume. And, disturbingly, similar to a can of generic dog food.

It's not your fault. You're doing everything you can to get your resume right. You've looked up the advice of the professionals. You've run it past your family and friends. You really are taking your best shot at summing up your experience by following the rules of the game.

And therein lies the trouble. You're following all the rules of the old game, and it has turned you into a lemming.

Yes, I really did just say that it has turned you (really, all jobseekers) into lemmings.

Here's the problem with allowing this to happen ...

What's the legend and lore of lemmings? Most of us associate them with a herd mentality—and you've probably seen images of them stampeding recklessly toward the edge of a cliff and senselessly plunging to their death in the raging ocean waters below.

Don't get me wrong—I have nothing against lemmings. They're cute, actually. A bit of a cross between a groundhog and a mouse.

The trouble with lemmings is that they all look alike. I doubt you could tell one from another unless you got to know them extremely well.

There's more trouble with being like a lemming, beyond even the generic nature of resumes. And I'm sure that you really don't want to run your career in a lemming-esque mode.

So let's look at some of the compelling reasons to avoid your resume making you act like a lemming in your career/job search.


Lemmings look silly in blue suits

If you saw a herd of lemmings dressed in little blue suits running toward a cliff, would it make a difference? Would it somehow make more sense of their behavior?

No! So it stands to reason that when we dress exactly like every other job hunter, all professional in our blue suit and sensible pumps, we are also subject to behaving exactly like every other job candidate who's being interviewed. That's the plight of the resume-led job search. In the interview, we fail to look, say, or do anything that distinguishes us from the rest of the herd. In fact, we can also begin to fear that there may not be anything all that special about us, after all.


Lemmings have fluctuating populations

No one's really been able to document a reason for the lemmings' fluctuating populations. For our purposes, though, it bears giving some thought to the efficacy of "the next hot job trend" as a strategy for finding employment.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from PLANT YOURSELF WHERE YOU WILL BLOOM by JENNIFER G. ANDERSON. Copyright © 2013 Jennifer G. Anderson. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction....................     15     

Prologue....................     17     

Chapter 1: What it means to "Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom"..........     19     

Chapter 2: Why you need to "Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom"...........     25     

Chapter 3: Why the old career approach won't work for you..................     29     

Chapter 4: An overview of the "Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom"
approach....................     37     

Chapter 5: How the "Plant Yourself Where You Will Bloom" approach changed
my life....................     43     

Part I: Career Epiphany: Discover Your Perfect Work....................     49     

Chapter 6: Cultivating Seeds of Greatness....................     51     

Part II: Career Expedition: Discover Your Next Right Job...................     69     

Chapter 7: Searching for Fertile Ground....................     71     

Chapter 8: Breaking Ground....................     87     

Chapter 9: Tilling the Soil....................     103     

Chapter 10: Adding Food, Water and Sunshine....................     113     

Chapter 11: Planting the Seedling....................     129     

Part III: Career Evolution: Create Your Job Security....................     139     

Chapter 12: Pruning for New Growth....................     141     

Epilogue: 3 Smart Actions to Get You Started....................     155     

Chapter 13....................     157     

Chapter 14....................     161     

Chapter 15....................     167     

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