|Finding Meaningful Work [career]|
|Are you playing an angst-ridden game with the question, "What am I doing with my life?"|
--Did you choose a responsible career that no longer engages you and now you are in search of working at something that matters?
--Are you unexpectedly out of work and even as you feel the pressure to find your next position, you want to make a decision that will work for your priorities today?
--Or are you more like me- you find meaning in your work, and as your own passions and commitments evolve, you need your work to evolve with it?
This month I highlight three books that might put you back in the game with assertive confidence.
Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second
Half of Life by Marc Freedman
This is the place to start if you sense a little tug or even a deep undertow that where you are now in your life is not serving you. Freedman tells inspirational stories of people from all walks of life moving into careers that were more aligned with their own values and aspirations. He also makes us rethink our orientation to "the golden years" of idle relaxation. The online community gives you access to resources for meaningful work as well as an active discussion with people (over 350 at last count), many whom have already made the shift and are interested in supporting their peers.
The Third Age: 6 Principles for Growth and Renewal
after Forty by William Sadler
Sadler posits that middle age is a misnomer. He describes 4 ages each with the potential for growth, meaning and renewal. The principles he outlines are really invitations for exploration of our own approach to work and life and he offers useful tools along the way. Here is a particularly provocative quote that got my attention:
"In addition to lighthearted playfulness and openness to learning, another important quality in childhood is willingness to forgive failure and learn from mistakes. So often adults express regrets about mistakes made in parenting, work, relationships, lifestyle. Brooding on regrets can certainly impede second growth. Young children do not take their efforts to learn and achieve so seriously. They do not expect to always get it right the first time. They learn from mistakes. A child knows that it is acceptable to 'get it wrong' before getting it right." (p.90)
Back in Control: How to Stay Sane, Productive and Inspired in Your Career Transition by Diane Grimard Wilson
Wilson is a career coach in Chicago and her book is a text-based version of her approach. She points out that sometimes we get stuck in destructive patterns that can be changed if we explore them. She offers strategies for figuring out our strengths, taking charge of our ineffective thoughts and cultivating our intuition and capacity to focus. This is a highly practical book with valuable resources cited throughout.