Guest Post: “Career Transitions Don’t Have to Be Painful” by Vicki Morris, Author of InspiredWork

Here is a book excerpt from the transformational career guide InspiredWork: Create Work You Love in 8 Weeks by Vicki Morris, the Career Happiness Coach, founder of InspiredWork and author of the Inc. Best 100 Business book Happy Habits, and the InspiredWork Workbook.

How InspiredWork Can Help YOU

In my 25-year high-tech career, I hired 160 professionals and went through 16 career transitions. I know that career transitions are a normal part of a person’s career, and that they happen to everyone. They are so common, in fact, that in the U.S. alone, professionals – on average – go through approximately 11 career transitions by age 38. Even more eye opening is the fact that, as previously mentioned, millennials may go through about 20 jobs in their lifetime. Yet, despite the frequency of these job changes, I found that most people tend to become a bit less inspired with each and every job transition they encounter. They experience a great deal of pain, which tends to be transferred to their loved ones, as well.

My goal is to reverse the cycle. With InspiredWork, I want to take the frustrations and pain that typically come from switching careers and transform them into positive energy, which you can use to find a job that fulfills you and aligns with your values, or start your own company that helps you make a positive impact on the world.

Career transitions don’t have to be painful. Perhaps a job transition is just life’s way of telling us that it’s time for something better. And, as you’ll see, with each change, you become better equipped to handle the transition process.

Career transitions continue to happen. When I say that I’ve had 16Tcareer transitions, please note that I count both full-time jobs and full-time consulting projects as career transitions. I recommend that you count them, too, for several reasons: First, transitions after full-time consulting projects can take just as long as traditional career transitions and they can feel just as bad, too. Second, a full-time consulting project could be in your best interest versus a full-time job, so I like to think of these projects as viable career choices. Third, you can connect with high-quality people and learn just as much at a full-time consulting job as you would in a permanent job, so it would certainly make sense to include your consulting contacts and accomplishments on your resume, CV, and LinkedIn profile. Fourth, I’ve learned that in today’s knowledge economy, the successful management of your career comes down to managing projects – whether they are labeled as jobs or consulting projects. In fact, more and more people find themselves in what is described as “on-demand economy” or “gig economy”. And demand for this way of working and consuming is profound. Is it good or bad for workers? The real question is, “Are you equipped to deal with this disruptive change in the workplace?” So, it is wise to adopt a project-oriented mentality when you assess your long-term career.

Finally, I was able to realize that although career transitions happen, they don’t need to be painful. In fact, I realized that career transitions could be embraced as positive opportunities to find or create work through which you can learn, share your unique talents, and be happier overall. Even if you’re making the decision to move forward as an entrepreneur, the experiences you’ve collected in a number of different positions will only help in launching a successful career.

The key is not just to find another job. The key is to find or create a job that moves you—a job that inspires you and brings you closer to the vision you have for your life! There is more to work than just paying the bills and you can find – or even create – a job or business that’s both lucrative and fulfilling.

In the InspiredWork book, I’ve included only the most useful and practical information and exercises, all of which worked well for me. It also includes the most heart-centered wisdom I have gleaned as a spiritual practitioner. I have endeavored to combine all of this information into a practical, step-by-step job search guide, which can be used now or at any point in the future if job loss should strike. By writing this book, I hope to turn my personal job loss pain into fuel and to help a new generation of young professionals avoid unnecessary pain and delays to find or create more soul-inspired work.

There are things I’ve learned in going through so many different career transitions that I want to share with you – so you will know them ahead of time and be better prepared when career transitions become necessary (either because a company isn’t performing well or because it’s time for you to find more inspiring opportunities).

One of my most valuable learnings was the realization that I could cope by taking a heart-centered approach to finding a job. I could systemize the approach, and utilize it to my advantage. In doing so, I’d be able to get through each new transition and bypass a great deal of pain and delays.

I’ve also learned that other people experienced career transitions just like I did. There’s a great deal of comfort that comes with knowing that you’re not alone in any given situation. So, there is a need for people to find a heart-centered approach to the job transition or startup process. You’ll find that this pragmatic approach is really helpful and taking the time to master this holistic career change skill will make your life easier and less worrisome. It will help you find your best possible job or create a company that you’re proud of, so you can be true to yourself in your role. It will also aid in providing you with peace of mind so you’ll know you’ll be able to bounce back and find another job in the future, should you ever need to.

How Loss Can Become a Blessing

I’ve experienced so many losses and setbacks in life. Amazingly, each time, things actually wound up working out for the best. For example, when I went through the most devastating job loss of my life in 1999, I really wanted to move out of California and relocate to Atlanta to find a job near my brother and parents. A wonderful recruiter found me a VP of Product Marketing opening at a CRM software company that was headquartered in Atlanta. It was an ideal job opportunity, and it would also enable me to live near my family.

Yet, the interview with my potential new boss, the CEO, went very badly. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. I ended up staying in California and getting a different job instead. Then, I met my husband a few months later. Meanwhile, the Atlanta CRM company went under because it couldn’t compete with Salesforce.com. So, not getting the job that I thought I wanted so badly actually turned out to be a huge blessing in many ways.

This type of phenomenon happens all the time – I personally experience it so frequently that I now embrace these types of outcomes as Divine Will. Now, I actively try to make choices that are based on Divine Will, instead of worrying so much about how one certain experience will or won’t work out for me – I am able to accept the circumstances Divine Will gives to me, and I have actually learned to welcome alternate paths with open arms.

How this Information Can Help You – and How It Helped Me

I love the InspiredWork System because it helps professionals turn the entire job transition process into an adventure. Even if you’ve gone through it before, you can revamp the experience by transforming it, reconnecting with Source and setting a new, more heart-centered course. As a result, you’ll co-create your own work, through which you’ll find happiness and fulfillment every day.

Vicki Morris is the Career Happiness Coach, founder of InspiredWork and author of the transformational career guides InspiredWork: Create Work You Love in 8 Weeks and the InspiredWork Workbook as well as the Inc. Best 100 Business book Happy Habits. Vicki offers 25 years of experience as a high tech business leader, entrepreneur, and career happiness mentor. Vicki launched InspiredWork to help professionals create their own inspired work so they can be happy at work and love their life.

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Dr. Wale Ajao shares his inspiration for the illustration in Adunni Dares to Dream

“Adunni Dares to Dream” is a story about a young girl who grew up poor in the village in a time when expectations were different for girls than from boys. Girls were (and in many places still are) expected to help in the home or on the farm and learn to become a mother and homemaker someday. They simply were not a priority when it came to formal education. It was rare for girls to develop a determination to break those gender barriers, even more so for a girl in a poor family. This is what makes Adunni’s journey very compelling.

This is my first time illustrating a book for this age range so, naturally, I assumed the book would have to be colorful, clear/clean/crisp, and easy for a child to digest what’s going on.

In hindsight, I may have been wrong but that was the summary of my strategy.

I harked back to my college days when I was in charge of the art department in our student fellowship. We used to make a lot of posters using cardboard cutouts. I’d make a sketch of the illustration and then figure out what colors of cardboard we would use, and then cut them accordingly.

Using Adobe Illustrator to digitally make the basic shapes really brings back those memories. Each illustration was to look as if it was made out of cardboard cutouts but I couldn’t resist adding a little bit of realism (a shadow here, a gradient there, and a bevel here) which I believe gives it a unique look even if that strict cardboard look is missing (meh…maybe on my next book).

Again, the idea was to use simple shapes with fine gradient colors and a hint of caricature here and there. I hoped the real kicker would be the use of patterns. Nigerian attire is very rich with patterns and instead of highly detailed backgrounds, we have patterns. Some of the patterns in the attires are based on real cloth patterns. If you look at the photo of young adult Adunni, you will see that the pattern on her dress was applied to the illustration of Adunni. I hope this blends well with the touching story Taiwo wrote and the decision to include some of the original language.

Overall it’s been an eye-opening collaborative experience all the way. And we are proud to announce the birth of this book which is our first-born baby as it were. Like a real baby, it takes a village to raise it and this book has been no exception.

We hope you love it…er…her, and she grows into the phenomenon that the inspiration for her truly is. We’ve seen that phenomenal inspiration in action and we hope you do to.

Talk About It Thursday: My First Book Launch by Leslie R. Weeks

MY FIRST BOOK LAUNCH          

          

While preparing this blog caption I remembered back, to when I was a child.  I remembered when my first story came into fruition.  Although I didn’t have any siblings, I kept myself busy by playing with my array of dolls, making my dolls clothes and writing short stories.  I enjoyed writing, because I had to use my imagination. Since I was an only child I had a lot of time to think and analyze things. I put a lot of thought into my writing.  Even so, after writing and reading my short stories, I would either fold the papers and stick them in my desk drawer, or toss them in the garbage.  I never shared them with anyone.

As an adult, I continue to use my imagination while writing. It’s relaxing for me to write and act out each character’s emotions.

About three years ago, I wrote an inspirational novel entitled, Behind My Smile, about three long time girlfriends.  I thought long and hard about how much I wanted to inspire my readers. I wanted to give someone hope about a hopeless situation.  I wanted to let my readers know that they were not alone facing challenging issues. 

The Journey to get published- One day a lady and I were casually talking about things we like to do. I mentioned that I had a 500 page manuscript that I had a desire to get in book form, and published. She informed me that she knew a book publisher. That was a streak of hope going in the right direction. The news excited me. We exchanged contact information and the next day I contacted the publisher. Fortunately, the publisher lived in the same city I lived in. Shortly after, we set up a meeting with the editor.  It was an exciting experience for me to go through the publishing process.  I felt very much involved during the process.  I described how I wanted my book cover to look.  The publisher was able to locate a picture that was very close to my description and perfect for my cover. I proof read my final copy about three times.  The process took about three months to complete, which included getting the book registered with Amazon and Kindle.   When I finally received that long awaited phone call from the publisher that my books had arrived, I was so excited.  The next day, I held my book in my hand. I was so proud. I was excited to see my name on the cover, and my words on the inside of the book.

About a month later, I had my first book signing.  My publisher was kind enough to suggest a nice location in the area to have my book signing. The room was beautifully decorated, and light food and drinks were served. Family, friends and church members attended.  I felt very special when my girlfriend of twenty years and her husband, traveled from Georgia to celebrate with me. I read a few excerpts from my book and offered a Q&A after.

I feel so good when I tell readers about my book. I get a lot of admiration about being an author. People feel that writing a book is a big accomplishment and they are always eager to have me sign my book for them.

I encourage anyone who feels the motivation to write a story to just do it!

Blessings to your future endeavors!

 Leslie R. Weeks has been a regular writer for company newsletters and was chosen to write a movie critique column. She has written several published honeymoon excursion articles and has also written book critique articles for a Christian-based magazine.

Though born and raised in New York, Weeks currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and children. Her favorite pastimes include traveling and baking from scratch. She gives all honor and praise to the God of the Bible. Follow Leslies on Twitter @LeeLeeJTM

A Letter to My Readers: Wonderful Readers by Suzette D. Harrison

Hello Dear Readers:

Have I told you lately that I appreciate you? Shame on me if I haven’t, because I absolutely do!

You are a divine force gracing my life for our collective good. I’m honored to serve you my writing. You honor me when indulging in the offering and granting me your honesty. You mince no words when telling me your truth. You did, you didn’t like what I brought to the table? Whatever your truth, I learn from you even as you receive me. I love being enlightened by your perspective and point of view. Iron sharpens iron. Talk about sweet synergy!

I’ve been blessed to meet many of you, Dear Readers, not merely through the mutual indulgence of my work, but often face-to-face at book events or signings. Now, that is a thrill for me! Then there are my beautiful social media queens and kings with whom, through social media, I interface daily. We’ve shared laughs, and tears. You make me think. You encourage me to be a better me. I like my readers, really and truly. You are my beloved community.

There have been days when my joy was running low, and God used you to bring rainbows. An email. A tweet. A Facebook post for me. Your kind and supportive words are sweet fuel and fire. They reignite and inspire. You are replenishing.

I believe, Dear Ones, in reciprocity. The social media games we’ve played, complete with prizes, are my simple way of expressing appreciation. My monthly “Readers’ Row” feature is my opportunity to highlight readers who’ve impacted this here life. These little ways of giving back are pure delights that make my heart bright. I pray they’re well received, for they’re meant as simple but genuine blessings.

I’ve said it often, I’ll say it again. Precious Readers, you are the backbone of the literary community. Without wonderful readers, my works would sit somewhere lonely and unnoticed, collecting dust on a shelf. And I’d be crying in a corner ready to eat dirt and worms. Thank you for allowing my written works into your world, for sharing your time with them and with me. Thank you for embracing my characters and their crazy offerings, their strengths and their frailties. For connecting with those crazy characters so much that you felt inspired to write a review, my ‘thank you’ seems too simplistic. Yet, I truly do!

So, Dear Reader, this here author is determined to give you more, to give you good, to give you better than I gave before. Writing is a gift. Writing is both beautiful honor and joy. Me? I’m a work in progress. Daily growing and learning. But I’m a tenacious kind of woman, and I promise you I won’t give up. I’ll keep honing and stretching, sharpening and polishing this gift until it brightly shines. As God gives it to me, I’ll give it right back to you. Our author-reader relationship is precious. I pray, for you, it’s refreshing. I’m dedicated to writing. Stay dedicated to reading. We’re loving literature together. And that there is more than mighty good!

Peace & blessings,

Suzette

Suzette D. Harrison, a native Californian and the middle of three daughters, grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Her literary “career” began in junior high school with the publishing of her poetry. While Mrs. Harrison pays homage to Alex Haley, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison as legends who inspired her creativity, it was Dr. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that unleashed her writing. The award-winning author of Taffy is a wife and mother who holds a culinary degree in Pastry & Baking. Mrs. Harrison is busy cooking up her next novel…in between batches of cookies. Learn more about Suzette D. Harrison and her work at www.sdhbooks.com.