Before you consider your next job change or even career change, it's crucial that you look at the kind of lifestyle you want today and in the future. As you determine the course of your career path, you'll discover that other facets of your life will enter into the picture as well--where you life, how you spend your money, how you spend your free time.
This career-planning time is also time to think about life planning. When I meet with my clients for the first time, before I ask them what they want to do, I ask them what kind of life they want to live.
Even in carefree Hawaii, there's an expression - Pau Hana--meaning "after work," Until the last decade, most of our lives were built around work and after work.
It always seemed upside-down to me that our society encourages us to work long hours at something we hate in order to get a few hours to do something we really love. When I grew up in the Midwest, it was the highest of compliments to be referred to as a 'good' worker or 'hard' worker.
WORK 24/7/365 ??
Our days are typically divided into getting ready for work, going to work, working, working lunches, working late, going home from work, dinner and doing the work we took home to do and then planning for the next day of work. And now with twitter and facebook and Blackberries and iPhone -- you can work 24/7/365 --how delightful is that :(
THE RAT IS RACED OUT!
And so day in and day out, 50 weeks a year with two weeks off, we follow this cycle. And we join--you guessed it--the "rat race" until we are so worn out that we have to be retired.
As we've already discussed, you'll probably have as many as seven careers (or more) in your lifetime.
As my mom said so succinctly when I told her the title of this book, "Yes, no more one job."
VALUE DRIVEN LIFESTYLE not just WORKSTYLE!
If you are value-driven and lifestyle-driven, you'll find it much easier to create rewarding income streams that fit in with your developing chosen lifestyle.
NOTE that I say "income streams" because that's what matter's today -- taking a job you love may mean that you need to supplement that with additional income. While you are building and creating the lifestyle you want to live -- maybe it's in Corrales, New Mexico where you can raise Arabian horses, you'll want to also create income streams from various sources such as a) day job b) working part-time on a new start-up company for a pal, c) working weekends selling your jewelry or hand made pool cues at an artist or crafts festival or d) teaching sailing classes which enables you to turn a hobby into a valuable income source too.
LIFETYLE vs WORKSTYLE -- most college grads or people looking for something beyond 'just a job" find that even a great work environment can burn you out too -- especially in demanding arenas like entertainment and technology. So it's truly your life-style that will carry you forward.
When interviewing look for perks the company provides that will support your life values -- ie health food options, a gym at work or nearby, wellness programs, ability to bring your dog to work, childcare and more.
If you're already at a job and but want a better working environment see if you can organize some fellow colleagues to create values-driven, life-style choices -- you may have to start with the tried and true such as a softball league or a company retreat or lunch and learnign programs where you bring yoga teacher in for 1/2 hour sessions BUT you will be doing yourself and your employer a favor too so take on this challenge!
Integrate your life/work choice: not just a hope and a prayer but a viable option even in this economy.
Go beyond the box -- I like to say "THERE IS NO ENVELOPE" in creating your income sources. Stuck in a dead end job choice or taking a job just to make ends meet -- then realize you're not starting over -- you're starting better!
In writing this chapter, I wanted to include spectacular stories of people who would inspire you to believe that you could trade your tie for a lasso and ride the open range or sell your BMW and spend the next season of your life climbing Mt. Everest.
But, when I looked at the case histories, I found that some of them are indeed spectacular, but others may appear more ordinary for "getting a life, not just a job" is a highly personal venture.
Here are three examples of how people I've worked with as an advisor, not only changed their careers but integrated their choices into their lives:
SADAHARU OH -- the Babe Ruth of Japan -- celebrity baseball star creates a legacy not just another income stream! And he created jobs for new grads that were meaningful & FUN!
I had the good fortune to work with international baseball hero Sadahara Oh, "the Japanese Babe Ruth". Oh San, as he is called who had retired from baseball in his 40's and yearned to give back to the people some of the joy of the game he had so loved.
It was my honor to work with him to set up the World Children's Baseball Foundation, a camp where kids around the world meet to play ball for a few weeks each year. The cool thing about this was that recent grads were hired to help run the camps and bring in sports celebrities from around the world. See how that former camp experience can translate into running a community organization or a nonprofit group. Don't forget non-profit jobs actually pay a salary too or you can combo your nonprofit contract work with other income streams. In this case the perfect combo might have been collecting sports memorabilia and selling it on eBay with a portion going to the non-profit!
By sharing what he loved, he created a new career for himself in the process. But he didn't do it alone. I worked with him to create a board of advisors ranging from Hollywood celebrities to business leaders to other athletes to help make his dream come true. Now he can travel around the world each summer visiting his baseball camps in foreign lands. And new grads every year join him to help take everyone OUT TO THE BALLPARK -- girls, boys, parents & grandparents all join in.
EVEN A LAW STUDENT can live the dream!
Another extraordinary man was already integrating his career with his lifestyles while he was still in his 20's. I met Douglas Heir while working with Olympians Mary Lou Retton and
Bob Richards on the Wheaties Search for Champions - a national quest for outstanding amateur athletes. Heir was a member of the U.S. Olympic team wheelchair division. He won four medals at the World Olympic Wheelchair games in the javelin and discus competitions. At the time I met him, Heir was also a law student and teaching assistant at Rutger's University. He would not settle for just one career but rather combined his athletic prowess with his quest for the law. Later he may choose to work full time as a lawyer and be a coach on weekends.
REACHING OUT brings great rewards:
Gina, another client, discovered that her true calling was in social work. "There is nothing more fulfilling than helping build a community center brick by brick, board by board with your own hands," she explains. A stint as a volunteer on a local crisis line led her to go back to school at 25 to get her master's degree in social work. After she lost her job at the infamous Enron, she thought the world was over but volunteered at the local YWCA.
It was there, working with their 'displaced homemaker' program, she realized that just getting another corporate job in Human Resources would not be enough. So she started her own training program and got contractor work from her state economic development division.
NEED A GRAY HAIR on board to get funding? So the bankers want to see your balance sheet and the office lease rental agent wants a credit check? Yowza I'll bet you never thought you could be too young in this new economy after all how did the founders of Facebook get rich in their 20's?
Never fear -- a gray hair is near!
I once did a proposal with a colleague on a book called Peach Fuzz & Gray Hair do mix. Because most of us with experience really value new grads because they bring energy and an aversion to the same old, same old that shakes everyone into motion. Here's one example where win-win was great for the recent grad and a 70-something newspaper columnist turned actor.
Many people worry that they are too old to start over. Yet, I've found that my clients successfully recareer at all ages. San Francisco actor and writer Dean Goodman dreamed his whole life of doing films, and in his 70's broke in as a co-star on a Francis Ford Copppola movie. Later he returned to his newspaper critic job of reviewing plays and movies in San Francisco and works as a coach for young directors just out of drama school.
Believe me there is someone out there just yearning to help you succeed and just because their's an age difference doesn't mean they think differently than you. Psychographics -- how you feel and act about something is more important than demographics --how old you are and where you live.
SELLING BATHTUBS ON THE AMAZON RIVER
In doing research for this book, I came across an interesting fact about illustrator H.A. Rey, noted for his charming drawings of Curious George, the nosey little monkey who is always getting himself in and out of trouble. Rey, sold bathtubs up and down the Amazon River from the age of 26 to 38 until he married his wife, Margaret.
Then he embarked on an artistic career that produced the wonderful "Curious George" book series. From bathtub salesman on the Amazon to children's book illustrator with books now on Amazon.com Quite a lifestyle change! No reason you can't work at a specialty store selling baby clothes and work on a children's book at night and weekends. Most stores are open now to taking their worker's projects in for sale on consignment. I know several 20 somethings working part-time at gift stores who are selling their jewelry there too.
Sure you have to prove it can sell but isnt that what you want anyway -- a proof of concept for your product?
The second part of this chapter is too long for this blog -- if you'd like to see it, send me an email and I'll email it to you. It's about how you can make a living and even be a millionaire anywhere you want to if you plan ahead on how to create income streams to fit your chosen lifestyle.
NEED A BREAK -- but can't afford one? Not ready to work?
How about volunteering with a non-profit group and spending time teaching for TEACH AMERICA or other non-profit or church groups that offer experiences around the world that will challenge your college-learned skills and at the same time allow you to travel and live in a foreign land for a few weeks, months or even a year by donating your skills.
VISION YOUR FUTURE -- Picture it! See it! Live it -- in my latest book THE VISION BOARD: the secret to an extraordinary life -- I recommend that you create a lifestyle board that even considers your role as one of the next-generation of social entrepreneurs. An important part of that is embracing the age-old art of visioning (used by Shaman and indigenous people around the world) and now being used by the World Bank and corporations like Boeing. To see a free chapter from THE VISION BOARD book go to: http://tinyurl.com/thevisionboard and click on see inside!
Any questions or interested in joining my low cost 6 week VISION BOARD bootcamp email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at www.twitter.com/joycecom and follow me at http//www.facebook.com/joyceaschwarz