The Career Path – Questers Dare

Carole Kanchier, PhD, in her book Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, challenges the myth that a nine-to-five job is typically unstimulating, boring, and repressive. As a psychologist and career expert, Kanchier’s (2014) brand is characterized by the desire to help people find meaningful, engaging, and passion-infused careers that go in sync with the ever-changing needs of the life-cycle.

From Mastery to Disengagement
According to Kanchier (2014), a healthy occupational identity involves three stages: (1) entry, (2) mastery, and (3) disengagement. The mastery stage involves developing an expertise with your job duties, while feeling engaged, challenged, energized, and stimulated. When the career loses either its challenging or fulfilling nature, feelings of discontent arise. Once the mastery level has been bypassed, Kanchier (2014) suggests it may be time to move on and let the need for more challenging tasks and more growth opportunities be experienced in either new roles, new tasks, or new fields of occupations.

Are You Dissatisfied with Job?
Would you continue to work at your job if you could afford not to? Is money your sole motivation for staying with your present job? Does your work commitment enable you to grow as a person? In five years’ time, do you see yourself still working at the same company, happy and fulfilled? Kanchier (2014) delves into these and related questions that help gauge your level of dissatisfaction with your present job. If you are experiencing ongoing illnesses, headaches, sleeplessness?or just counting down the minutes until Friday surfaces?then perhaps it is time to consider whether you are in the disengagement stage of your work cycle.

Redesign Your Current Job For Your Own Benefit
Even if you are disengaged in your current job, Kanchier (2014) shows the many routes you can take to redesign your job duties so that you are inspired, energized, and engaged. For one, you can determine what tasks you most enjoy and, thereafter, take the necessary measures to enlighten your boss on how you could utilize these aspects to further the bottom line. Additionally, you might want to find ways to reduce the tasks that drain you of vital energy. You can also volunteer for projects at work that provide you with feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment. Yet another route is to attempt to develop an expertise in your role and your company by delving into industry journals, attending seminars, and being attentive in professional meetings. It is also important to develop hobbies, volunteer work, and leisure activities outside of work that provide you with the added challenge and intrigue that your job might otherwise not entail.

How to Prevent Burnout
Kanchier (2014) provides an insightful list of means to mitigate or prevent job burnout: (1) find an invigorating work or leisure activity to do each and every day, (2) reward yourself for your accomplishments and engage in meaningful, positive self-talk, (3) choose to be optimistic and be sure to laugh playfully at yourself, (4) view mistakes as learning tools, (5) maintain balance in life by engaging in other hobbies and activities, (5) meditate, (6) sleep, eat, and exercise well, and (7) restructure your job roles so that they stimulate your sensibilities.

What to Research in Job Change
When making a career change, Kanchier urges you to research both yourself and the economy’s role in your desired career. Research sources could include the Internet, professional associations, libraries, university contacts, career coaches, and counsellors (Kanchier, 2014). It is wisest to do your research before the actual career change. Kanchier advises you look at the want ads for your desired role, check out the educational and licensing requirements, and determine the employment outlook. You will also need to develop a plan for how you will get by financially during the training period (Kanchier, 2014).

Managing Fear
When fear overwhelms you, there are specific means of recourse. Kanchier (2014) advises on a number of holistic levels: (1) make a physical list of all of your fears, (2) stay in the present moment, (3) try not to get too attached to the circumstances, (4) say the word “cancel” to yourself whenever you engage in negative self-talk, (5) minimize fear by pursuing your passions, your life-callings, (6) be motivated to do what you want for yourself and not what others want for you, (7) engage in spiritual activities, meditate, and/or journal, (8) associate with positive, optimistic, supportive people, (9) view yourself as powerful, (10) take small risks regularly, such as trying a new hairstyle, (11) see an abundance of opportunity around you, (12) be a lifelong student, and (12) have lots of activities in your life so you don’t have your identity wrapped in just one.

Broadening Career Horizons
In the age of portfolio careers, where more than one alternative may be sought at the same time, it makes sense to have a broad range of career opportunities as prospects. Kanchier (2014) suggests opening the horizons of career alternatives to include self-employment, a new job in the same or in another company, a new job field altogether, or the restructuring of the present job. It is sensible to keep prospects open, especially when considering the entry, mastery, and disengagement cycles of any job opportunity?a fulfilling career typically has a life cycle and once it runs the gamut, it is commonly time, as Kanchier (2014) says, to move on.

Carole Kanchier can be reached for professional services at carole@questersdaretochange.com.

References
Kanchier, Carole. (2014). Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. Calgary, AB: Entrepreneur Publishing.

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