Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A Good Career Feeling

When things go well at work, you get a good feeling.

We all know the feeling and there are plenty of ways to describe it: satisfaction, fulfilment, self-worth, happiness, success.

But what actually gives us this feeling?
Where does it come from?
When have you had it in the past?
What can give it to you again in the future?

Nothing like a load of questions to kill a good feeling...

You don't have to be an explorer to explore
[Rough Waters=Beautiful Skies: see more at Saundra's Flickr Photostream here]

...Unless they are questions that help you explore your career for satisfaction and success.

Questions like the ones above are worth asking because they have the power to turn a good career feeling into something a little more substantial. Something you can begin to understand, find evidence for, even seek as your answers become more familiar to you.

If you know the feeling I'm talking about, if you have experienced it briefly or even only once in your career before now, you have some real evidence to focus your questions on.

What work were you doing at the time?
Who were you doing it with?
What could have made that feeling last longer?
What would have killed it stone dead?

I hope you do choose to think about the good feelings your career has given you. And how your career always has the potential to give them to you again in the future. Only one person will benefit if you do.

All my best to you for now,


Thursday, 22 October 2009

work/life fusion FAQ

After some of the recent Q&As on this blog I thought an FAQ might be a good idea. So here goes...

What's this blog all about?
work/life fusion is about making decisions that can lead to career and job satisfaction.

Why focus on career decision making?
It's rarely a simple choice like sweet or savoury, strawberry or banana when it comes to our careers. We all face key moments in our working lives and we're under pressure to get our decisions right. There are so many influencing factors, so much opinion and advice to make sense of. Why not explore career decision making in a blog?

Did anyone else hear a tree falling?
[Roots Remain - courtesy of Rosa Say on Flickr]

What are the toughest times for career decision making?
I could say it's always tough but that's an easy answer and you'd never forgive me for it! It's tough when you're on a job search. Knowing what to do for the best has unique challenges when you're facing redundancy or if you have already been laid-off. It's tough when we face any kind of career change at any time in our working lives. Times can get tough but it's still possible to make good career choices.

What separates good and bad career choices?
Career and job satisfaction is the measure that lasts longest. I wouldn't argue if you said success, promotion, financial stability, or anything else you feel passionately about. But I would argue that your personal feelings of satisfaction and fulfilment can outlast anything else you could aim your career at.

Can anyone make better career choices?
Yes! Choices that can lead to career satisfaction have a lot to do with the way you experience change, opportunity and even the odd failure and setback. Positivity is important as it helps us overcome obstacles. Looking inwardly as well as outwardly helps us find a deeper resolve. This in turn gives us more trust and assurance in our own ability to lead our careers forward.

What's the best place to start if I wanted to make better career decisions and aim for job and career satisfaction?
The best place to start is wherever you are right now. Begin by exploring questions like What's important to me?, What am I good at? and What do I want for the future?. This is the best way to start defining career success more personally to you.

Is there a secret to career satisfaction?
Sadly no. There aren't any quick-fixes, short-cuts or easy-answers but you can find out more about career satisfaction and what it means to you, if you are prepared to look for it too. Take a look at some of these career stories if you'd like to read more!

Add your questions, answers, opinions and anything else in response to the above.

Best Regards for now,


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Certainty, Doubt & Your Career

If you begin with certainties, you'll end up with doubts.
If you're willing to start with doubts, you'll end with certainties.*

What did you know for sure when you started your career?
Are you sure about the same things now?

What doubts did you begin your career with?
Which of these doubts have stayed with you over the years?

Why do any of these questions matter to you?

If only there was a film called Certainty...
[Doubt... Bolt - Photo Courtesy of Joanna Young on Flickr]

These questions matter because they help you appreciate what your career experiences have taught you to date. The doubts you have changed to certainties prove just how much you have learned in your career. In a similar way, certainties that have turned into doubts are a good reminder of how much you can still learn.

Whether we work or not, it's true that our certainties and doubts can change over time. But work is one area of our lives where certainties and doubts always have a big impact. For example, if we are certain or doubtful at the wrong time, it can lead to two things that damage careers: doubt in ourselves and other people doubting us.

Sounds a bit bleak, unless that is you return to the statement at the top of this post. If you believe there is truth in that statement, when you find yourself doubting - or being doubted by others - take heart because your journey towards new, meaningful certainties has already begun. I for one am certain of that!

All the best for now,


[* I've taken the liberty of modernising and paraphrasing Francis Bacon in the above statement. For the purists, FB's original (16th Century) words were as follows: “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts: but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”]

Monday, 5 October 2009

Work Matters

How you feel about work matters. How your work makes you feel matters too.

This post is dedicated to a friend. He's looking for a job right now and trying to make sense of his career at the same time. This friend has been through a run of bad luck recently. But he's still wise and courageous enough to know that his luck will change and that he's the most likely one to change it.

He's still learning from recent experiences, some of which he'd rather not repeat. In fact, he's aware and smart enough to know that he's still learning from all of his career experiences. And at no time is this more true than when you're looking for work.

Old decisions, old situations and past conversations often come back to haunt you. You can easily find yourself getting caught in loops of "If only", "What if", 'Should've' and 'Could've'. And if your career has ever been somewhere similar, you'll know this leads nowhere.

[By the way - I'm sure I sat next to the Shouldves or the Couldves at a wedding. Lovely couple, if a little hard on themselves.]

Reaching High, Courtesy of Rosa Say on Flickr

So what message did I want to send my friend here?

You know more about your career right now, than at any other point in the past. You'll know even more tomorrow too because every day you're learning something new.

This time around, you're also making discoveries for yourself. Sure, there are people who can and will help you, people whose opinions matter, people you need to take care of. But most important right now is the understanding you're building for yourself around work. The figuring out that focuses on your personal relationship with what you choose to do for a living.

Only you can know what work has made you happy in the past. You're the only one who can get excited by new work you could be doing right now - whether it's out there in your community or in a place you've not even visited yet.

You're the only one who'll find the work that puts a smile back on your face and the right sized pay-check in your pocket. You're the only one who can understand where your own desire comes from and how it keeps you going. You are the only one who can make yourself feel more secure in each step, as you get your career moving forward again.

As you probably already know, there's no magic bullet when it comes to careers. No easy answers. But there are plenty of questions. And if we're courageous, determined and willing enough to face these questions - as I know my friend is - the absence of easy-rides, short-cuts and quick-fixes all becomes worthwhile.

Hope this helps in some small way :)

All my best for now,