JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Follow Your Bliss? Or Get Real? Career Choices

Posted by Jean Cummings

Oct 20, 2012 11:16:00 AM

career choices - bliss or money?

Image courtesy of lowdensitylifestyle.com

Peter Weddle - known for his authoritative work on on employment sites showcased on weddles.com - has written a novel on how three protagonists navigate the new world of work. It's called A Multitude of Hope. His thesis is that, with the demise of the corporate ladder, we are on the verge of a work renaissance, where talent and continuous learning and training are the determinants of career success. While being interviewed by coaching pioneer Susan Whitcomb, Peter, somewhat surprisingly, didn't repeat the common mantra of the age:

"Follow Your Bliss."

Popularized by Joseph Campbell, this is the instruction commonly given to people who are unhappy in work. Having been interested in the world of work for decades now, I have always veiwed such a proscription with a touch of skepticism. I know it works out for some. Some are able to follow their bliss and still make the money they need or adjust their lifestyle to match their new income stream.

But, for many, there is a difficult tradeoff between what they would love most to do all day and the job that will bring them in enough money. So, what did Peter say? He said that your work should be at the intersection of your talent and practicality.

Although talent isn't identical to what you love to do, the concept is the same: for work, find a situation where you can use the particular subset of your talents and/or bliss activities and also get paid what you need (your assessment). Also, find a job that provides you with the challenges and opportunities for growth that will maintain and sustain you over time.

Take the musician who works in Whole Foods' award-winning cheese department during the day, but plays the gigs she loves to play at night and on weekends. She also loves cheese and relating to people. So her day job pays for her first bliss, music. And Whole Foods is a company that provides the team-centered and customer service work she enjoys and also an opportunity to earn a wage that has the potential to inflate significantly over time, even if she doesn't progress up the ladder of promotions.

In another instance, a Director of IT has worked in the insurance industry for a decade. He loves IT, but not insurance. So he lands a job working for a charitable organization he is passionate about and where he has volunteered his time. He gets to exercise his leadership and IT talents, follow his bliss, and make the money he needs, even though compensation is less than in insurance.

This issue comes up a lot in career branding and personal branding, areas that I work in. It's critical, in helping my executive clients to get their next great job, to find the sweet spot where their personal brand and their career brand and requirements live.

Peter Weddle's book promises a lot of very interesting ideas about the world of work. This is just one of them. How have you found a way to strike a balance between your talents, your bliss, and your need for practical rewards?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of lowdensitylifestyle.com

Topics: job search, personal branding, career management, follow your bliss

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