I help my clients find the work they love. To start, I ask them to share a story about what they loved to do when they were 10 to 15 years old. That was probably a time when they were free from stress and cares. They tell their story; I listen and write down the strengths, interests, desires, and potential opportunities as revealed by their story.
By telling a childhood story, my clients unwittingly share clues about their passions. As an adult, you should be encouraged to dream about a more fulfilling career — one that is more in sync with your inner passions. So often, adults have been taught to find practical and common-sense work that will provide financial security, without regard to what will make them genuinely happy. As kids, most of them were not encouraged to dream about the future because the educational system taught them to be followers, not leaders. The system minimized risk-taking behaviors.
Adults need to be given permission to dream about life and career so they can move out of their comfort zone. They will be free to discover their true passion. Even if they make a misstep or have an occasional failure along the way, it will be OK as they learn and grow from the experience.
Here are three more ways that help my clients find the work they love:
To help my clients create visions of what their life and work could be, I present workshops or individual sessions in which I give my clients several magazines, some glue, scissors, and a blank board. The directions are simple: look through the magazines and find words and images that appeal to you and use them to create your vision for the next year. As a client finds various words, pictures, and sayings, a theme may appear to help them — and me — see areas they may want to pursue. You can have a client do this at home and bring it to review it with you, or you may watch them and help them process the experience to understand better how they make decisions and choose the different images and words. When the client has completed the vision board, they need to place it in their office or home where they will see it each day. This will give them a chance to think about the career they want and to take steps to achieve it. It will be a motivator for them to reach for their dream.
I encourage my clients to journal regularly. I ask them to free write 2 or 3 pages each morning or night to put their thoughts on paper. I tell them not to worry about what they write — just put the thoughts on paper. This process helps unclutter the brain so that they can be clear about what they want. The second part of this exercise is that I have my clients re-read the previous day’s journal to see what themes or topics pop up repeatedly, to give them clues as to what may be a passion. Further, I ask my clients to share some journal entries with me so that I may detect something they may have missed. This is a valuable exercise — an opportunity for your client to discover an otherwise missed passion.
My goal is to motivate my clients to venture outside of their comfort zone. To do this, I challenge them to think differently and to look at the world differently. I must get them to take small steps each day, whether it is growing their network or connecting with someone in an area in which they are interested. The goal is to be consistent and to follow through in searching for the work they love. Activities such as field research and expanding your network are difficult for many adults because it forces them to step outside their comfort zone to grow. Through these activities, clients will find their passions as well as those areas that make them unhappy. Now they can move forward toward a meaningful and satisfying career.
With these four activities, you can help your clients find themes and passions that may lead them to new careers. It is essential for your client to pay close attention to what they are saying and writing to ascertain their true passion. Then they can put together a plan to attain the job and work that they love and deserve.