Coaching: Choosing Your Work

Whether you work for yourself, for others, or are contemplating a set of interviews to choose a new job, there are some important thoughts to get in line.

1. Any time you interview for a job, it’s a two-way street. You are interviewing to prove you will be an asset to the company, but you are also interviewing them to see if this company meets your values. As a coach, the problem I see most often is people taking a job that doesn’t honor their values and then wondering why they hate the job.

Values are what you like and hate in life. Here are examples: you like helping others; you dislike working with children; you like to work in the background, not calling attention to yourself; you want monetary recognition for your ideas.

confusing traffic sign2. Doubt is just doubt, not a sign from above. If you own your business, or if you are working for someone else, any time you make a direction decision, you immediately begin to doubt yourself about making the “best” decision. “Should I have really accepted that promotion?” “Should I have turned down that client for this client?” are both direction decisions.

3. A lot of decisions are set in stone. (Having a child, getting married, signing a contract). They eliminate other choices. Doors shut. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Go in one direction and explore it thoroughly. If it isn’t right, make a correction. But don’t dither back and forth.

4. Not every job is a lot of money at first. Not every job needs to supply you with a ton of money. You can live on less than you think.

5. Not everything that is money is worthwhile doing. If you are spending a lot of that income you wanted to much on retail therapy because you hate your job, rethink Item 4.

6. Know your motives. If you are going to do something for not a lot of money, know what you are getting from it–experience you don’t have, contacts, resume improvement.

7. Be honest about your needs. No matter how much “fun” something is, if there isn’t money in it, and the only thing you need is money, think it through before you commit a lot of your life to it. The opposite is also true. Do not take any job just because it pays well. If it doesn’t honor your values, it will sink you over time.

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach and a life coach. She’s a writer who owns (c) 2007. All rights reserved.