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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 9:57 am | Fair 59º


A New Year’s Gift to Yourself: Passion in Your Work!

Are you just going to work or can you hardly wait to get to work? Here's how you can make it work for you.

In a recent Non Sequitur cartoon, one of two people ordering lunch says, “What do you recommend that’ll go well with a layoff notice?” Imagine the instant panic his guest feels.

Eric Canton
My work with clients in search of better careers has led me to suspect that the second reaction to the “layoff notice” is often one of relief. How can that be? Ask yourself. Are you just going to work, or can you hardly wait to go to work?

For way too many of us the answer is “just going to work.” Do you know why that is? Income, of course, but more often than not it is a result of never taking the time to get to know the real you and the skills, abilities and experiences you bring to your workplace.

Your real question, as much as we have all chuckled at it, is: What do I want to be when I grow up?

At a birthday party where a number of people, including some seniors, were celebrating one of the great ladies we all know, I was seated across from a gentleman who invented and patented a revolutionary process for the oil industry.

How long did you work to perfect the process and secure the patent, I asked. Nearly nine years was the answer — probably not an extraordinary length of time for the significant scientific research necessary to perfect the process.

What makes this story worth telling? The gentleman was 87 years old, and he had begun his work at age 79! I asked how it was that he hadn’t allied himself with some company. “Who would hire me at 79?” came the response. So he and a small number of collaborators set out to fulfill their passion. They could hardly wait to go to work.

Two very important changes must occur as more “seasoned” workers evaluate their employment options in the years ahead:

1. Hiring authorities — people who need people — will have to open their minds dramatically to their creative instincts, not just their lists of arbitrary criteria, in order to receive the unexpected in applicants they see.

2. Job seekers will find they are better off to become career seekers — determined to find the passion in the work they undertake. More about this process in a later note.

So your gift to yourself for 2008 and beyond is your courageous and exciting commitment to a real exploration of your passions, and a resolve to work as hard at that process as you will work at your new career. Write me to tell me about that new spring in your step and sparkle in your eye!

Eric Canton is president of Career BreakThrough! Inc. Contact him at [email protected] or toll-free at 866.429.3118.

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