Feature: The Pursuit of Happiness

Feature: The Pursuit of Happiness

Feature: The Pursuit of Happiness

A lot of people today think that their purpose for working is the acquisition of material goods. They confuse having a late model car in the driveway or a home movie theater in the basement or the latest fad in clothing-things bought after work-with having a meaningful work experience-what happens at work. It’s what happens at work, however, that gives you true and lasting happiness. All the luxury cars and expensive home additions in the world can’t make you feel purposeful and excited and connected with something important and meaningful in your life; only work can. But, it must be work that involves your passion. Your calling.

Everyone has a unique gift within them, a singular talent, a special capability that yearns to be released. I call this special attribute your “natural.” It is an inherent predisposition to do something well, something akin to being a “natural athlete.” However, you can be a natural at anything: creating an arts program for local communities, building a home-based cosmetics company, selling tires or making coffee, providing memorable customer service, improving an organization’s use of advanced technology, or just about any other human endeavor.

Your natural is something you do well and enjoy doing. It’s a fundamental aspect of who you are. Every day, it pushes you, first to be recognized, and then to be developed and expressed. You know it’s there, because you can hear this voice inside you chattering away all the time. Like a song you can’t get out of your mind, your natural calls out to you over and over again. If you’re like most people, however, you hear the sound, but don’t get the message. The fact of the matter is that most of us don’t pay attention or listen carefully to our calling.

Why is that? There are probably a number of reasons.

  • What the voice is saying may not agree with what we think (or others have told us) we should be doing.
  • Or, the voice may be suggesting that we make a change in our work, that we move our career in a different direction, and that prospect makes us uncomfortable and maybe even a little afraid.
  • Or, the voice may be pointing us toward an unusual or nontraditional field of work or toward an extraordinary mission, and we worry about what others will think or say about our choice.
  • And, of course, there are the financial implications to consider; our inner voice may be asking us to forgo a standard of living with which we have grown comfortable.
  • Whatever the reason, the end result is that many of us ignore that inner voice calling out to us. We hear it-you can’t turn it off-but we don’t listen to what it is telling us. As a result, we miss the chance to occupy our lives with work that we enjoy and do well.

    Of course, not everyone falls prey to this dilemma. There are those who do listen to their inner voice and do work at what comes naturally to them. You can pick these people out, oftentimes, by the way they describe their work. In addition to telling you what they do, they will also tell you why they do it. They will tell you that their work is their passion, that it is the love in their life. Whatever the expression, however-whether it’s a “calling” or a “passion”-the natural it describes is something that every human being has and can enjoy. Indeed, Americans, at least, believe that striving to express one’s natural fully is an inalienable right of all people. They have embedded it in their nation’s founding documents and preserved and protected it in their culture. As they express it, every person is entitled by birth to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    When you exercise that right, when you listen to your calling, you pay attention to your natural. When you develop and express your natural, you enable yourself to experience the joy-the unbounded happiness-of working at what is important to you and you do well. You give yourself the opportunity to feel a deep and abiding sense of accomplishment because you are working at something that engages and challenges you and by doing that, you release more of the unique and special person you are. You make real in the world the magic that is inside you. You continuously redefine and extend the best you can be.

    The happiness you feel when you’re doing what comes naturally is a kind of spiritual fuel-it is “soul work.” It alone enables you to feel rewarded and fulfilled in what you’ve done; it alone provides a way for you to stretch yourself to new limits and do even more. It will keep you up at night, get you going early in the morning, and keep you absorbed all day long. When stress or onerous work does that, you feel exhausted. When you’re working at your natural and the pressure mounts or the pace picks up, it’s like playing in a championship game or performing on opening night. You don’t feel pushed to the limits; you soar beyond them. You feel exhilarated. Full of purpose and energy. Complete but not completed. And, that emotional response spells the difference between making a living and making a life. It is the key to having a satisfying and rewarding career, what I call Career Fitness. You see, a healthy career is achieved not with the labor you devote on-the-job, but with your devotion to a healthy life in your labor.

    Thanks for reading,


    P.S. WEDDLE’s Newsletter grows only by word-of-mouth. So, please … tell a friend or colleague (or two) about the newsletter. We’d be very grateful, and they will be too.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina reported that medical and drug costs are markedly higher for overweight and obese plan members. On average, normal weight individuals generate $130 in drug and medical costs per year, while overweight employees generate $149 and obese employees generate $168 per year. What can you do if you’re having trouble controlling your weight? First, realize that you’re not alone. For example, there are support groups for those who are trying to lose weight at both Google and Yahoo!. It’s tough to stick to a diet or to an exercise regimen all alone, so see if you can find a compatible group and rely on them to help keep you going. Second, take advantage of the information and other resources you can find online. For starters, I suggest you try WebMD (www.webmd.com) and the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

    CareerJournal.com partnered with Eliyon Technologies to launch Executive Locator, an online tool for expanding the range of your networking. You can identify potential contacts by company name, location and a range of criteria. The fee for the service is $1 per contact with a minimum purchase of 30 contacts. Each contact includes the individual’s phone number, e-mail address, job title and company address. The database contains the profiles of businesspeople at 1.5 million companies.

    Corzen announced that revenue growth at CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com and Yahoo! HotJobs outstripped newspaper classifieds by 3-to-1 in the third quarter of 2004. Does that mean you should abandon newspaper recruitment ads? Absolutely not. First, recognize that the Law of Big Numbers is at work here. Despite their impressive growth, the recruitment advertising revenue generated by job boards is still barely one-fifth of that generated by newspapers. Second, and more importantly, both media have their advantages, and the best employers and recruiters know that; they use both print ads and job postings to promote their employment opportunities. So, check both sources regularly because that’s the only way to ensure you won’t miss the opening that’s just right for you.

    HEALTHeCAREERS introduced two new members of its network of healthcare sites: the American Academy of Dermatology and the College of American Pathologists. The network provides employment opportunities in over 200 disciplines, located at medical groups, hospitals and other healthcare employers.

    WEDDLE’s announced the release of its 2005 print catalog. If you’d like to receive a free copy, please e-mail your name, company name, title and postal mailing address to us at corporate@weddles.com. The catalog will probably ship in mid January and list all of our publications for the new year. These books will not appear in book stores until March or April, but you’ll be able to order them right away with the catalog. You’ll have special, advanced access to our 2005 Guide to Employment Web Sites, our 2005 Directory of Employment-Related Internet Sites, and our completely updated Guide to Association Web Sites, as well as to several exciting, new titles. If you want to get ahead of the pack, sign up for WEDDLE’s 2005 Catalog today! Sorry-the catalog can be mailed to U.S. addresses only.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. If you’re a police veteran looking for an opportunity near where you’ve just bought a home, which of the following sites would handcuff your search?

  • PoliceEmployment.com
  • BestBadge.com
  • TheBlueLine.com
  • PublicSafetyRecruitment.com
  • 2. If you’re the successful manager of a private golf course and feel it’s now time to move on, which of the following sites would keep you on (and in) the green?

  • USGolfJobs.com
  • Golfcourse-jobs.com
  • GolfingCareers.com
  • TigerJobs.com
  • 3. If you want to find a volunteer position with a nonprofit, social service organization, which of the following sites would provide a helping hand?

  • VolunteerMatch.com
  • Yahoo! HotJobs.com
  • GrooveJob.com
  • WorldVolunteerWeb.org
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005 Guides and Directories



    A WEDDLE’s 2005 User’s Choice Award Winner

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All

    Distribution of jobs: National – USA

    Number of jobs: 300

    Salary levels of jobs: $41-75K/yr, $76-100K/yr

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: Must be in the industry

    Other services for job seekers: Career and job search information on-site, Links to other sites with job search and career management information

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. BestBadge.com, the site of a company that makes badges and other recognition products.

    2. All but TigerJobs.com, the site of a job board serving the sales profession.

    3. All of them.