Yes, but how do you want to feel when you get there?


A common theme I hear among job seekers is that they want this job or that job ... because it's the "next step" or the "logical progression" or "what I went to school for."

And sometimes? They're excited about this next step. Because that's exactly what they want to do, and where they want to go. They want to get there because they feel good in their field of expertise, and they find their work significant and fulfilling.

But a lot of other times? It's rather obvious that the job seeker is working towards that "next step" or "logical progression" because she's never stopped to consider what she'd rather do, or what would happen if she took a fork in the road that led her off the "logical" path ...

... but maybe toward the place that actually will give her a sense of significance and fulfillment.

A couple of weeks ago, I had opportunity to join up with 500 entrepreneurs, dreamers, global travelers and all-around amazing people, at Chris Guillebeau's inaugural World Domination Summit here in Portland. One of the most compelling speakers at the three-day event was a favorite of mine, Danielle LaPorte of 

A full-on dynamo who earns her living helping entrepreneurs and other professionals construct impactful careers and businesses that speak to their hearts, LaPorte said something that has been resonating with me since I walked out of the Portland Art Museum two Saturdays ago. And it's something that I think is so relevant to job seekers who are struggling with the big questions related to where they want to head, and what they want to do. She said,

"We have ambition backwards here in the United States. We make lists of where we need to go, but we don't list how we want to feel. How do we want to feel when we get there? We must figure out how we want to feel in the work we do, and then build our lists on top of that, so we know what we need to do to get there."

I know how I want to feel. I want to feel exactly the way I'm certain I do in this picture. This is my family, through the eyes of one of my daughters. It's a landscape. She told me so (Duh, Mom.) You see me, in that hot, sassy turquoise mini dress? I just caught a fish in that sassy number, thankyouverymuch.

And I'm happy. Because I'm in a beautiful spot, with the people I love the most around me. And we're experiencing cool things. And we're wearing cool triangle clothes. (Never mind that my husband's head happens to be on his shoulder. That is not the point here.)

And so I shall continue building my career and life around this. This is living to me. This is how I want to feel.

Had I gone with "logical progression" or "next step," I'm fairly certain I'd be directing corporate communications for some muckety muck corporation by now. Yes, I would. But about eight years ago? I realized that this was not a path that would make me feel like a happy lady in a sexy triangle dress, catching fish from a stunning blue river.

Now it's your turn. How do YOU want to feel?

Photo: the talented Mini-Fo