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By Meredith DiMola ’99, Certified Professional Coach with Life’s Work Career Coaching

When it comes to finding careers that make them happy, most people want quick answers. Many of my clients are successful in their careers – or at least they appear to be successful. But success and happiness are not the same. My clients come to me asking, “What should I do for a career that will make me happy?”

To find true happiness in your career, you must first look internally. I recommend taking some time to evaluate yourself before beginning a job search or embarking on a career transition. Whatever your industry or professional stage, consider these questions:

  •  What career will allow me to combine my skills and passions?
  • What career will make me look forward to the workweek rather than counting the days until the weekend?
  • What career will offer rewarding work and a sense of fulfillment?

You may be wondering how you will know if your answers are right? Over many years of working with clients in transition, I’ve found that the answers that are right for you will be tied to your energy and enthusiasm in your pursuit of fulfillment.  Excitement may occur and you will get a feeling – either in your gut, your heart or your head.  The goal is to feel that excitement and get all three on the same page. 

How do you do that? Try these four steps to begin your journey toward a career that will make you happy.

  • Find quiet time
    Set aside dedicated time without distraction to focus on yourself and your transition. Meditation can be a helpful tool as you begin to get in touch with your passion and purpose.
  • Assess yourself by asking a series of questions.
    What is holding you back? What are your concerns? When was the last time you felt mentally and emotionally excited about something? How can you be more aware of your intuition? What is one thing you can do today to start yourself on a path to career happiness?
  • Learn from others’ career paths.
    Look to your professional network or people in your community whose work interests you. Ask questions about their work and listen to their answers. Be aware of your responses and whether you feel excitement or energy around their work.
  • Research others’ career transitions.
    While your own answers will come from inside, it can be helpful to learn from and be inspired by the experience of others. There is comfort in knowing that there are others who have gone through similar experiences and successfully navigated transitions to align their careers with their values and passions.

To learn more about how you can find the career you love, visit Life’s Work Career Coaching. For additional career resources, online tools and free webinars visit UMassAlumni.com.