What to Do with the Rest of Your Life

As part of the Weight Loss Challenge, Robin Ryan, a career counselor and bestselling author, helps Angela in her job search. Her advice can help you land a terrific job too.
What if you could write a whole new life for yourself? What would you change? Too many people never ponder these questions. They don't acknowledge that being happy, successful and enjoying a passionate career are all possible. You and you alone are responsible for creating your own future. So if you are one of the 11 million Americans looking for a new job, or one of the millions of dissatisfied workers who is miserable at your job, then give serious thought to this life-shaping question: What exactly are you going to do with the rest of your life? The weaker economy does not mean doom and gloom, or that your dreams can't come true, unless you use it as your excuse for not succeeding.  
Here are some key steps to get you on the right track fast:
Start with honest self-assessment. Analyze your current skill set, training level, and accomplishments to date. Write down the aspects of the work you liked and what tasks or things you disliked. Investigate new fields, industries and potential careers by doing some research and also interviewing individuals who work at those types of jobs, or in fields that interest you. Look at growth opportunities, salaries, benefits, and then determine the job title to target.
Use your passion as a decision-making tool. I conducted a CEO survey, and an important insight noted by top executives was that truly successful people work at their passion. It's that burning interest and enthusiasm that propels the extra efforts to excel in your job. Be sure you determine what your passion is. What do you love to do? To hear about? To talk about? If you love music, find a job in that industry. Remember that it's not just musicians, but others such as agents, directors, marketing and sales teams, business managers, etc. that are a part of the exciting music world.
Build a career on your strengths. You have natural talents you were born with. These talents are the things you find easy to do. Maybe it's teaching or writing. Maybe it's designing, building, or helping people. List all your talents, including things that others compliment you on. Build your career on these strengths and it will be easier to excel. You'll move up faster, find better jobs and be paid a higher salary. Incorporate your talents into any position you choose to go after.
Don't sabotage yourself. Many people prevent their own success. They find excuses, or blame others, for their own failures or mistakes instead of learning and improving from them. Their self-talk is all negative. "I'd never get a job like that," or "I'm not good enough," or "Why try? It's too hard." Reprogram yourself by reading and listening to success tapes. Avoid others who are "black cloud people" " people who rain on your dreams and efforts. You must avoid negative dialogue " it's poisonous to your dreams and future achievements. Instead, find supporters, new mentors, take classes, read books, listen to motivational tapes that teach effective ways to make your future and next job a real dream come true.

Robin Ryan is a career counselor, speaker and best-selling author of 60 Seconds and You're Hired, Winning Resumes, Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She also has several audio success-training programs. She offers career counseling, interview coaching and resume writing services. Visit her website at www.RobinRyan.com.
Copyright 2003 Robin Ryan, All Rights Reserved.