The important thing here is that I noticed what I felt called to do, and I took steps to do it. I understood even then that this would be the tactic that would help me find the golden thread to my ideal work.
Which brings us back to that fateful day when I told my boss at the store that I wanted to resign. The relief I felt at finally admitting what had been bubbling up inside me for months was enormous. Fortunately for me, my boss was understanding and reassured me that she would provide a good reference and that I could take some time during my notice period to look for other work.
Propelled by the realization that I now had to act on my professional restlessness (or should that be “recklessness”?) I started looking around for other full-time jobs. In the meantime, my part-time social work job provided a useful buffer.
I found a new job pretty quickly (yes, times were different then). It meant taking a considerable pay cut – to almost half of my previous salary – and moving out of my spacious home into a much smaller pad. But it enabled me to take the leap from the commercial retail environment in which I had felt so stifled, to a fundraising position in a small charity that became an immediately comfortable fit. The drop in salary was a small price to pay for the privilege of working in an environment that enabled me to use my particular talents to their full effect.
In fact, my new job was a revelation. I was revitalized! My focus shifted from trying to maximise sales force productivity to helping impoverished people reduce their crippling debts. My productivity levels, and my enthusiasm, soared. It felt as if I had finally found my calling: a job that was based around my talents and values, and that left me feeling energized and alive rather than drained and dead. It felt like I had found my Vital Vocation. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have noticed the opportunity – much less been qualified for it – if I hadn’t listened to that inner “pull” that guided me to do the voluntary work in social services.
Since that major career transition nearly twenty years ago, I’ve been through several further stages in refining my working life, and have developed an exciting portfolio career that remains a constant source of delight today. I’m now chief executive of a major local charity, I’ve built my own thriving coaching and consultancy practice and I’ve carved out a growing niche as a freelance writer. Professionally and personally speaking, I couldn’t be happier – or more excited about the future.
Best of all, I’ve come to see that the career-design process I discovered (by accident and instinct as much as by intention) can be successfully applied by anyone, in any circumstance.
I will outline that process for you in this book, so you can apply it to your life.
I’ve coached and trained hundreds of people who were in the same place I was back then – tired, burned-out, disillusioned, fearful that things would never get better – and I’m yet to find a single one who hasn’t been able to use the process I’ve designed to move towards their own Vital Vocation.
Whether you’re in a dead-end job and longing for a change, long-term unemployed and losing hope, or just beginning to face the world of work full of fear and trepidation, this book is for you.
It’s the book I wish I’d had at my side before I made that madcap decision to pack in my well-paid and secure job and take a leap into the unknown. It would have saved me many sleepless nights, I’m sure!
You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not recommending that you do anything as drastic as throwing everything up in the air tomorrow and starting from scratch. All you need to do is read this book, diligently apply the step-by-step Vital Vocation process, and you’ll be able to find or create the ideal work for you - and you can do it without giving up your current security.
In fact, the really good news is that you’ll be able to do it from exactly where you are now, even if that means learning to love the job you’re in, until you find a job you love.
Genre – NonFiction / Careers
Rating – G