Q: I have a lot of skills and don't know what to do with them. My current job is okay, but I'm not satisfied at work. How can I find a new direction?
A: Did you used to be satisfied? If so, if your job hasn’t changed, you probably have.
You might have developed new skills or new ways to apply those you have. Make a list of skills you enjoy. Work on the list for a week or two, because you might not be utilizing all of your favorite skills constantly. Once you have a thorough list, prioritize the components.
Are you relying on your favorite skill the most? You won’t feel satisfied until you are. What kinds of jobs require that skill and the next four or five? Which industry or work environment would be the most meaningful to you? When you interview, ask employers how much of your time will be spent using your favorite skill (although you need not mention that it is). Take them at their word.
Keep hunting until you get yourself planted where you can do what you want and gain satisfaction.
Q: Yesterday I compared my job-hunting tactics with those in some of the best job-hunting books. I won out but can't find my way. I don't need to be told not to base my success on the inability to find meaningful work. I want to earn a living!
I have a degree, good work experience in decent companies and an excellent track record. Something's wrong. What is it?
A: Get back in by focusing less on what you think you want to do and more on hunting for people who feel a sense of abundance in their work. They may not even be in your direct field, which means they may come up with ideas you hadn't considered. They may also be from a different generation. Give them a chance to show you what they know. You might surprise yourself if the person inspires you to do something new.
When they share ideas, ask how they'd recommend you implement them. New ideas and resources could open new doors and lead to something more interesting than what you were expecting. Open your eyes and throw yourself into the world.
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2013 Passage Media.)