Posts Tagged ‘Career Change’

Book makes national papers: How to enjoy your job…even without it!

January 27, 2009

In the last week I have been laid off, and have found another fulltime position. I was also interviewed for MX, a commuter newspaper for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia. They used tips from my book, “How to Enjoy Your Job” to help people looking for work, and I took my own advice! 

Here’s the article and the full page is below. 

MX article 27 Jan 09Here’s the full article. 

MX 27 Jan 09


Lost your job? What you need to do now

January 18, 2009

Unemployment has been rising steadily for the last 6 months as the global financial crisis deepens. Many white-collar professionals have been laid off including management, sales staff and office workers. 

So what can you do if you have lost your job? 

  • Use all the information and help that your company will give you to improve your chances of re-employment. Take any courses you can that they will pay for and use the work time you have left to its best advantage. 
  • Update your resume – you may need to include more detail about aspects of other jobs you have had to broaden your appeal in the market
  • Cut back on expenses and look at your budget
  • Use the time to think about what you really want to do for a job. Maybe this is your chance to move into something new?  
  • Try to stay positive – there are jobs and it is not personal. Your skills can be used elsewhere, you just might have to be flexible in what you do and for how long. 
  • Actively search for work opportunitiesget a profile on LinkedIn or other social networks and see what is out there. Many jobs are not advertised, but if you know someone who can submit your resume, you might just find something. 
  • Remember temp agencies if you have office skills. Many companies may lay off staff and then find themselves without key people. They will use temp agencies to fill the gap instead of employing staff. You may be in a different place every week, but many people also find fulltime work after being placed with a company. 
  • Consider being a contractor or self-employed. You can offer a daily rate making it easier for companies to afford you short term. 

Dream job: Caretaker on Barrier Reef Island – Featured book “How to enjoy your job”

January 14, 2009

There is currently an opening for someone to spend 6 months looking after Hamilton Island, on the Barrier Reef of Australia. This global search has sparked worldwide interest – but only one person can get it. 

Reading book on TVIf you don’t get that, there are ways you can improve your job right now. My book, “How to Enjoy Your Job”, was featured on “A Current Affair”, an Australian news program on the segment discussing dream jobs. 


You can watch the video here for tips!

You are not the only one unhappy at work…but you are the only one who can change it

January 10, 2009

“This is exactly what is wrong with my life. 

Travelling home in the dark after a long day at work, I feel I haven’t achieved much, but no-one notices anyway. I have a stress headache and my neck hurts from my bad desk posture. I am tired even though I have done nothing physically active all day. I don’t have the energy to go to the gym now – I just want to go home, have dinner and watch TV. Looking around, I know I am not the only one on this train to feel like this.”

Terri, on the commuter train home

Can you identify with this?

Do you feel as if you have been doing something you don’t like for far too long?

Don’t worry. If you feel like this right now, you are not alone.

A multitude of surveys and figures indicate how many people don’t enjoy their jobs. Here are just some of the studies:

  •          “Approximately 60% of today’s workers and 50% of middle managers are unhappy in their current jobs.” (Source: Accenture)
  •          “Americans hate their jobs more than ever before in the past 20 years, with fewer than half saying they are satisfied. The trend is strongest among workers under the age of 25, with less than 39 % satisfied with their jobs. Overall, dissatisfaction has spread among all workers, regardless of age, income or residence.” (Source: Live Science)
  •          “Only 29% of Australians polled said they were happy in their jobs. The number one cause of unhappiness is stress”. (Source:
  •          “A quarter of working Brits, more than 7 million people, are disillusioned with their jobs. One in three Londoners are trapped in jobs they hate”. (Source:
  •          “Some surveys have found that 87 % of Americans don’t like their jobs. About a million people a day phone in sick. It costs the nation an estimated $150 billion per year in treatment for stress-related problems, absenteeism, reduced productivity and employee turnover”. (Source: Forbes)

With figures like these, each of us has to rethink the way we work!

It is not sustainable for people or for businesses.

There is a problem, and you can only solve it for yourself.  

There are many reasons why people don’t enjoy their jobs – which apply to you?

January 5, 2009

I’m Bored

My work is boring, repetitive and doesn’t challenge or interest me. I count the minutes I have to be there and I am desperate to leave at the end of the day.

I’m Stressed
My job is too stressful. I have too much work/too little time/too much travel/ not enough holiday/not enough time for relationships/family and no time for the rest of my life. I am overworked, exhausted and heading for burnout or a breakdown.

I’m Under-rewarded
I am not paid enough, not rewarded enough for my work, and not recognised for the job that I do.

I’m Trapped

I feel trapped in this job. I need the money to pay the bills. I am not qualified for anything else, or I won’t get paid so much if I go elsewhere. People depend on me so I have to keep this job.

Other People
Other people make my job a nightmare. I hate my boss/manager. Other work colleagues upset/annoy me. I am treated badly/bullied/harassed at work. I feel undermined, micromanaged or not trusted to do what I am employed to do.

I’m Mismatched

There is a mismatch between what I want to do and what I am actually doing. I don’t know exactly what I want, but I know it’s not this. There’s no meaning in my job. I feel the work itself is pointless.

Work has become something that has to be done, rather than something people look forward to. This can leave people feeling trapped in jobs they don’t enjoy. Everyone wants to work at something that is meaningful, that they enjoy, that utilises their skills and is appropriately rewarding. In general, people don’t want to stop working completely, but they want to stop working at their particular job. They may not know what to do about it or how to change the situation. The big question they ask is: “How do I find the right job for me?”  

Many people focus on being happy ‘sometime in the future’ when they earn more money, or when they retire. But what is the point of waiting that long and living life being miserable now?

“How to Enjoy Your Job” Book Trailer

November 21, 2008

This book trailer gives you a brief taste of what the book is all about. Change your job – change your life! 

I could do anything if only I knew what it was: Barbara Sher

October 11, 2008

Sometimes you read a book and parts of it just leap off the page at you. This is such a book! 

Here are some of the key points I picked up – but it is absolutely recommended reading. 

  • Are you doing what you are “supposed” to be doing? Are you pleasing other people – your family, your college, your friends…or are you being true to yourself? Sometimes you have to move away from your tribe and act on what you want to do. 
  • Take action even if you don’t know what to do with your life. By setting off in a direction, you will soon know whether you are moving towards or away from what you want. It is easier to change direction once you are moving. Action will also raise your self-esteem and bring “luck” your way. You will find out much more by moving than by staying still. 
  • Many people say they want “meaningful” work – but what does that really mean? You need to focus on what makes you happy and uses your gifts, not on what other people think meaningful is. [A personal note: I wanted to help abused women and started volunteering at a charity, but I soon found out there were more effective ways to help using gifts I really had.]
  • If you don’t know what job you want, identify the job from hell. Write down all the things you couldn’t stand doing, and that make you feel awful. Describe the place, the people, what you do all day. Then reverse it. 
  • You don’t have to quit the day job to pursue your dream. In fact, it’s better not to as it gives you too much time, and too much pressure. You can end up returning to work disheartened and leaving your dream behind. [Personal note: I took 3 months off to write my book. I didn’t get very far and soon drove myself nuts by not achieving. I went back to work and left writing behind for 2 years. Finally I started again while working fulltime. I wrote on weekends and evenings, and finished my first book, How to Enjoy Your Job, in 9 months. I am now starting on the next book – and still working part-time.]
  • Practice, start part-time and keep your day job. Remember that Einstein was a patent clerk by day. 
  • You can have it all, but not all at once. If you are one of those people who want to do everything, write down your life from now to aged 95 and space out all the things you want to do. There is time. You can have multiple careers, and most people do now, but you have to focus on now first. 
  • If you are really miserable at work, then pay attention and sort yourself out. “Your story has not been written”, so live it. Don’t wait for life to find you. Find life. 
  • “the cure for sorrow is to learn something”. If you hate your work, learn something new in your spare time. Take classes in pottery or art, poetry or country dancing. Anything that takes you into a new place where you meet new people. You will be refreshed and this will spill into the rest of your life. 
  • The corporate world is a good training ground for the rest of your working life. It teaches you the basics of what work entails, how to dress and how to behave, what corporate speak involves, and what you love or hate in a job. 
  • If you aren’t able to set an exact goal, set a working goal. Start moving in the general direction of your goal and change it as necessary. Move towards what interests you, and away from what dulls you. 
  • Be a networker, be a joiner. Meet new people, join groups, ask questions, talk to people. You will find new opportunities for your life and your work. 
  • There are different goals at  different ages. Be gentle on yourself and allow your priorities to change over time. 
  • Life is full of necessary chores, but we have to do them anyway because the rewards are obvious. 
  • Sort out your number one goal first, and then use your energy to follow your dream. [Personal note: sorting out my love life was an important first step to then using that energy on my dreams. Relationship stress sucks a great deal of energy from you.]
  • “…what thwarts us and demands of us the greatest effort is also what can teach us most” Gide 
  • We are human and our lot is is to learn and to be hurled into inconceivable new worlds” Novalis, 18th century poet

You can buy the book from here 

Barbara’s official website is here:

Best Career 2008

October 6, 2008

US News has just posted their best career choices for 2008.

It has a full list, plus these cutting edge careers based on globalization, digitization, and environmentalism. 

  • Asian Business Development Specialist 
  • Behavioural Geneticist
  • Computational Biologist 
  • Data Miner
  • Emergency Planning Manager
  • Green-collar consultant 
  • Health Informatics Specialist 
  • Immigration Specialist 
  • Offshoring Manager 
  • Patient Advocate 
  • Simulation Developer
  • Wellness Coach 

You can find out more about these jobs as well as the 13 most over-rated careers (watch out advertising execs!)  here =>

If you are interested in changing careers, check out this post

Career Change: 7 steps to a new you!

July 22, 2008

Career Change

Career Change

It is now accepted that people will have several career changes in their working lifetime. As individuals develop and grow, their aspirations and goals change, and they need new challenges. This may be a new career, or a change in direction for a small business, but the process of change is essentially the same.





  • 1. Find out what you really want to do. What are your priorities for the change? Do you want more time with family, different working conditions or more money? Do you want to change the direction of your business, or change your role in it? What do you love doing and how could you incorporate that into a new direction? Spend time asking yourself these questions and identify a clear goal.
  • 2. Plan. Sketch out the steps you need to get to your goal so you can visualise the path. It could be a few lines to show your commitment or a multi-page business plan, but you need something concrete that lays out what you will do and when. This will help to keep you focussed in a general direction, although you may change your mind about the specifics along the way. Career change can often take longer than you expect and you may also need to work out a budget.
  • 3. Research. Before you make any bold moves, find out about your chosen path. Talk to people who have already taken the steps you have. Find a mentor, or pay for professional advice if necessary. Research job or business opportunities in this area and make sure you understand the practicalities of what it will be like in the future state.
  • 4. Retrain and develop new skills. You may need to do some training or development to get to your new career. This can be an exciting and challenging time as you learn new skills and formulate the details of your plan. This step often takes time and money, but will give you the boost you need to make the change.
  • 5. Try it out. Find an opportunity to try out your new career in a low risk way. This may be as voluntary work, or working from home on your business while still in the day job. It may be changing your role in your own business for a short period of time, while people adjust to the new way. Testing the water in this way will give you the confidence to continue, and also to make any changes to your plan at this stage. Remember you always have the choice to change your mind!
  • 6. Commitment and persistence. These underpin the whole process, as often significant career change can take some time and it is easy to just stick with what you have. Remember why it is important to you to achieve the change. How will you feel if you don’t make it this time?
  • 7. Break Out! Make the change, even if the timing is not perfect. Celebrate how far you have come!



 Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl



What do you really want to do for a job? 5 questions you can ask yourself to find out.

May 12, 2008

Some people hate their current jobs, but they don’t know what they would do instead. Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to find out what you really want to do for a job. Grab a piece of paper and jot down your answers to these questions.   

1)    What did you want to be when you were a child/teenager?

When you were young, you didn’t have to worry about the practicalities of living, working or earning money. When you thought about your future it was not constrained by reality, so you believed you could do anything. Write down all the things you wanted to be or do when you were young, however impractical. What do these early choices reveal about your personality and what you might want to do now?


2)    What are you passionate about? What do other people say you are good at? What specific skills do you have? Write down these things and consider whether you could make a living from these. The ideal job is to find something you love, and figure out how to get paid for it!  


3)    What parts of your existing job do you enjoy? What do you want to keep in your ideal job? For example, the holidays might suit you, or the commute, or your friends, but you might not enjoy the actual work. How can you combine what you enjoy with a different job?


4)    What do you definitely NOT want to do? Identifying these things will help you whittle down your ideas to more specific jobs. For example, you might think you want international travel as part of your ideal job. But you know you like being at home with your family, so actually you don’t want to work abroad. You might not like blood, so being a doctor/nurse is out, and if you are allergic to pollen, you won’t be a gardener.


5)    What do you want to achieve, and by when? This is your practical question where you consider how much time you have and what resources you will need to get to where you want to be. You may have identified that you always wanted to be an Olympic athlete, but you are 38 and a bit on the heavy side. Is it likely you will make the Olympics and do you want to put the effort in to achieve this? You may want to retrain as a Doctor but do you have 7 years and the money to fund this program of study?

Read back over your answers and add anything else that comes to mind. Some ideas should be sparking already. This list will give you an insight into some of the things you want in a job, and what is important to you. Use it to start researching into what jobs you might be interested in pursuing.