Note: When was the last
time you did some serious personal evaluation, assessment of where
you are in life, and thought about what comes next?
people will eventually end up at this point, though they seldom use
any conscious thought processes much less actually get around to
planning to change. Craig
Nathanson does an excellent job defining the process of getting back
the passion in your job and your life.
The Mid-Life Challenge: Make a
Plan to Re-ignite Vocational Passion
Nobody will stop you in the hallway
at work to ask if your career provides meaning and personal
fulfillment. Recognizing that something’s missing in your
vocational life and taking the initiative to change must come from
Serena Williamson found a way to
turn her passion — helping writers hone their skills in order to
get published — into the catalyst for a new, more fulfilling life.
Serena now runs her own small publishing house.
Software engineer Bonnie Vining
needed a new career that would value her warm personality, not
suppress it. So she left the high-tech world and opened Javalina’s
Coffee and Friends.
After Anita Flegg lost her
engineering job, she embarked on a program of self-improvement. The
journey led to personal discoveries and her calling: She provides
information and support to those who, like her, suffer from
I have found that many high
achievers who lose enthusiasm for their work share common traits:
like Serena, Bonnie, and Anita take stock of their lives and
careers. They develop a plan to re-ignite their energy and
enthusiasm for work. The process involves a number of steps, but the
common thread involves taking responsibility for making life
changes. Here’s how:
No one will pull you aside at work, look you in the eye, and ask if
you’re really happy with your career and your life. The power to
understand what’s missing and do what’s necessary to find it is
yours alone. Take responsibility for change, and change will happen.
what’s most important to you, then develop and work a plan to
get there. The plan should involve short-term goals that lead to
a long-term objective. When Bonnie decided that engineering
management was no longer for her, she applied the discipline of
the corporate world to her new career: owning a gourmet coffee
shop. Bonnie learned everything she could about specialty
coffees and how to run a coffeehouse.
She made good use of experts in the field. She then moved
quickly toward her goal of opening Javalina’s Coffee and
Friends in Tucson, Ariz. The thorough approach increased her
chance of success.
a list of your abilities and interests, and then see how they
match. You may be doing something you’re good at, but don’t
enjoy. Instead, find something you enjoy and then learn what it
takes to get good at it. Serena was fortunate that her
vocational calling was right under her nose.
For years she helped friends and colleagues improve their
writing skills through informal coaching sessions. She realized
that the gift for teaching others how to transform ideas into
prose wasn’t just a hobby. It was a vocational calling. Today,
she runs Book Coach Press, which has launched 13 book titles
(including my own “P is for Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational
be afraid to move toward your goals. Many people understand the
need for change but are frozen in place. There’s fear that we
may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. When Anita
lost her engineering job, she avoided self-pity and instead
grasped the possibilities of her new freedom.
She began a journey of self-discovery that uncovered a
long-undiagnosed illness, hypoglycemia and with it a new
calling. She soon wrote a book on hypoglycemia. Now, she helps
others understand and manage the disease. Anita turned what
could have been a series of unfortunate events into a new
calling that has brought vocational passion to her life.
About The Author
Nathanson, The Vocational Coach, is the author of “P Is For
Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational Day,” by Book Coach Press. He
publishes the free monthly e-zine, “Vocational Passion in
Mid-life.” Craig believes the world works a little better when we
do the work we love. He helps those in mid-life carry this out.
Visit his online community at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com