Are Your Career Choices Limited by the Quality of Life You Desire?

tough-choicesIf you have finally realized that there is more to life than work, you have probably also realized that re-prioritizing your life is easier said than done. The 200K+ job market is as competitive as it can possibly be because the roles are fewer and farther in-between, and you are no longer competing only with the unemployed, but rather everyone in the world who does what you do. Most have learned the hard way that you can never go “heads down” again and must always be “entertaining opportunities.” While happiness is important to thrive in all areas of life, the last thing you want to do is risk the financial security of your family.

Can you have both quality of life and the career of your dreams?

Many people are now figuring out ways to make it all work. It takes some discipline and maybe a new frame of mind but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here Are 5 Ways to Get Quality of Life and the Career of Your Choice

1. Focus on what they see. In the book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Author, Greg McKeown reveals the best advice he ever got was from his boss when attempting to quit a job due to burn-out.

“Just do what a consultant would do.”

He started prioritizing his efforts based on what would create the company’s desired results. He shortened his day, increased his effectiveness and was perceived as even more irreplaceable than before. Sweden has been experimenting with a 6-hour work day and found it improves employee focus and makes it easier to attract and retain top talent.

2. Network. The sooner you understand that every job is temporary, in our economy of disruption, the happier you will be. Jobs will come and jobs will go and, if you have the right career strategy, every job will propel you to the next opportunity. You will find that you will not go on and off job searches. You will just get calls from those that know of you or have been referred to you if you brand yourself with the right value message.

3. Education. Knowledge is power. The more you stay on the cutting edge of your disciple, the higher the chances are you will be thought of as irreplaceable and will be able to write your own schedule. Highly sought-after professionals that dictate their own office schedule can spend hours at night researching articles from thought leaders and new developments in the industry. They take online courses just to gain the knowledge. Coursera offers an amazing selection of MBA courses from top schools for free! This is also one of the best methods to combat ageism in the hiring process.

4. Mentor. Taking time to help others is difficult for most professionals who work hard but not smart.

“How can I help others when I have so much work to do?”

Mentoring does not yield immediate gratification unless you truly enjoy giving without the expectation of reciprocation. Mentoring has more tangible long-term pay-off.

A highly successful National Trainer for a large NGO, explained that if he were to try and get out to every organization himself, as directed, he would never be home to see his family. Instead, he has mastered “training the trainer” and can increase the impact of his organization 10-fold, help develop the careers of those around him and get the quality of life he desires.

5. Choose a career that is in-line with your passion. Most advice regarding choosing a career in-line with your core desires in life goes something like, “There will be long hours and tedious work at times, so you’d better make sure you have enough motivation.” While this can be true, I believe there is a type of effortless magic that happens when you are in the throes of what you enjoy. It’s almost as if your creativity wakes up and hands your brain ideas so good it shocks you and amazes everyone around you.

Saundra Botts

Saundra Botts

Saundra is an ExecuNet Career Strategist and Career Coach. Working 1:1 with high-level senior executives, Saundra provides strategic guidance and coaching to help ExecuNet members land their next great opportunity. This includes uncovering their unique personal value proposition and defining competitive differentiators to advance their careers. Additionally, she provides detailed feedback for improving a personal marketing collateral—well beyond their résumé. Leveraging her expertise, Saundra guides executives through the entire process from entering the job market, which for most is their first time, identifying the path to success, to onboarding with their new company and beyond to create job security.

Saundra is known for “opening doors” and has also facilitated Job Search and Transition Workshops for universities, FENG (Financial Executive Networking Group), and various executive leadership groups. Her depth of experience includes has over 15 years in Retained Search and contingency placement within corporate accounting and finance sector with First Call Search, Dubin & Lee and WinterWyman Search. Saundra has consulted with clients, ranging from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar conglomerates. She has worked with $12 billion companies building accounting and finance teams, succession planning, and hiring, as well as filling key positions at many medium-sized, publicly-traded companies; non-profits; and universities in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles.

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