A fulfilling career is the one luxury everyone desires. We want work that makes sense; work that challenges us; work that rewards us generously in every sense of the word.
And yet, according to a recent survey by Yahoo Finance, at least 73% of 22,000 adults sampled at random are unhappy with their jobs. As a matter of fact, when asked, ‘is your job fun and exciting?’ 37% answered ‘fun? Are you kidding me?’
In May 2007, the BBC published results of a ‘Happiness at Work’ survey by recruitment consultants, Badenoch & Clark. The poll revealed that nearly one quarter of UK office workers are unhappy at work: 30% of men and 22% of women discontent.
But it’s not office workers alone who face this dilemma because according to an estimate by Forbes Inc in 2005, 87% of business people are dissatisfied.
WHY IS THIS SO?
In this era of the microwave dinner and the quickie divorce, why do so many of us tolerate jobs that bore us to death, rob us of priceless family time, demean us to the point of subservience and sap our creative souls?
Ask me, I should know! Although relatively fortunate, I have done my share of mind numbing work. And based upon my personal experiences as well as many years of studying and interacting with captives of the rat-race, I have come to the conclusion that we generally tolerate work we hate for the following reasons.
WE ARE AFRAID OF THE DREAM:
It is in our nature to dream.
Even 10 year olds have a pretty good idea what sort of lifestyle they want when they grow up. But often dreams come in monstrous proportions. When we are young, uninhibited and unscathed by life, we can normally handle them. Interestingly the older we get, the more we are dwarfed by our dreams.
Eventually we cease to believe and settle for a reality that doesn’t overwhelm us – Career entrapment.
WE ARE DREAMERS IN WAITING:
Sometimes the bigger the dream, the longer it takes to birth. In the mean time, the bills must be paid, life must go on… So we take on jobs we loathe with temporary intentions- an excellent approach unless the gap year (or two or three) becomes a never ending escape from the vision.
WE ARE CRUSHED BY THE DREAM:
Needless to say, some of us have thrown in the towel. We no longer believe in all this ‘follow your dream nonsense’. We are reluctant to make a spectacle of ourselves either because of past failures or the sorry experiences of the people around us.
Again, the above premises are based on the belief that all human beings have dreams, in other words we all have aspirations of a better life. Ambition may be lacking, vision may be foggy, focus may be lost, but deep down inside every human being is a dreamer.
Reality can put a dampener on things. Most of our waking hours are working hours. In fact, according to the Equal Opportunities Commission and the 2001 census of England and Wales, the average hours worked by women is 31.4 per week, whilst men grind an average 42.2 hours per week. These figures include part time work as well as full-time employment, and accounts for the fact that 42% of women work part-time, compared to 10% of men.
These are only average figures mind. According to General Union, GMB, full time workers in the Orkney Islands work an average of 45.8 hours per week and males in Aberdeenshire up to 44.3 hours. London males worked the least on average – circa 37.3 hours. Bear in mind that these hours do not include preparation and commute time. To get to work many people (hopefully) spend at least half an hour washing, dressing and packing their bags. The BBC also reports that the average commuter spends 139 hours a year traveling to and fro work whilst Londoners spend a whopping 225 hours per annum commuting.
If you think these figures are alarming then follow me on a cerebral trip to America where (according to Expedia.com) 40% of Americans log more than 50 hours per week at the office. The ‘Families and Work Institute’ also reports that only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation and according to the Boston College Survey 26% take no vacations at all. In fact average annual vacation in the USA is just 13 days, abysmal compared to Italy (42 days) and the UK (28 days).
Findings from a number of medical studies show that extensive commuting is (to an extent) linked to high blood pressure, back pain, tension, reduced performance and bad moods after the working day. Physical symptoms such as stiff neck, tiredness, lower back pain, difficulty in focusing and anger are rife.
Even at that, work seldom ends when we leave the physical confines of the office. Many employees bring work home with them, others ruminate over issues such as discrimination, harassment, deadlines, hearsay and other concerns. According to an article published on bbc.co.uk in June 2006, pressures at work lead to sleeping problems in 35% of men and 40% of males struggle to switch off from work. So although our bodies may be absent, often we are still very much on active duty.
And yet work is an integral part of our lives. We live to work because therein lies our purpose. We work to live; bartering our hard earned money for core and creature comforts. As we cannot escape work, it stands to reason that we must make the most of it. What could be better than doing work we care about; work that means something other than a pay packet, work that completes us. Frankly, the sort of work that doesn’t seem like work at all…
But creating the ideal working life is the hard part! For instance, finding one’s passion can be tricky; turning passionate pastimes into steady profit streams an even trickier task. Is clinching the dream job easy? Not if you’re competing with thousands of applicants over advertised vacancies. Is setting up in business a walk in the park? Not when many businesses don’t make it past the first year of start up (and by the way, running a profitable business in today’s competitive marketplace isn’t a stroll along the beach either).
What about working from home – surely that should be a breeze? Well, it might interest you to know that thousands of people lose millions of pounds every week to ‘work at home scams’. Besides certain ‘work from home’ opportunities are boring, isolating, labour intensive and expensive. And honestly, home working isn’t meant for everyone.
To cut a long story short, although you may be highly talented and intelligent, it could take you years and cost you a huge fortune to figure out how to create the purpose driven career of your dreams – a career that takes your unique talents into consideration and allows time for what matters most in your life. For this same reason many have given up on their dreams, preferring to play it safe by conforming to society’s expectation of them.
Thankfully there is no need to shortchange yourself or live in fear because it is the right combination of attitudes, strategies and know-how that make some people able to turn their dreams into reality while others fall flat on their faces. In a nutshell talent is not enough, what you need is Creativity combined with Business Sense (hence the title Creativity and Sense).
Are you a working parent or carer who’s seeking to create a flexible, satisfying and well paying career on your own terms? Are you an employee who’s considering a career change or perhaps struggling financially due to numerous financial commitments? Could you be an employer who would like to create a happier working environment for your staff (thus reducing absenteeism, slashing running costs and attracting a better caliber of employees) or maybe an entrepreneur who wants to get more enjoyment, flexibility and profit out of business endeavours? If the answer is yes, you will find this book invaluable.
Perhaps you’re a young person seeking purpose and direction for your life or an individual who’s unable to cope with conventional 9 to 5 work due to long term illness, injury or personal preference. You might even be an artist, freelancer, craftsperson, or a one-man business band seeking practical strategies that will enable you build a rock-solid support network and turn your passion into sustainable profit.
If you feel there must be more to life than what you’re doing now; if you want to wake up everyday with a deep sense of excitement, then this is the book for you! If you already make a living doing work you’re incredibly passionate about, then reading this book will not only reaffirm how fortunate you are but guide you towards other opportunities too.
‘Creativity and Sense’ has also been written for employees who are in the right line of work yet desire renewed passion in their careers as well as mature individuals still seeking to make the most of their experience, wisdom and potential.
It is true that many vocational books have previously been written. ‘Creativity and Sense’ is unique because it doesn’t require you to take a generic test in order to figure out who you are. Whilst psychological profiles can be useful, they cannot precisely define or lead you towards your purpose in life. You learn who you are by using your six senses: the sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and supernatural instinct. Over a dozen chapters are dedicated to helping you discover the talents and star qualities that set you apart from others. Then I go even further to show you, step by step, how to turn your passion into meaningful and financially rewarding work – not mere ‘profit’.
In a nutshell, this book has been written in order to save you precious time, repeated effort and bitter anguish. It contains principles and strategies that will enable you better understand and enjoy life. And because I define financial success as being able to do work that satisfies you, benefits others and pays the bills, this is indeed an achievable and worthwhile goal too.
You don’t need to knock yourself out trying to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to resign yourself to forever being a ‘starving artist’ or ‘wage slave’. Through this book, you can lay claim to the success strategies, support systems, influential contacts, creative ideas, cutting edge technology and mastermind partnerships you need to create the career and life you need and want.
Beyond the book, practical advice, motivation and guidance can be found in abundance on CreativityandSense.Com
Following your dreams need not be a lonely experience. Aloneness breeds fear but knowledge and partnership lead to confidence and well deserved success. I hope that you enjoy reading my book as much I have enjoyed pouring my heart and soul into it.
“Powerful Praise for ‘Creativity and Sense!’ from Book Lovers Around The World!”
“Your work helped me recall many forgotten talents from my past, and to clarify those I have discovered more recently. As a practicing physician facing a crossroads in my professional life, it also helped me to define my needs and abilities in a way that will enable me make productive changes.” Dr Linda Mackey
“Deep emotional work is a missing key for many people. The information in this book is great stuff! I particularly loved the simple yet powerful exercises.” Paul Schlegel, former fraud investigator and Publisher of WorkatHomeTruth.com
“This book is jam-packed with eye-opening, user-friendly techniques to get you thinking about yourself in new ways. After following the exercises I found myself unearthing goals I’d long forgotten about. One of the techniques gave me powerful insights about my own life cycle – those personal ‘highs and lows’ that teach us so much about how we are reacting to various events in our lives. Armed with the information I received from this book, I feel confident about moving ahead with fresh goals and new insights.” Jennifer Shepherd, Syndicated columnist with over 2 million readers
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