What if money was no object?

Alan Watts philosopherIn 2013 I came across this video from British philosopher Alan Watts. He is best known for his writings and speaking on Zen Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. In what starts as such a simple question, ends up as an extremely thought-provoking reflection coming back to the ‘why’ of what we do. Conceptually, Alan Watts is right on the money – we live in a world doing things we may not like doing, in order to make a living, in order to keep going on doing the things we don’t like doing.

At first I struggled to take this from concept to practice as money, whether we like it or not or agree with it, is the catalyst that drives almost all of how we live. It wasn’t until Alan Watts revealed a valuable insight about becoming ‘masters’ in what we do, so much so that we can charge a handsome fee for doing so. This follows in the same vein as Joseph Campbell’s “Follow your bliss…” quote.

What I do believe, however, is that this video’s message represents one window in which to look through. We don’t live in a world where we must choose one thing to do to enjoy or earn a living anymore. It is becoming more apparent, even common, for the last two generations entering the workforce (Gen Y & Z) to do multiple things to fulfill that implicit need for a sense of purpose.

A call centre worker by day is a share market enthusiast by night and volunteer on the weekends. A small business owner works from home at nights, is a parent by day, and manages to study at university by distance learning. Perhaps if you do feel you are lacking ‘enjoyment’ or ‘fulfillment’ where you currently find yourself, the answer may not lie in changing what you do, but expanding to what you do.

Some ideas here were first expressed by Patrick Caldwell, HR Business Partner at BHP Billiton. I’ve refined the idea using my own experience conducting seminars at elite private schools across South Africa.


Three Tips on How You Can Successfully Change Your Career

Change Your CareerHave you hit that point in your career where you just are sick and tired of what it is you’re doing? Maybe you feel like you’re never going to get the promotion you deserve, or maybe you just can’t stand the monotony of your job. Whatever the reason is, it’s time for a career change and you know it.

Lots of people who are sick of their jobs stick with them anyway because of fear. They either think that they’ll never be able to find a new career, or they’re too far in their current career to abandon what they’ve worked for. If that’s you and you’re ready for a change, it’s not as hard as you may think.

Don’t live your life fed up with the career you’ve chosen. Change your career! It’s not as hard as you think. Check out these tips on how to switch careers and live a better, more enjoyable life starting today:

First, Don’t Quit Your Current Job

Finding a new job, especially in a new career field, is tough. It may take you longer than you think, or longer than you’d like. That’s why it’s important that you don’t quit your current job while searching for a new career. You’re also a lot more likely to get hired somewhere if you’re currently employed, rather than unemployed.

It could take weeks or months, maybe even a year, before you find a new career. All that is too long to go without a paycheck. Make the wise decision to search for a new career on your days off or after you’ve gotten off work, just so you have the security of a paycheck until you find a new career.

Consider Going Back to School

Lots of people dread returning to school, but with distance education it’s become very easy to earn a new degree to switch careers. If you’ve got the skills to change careers without a new degree that’s great, but in many cases you’re going to need a degree if you want to start a new career in a completely new field.

Consider distance education and getting a degree from an online college for professionals. There are many benefits to this rather than going to an actual classroom based school, one being that you can study on your own time rather than take off work or cut your hours in order to sit in class. If you’re looking for a simple career change, you probably don’t even need a bachelor’s degree, meaning you can earn your online associate’s degree in two years or less.

Use Your Networks

Chances are you’ve developed lots of connections with people through your current job. Maybe there’s a vendor that you’re friends with, or one of your coworker’s siblings works in an industry that you’re in to. Use those connections to try and network your way into a new career.

Be ruthless, but not annoying. Schedule informational interviews to inquire as to how you can enter those careers. The more people you talk to, the better chance you have at succeeding.

Image credit: http://careerchangeforboomers.com/