Surveys suggest most who won lotteries would continue to work. Would you?
Do you live to work or work to live? Or, do you have challenges separating the two?
If you work for a paycheck, you probably work to live. If you’re engrossed in enjoyable activities, you might live to work. Separating work and non-work activities suggests you may strive for balance. Tips for clarifying and creating your desired lifestyle are given.
Surveys suggest most who won lotteries would continue to work. Would you?
Are you a Quester? Would you like to become one? Who are Questers anyway? What personality traits give them confidence and courage to succeed?
Take the Quester Quiz
Answer yes or no:
- When I want something, I’m willing to risk.
- I have a sense of purpose and pursue goals in harmony with it.
- I’m usually optimistic.
- I like trying new things.
- I place more value on challenge and growth than security, money, prestige.
- I periodically reassess values and goals.
- I make my own decisions, and if necessary, swim against the tide.
- I turn setbacks into opportunities.
- I feel good about myself.
- I’m altruistic, helpful.
- I feel connected to a higher power.
- I’m playful at times.
- I enjoy life’s pleasures without being bound by them.
- I’m flexible, resilient.
Scoring: 11 or more “yes” responses suggest you’re a Quester; 4 or less “yes” responses indicate you’re a Traditionalist. Scores between 5 and 10 suggest you’re a Potential Quester.
To adapt and succeed in changing times we must learn new attitudes and skills. We must strengthen the Quester traits we have within.
Questers have been around for centuries. Famous Questers include Galileo Galilei, the Italian physicist who proved the earth revolved around the sun and JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
Yet, many Questers who have not made news headlines have courage and confidence to pursue their dreams. Jesse came to North America from China when she was 30. She took survival jobs while studying English and computers. Jesse was just promoted in her computer job.
Attuned to changes within and around them, Questers anticipate layoffs and know voluntary and involuntary career changes are a normal part of growth. Therefore, quitting a job during a recession may be smart. While his colleagues worried about being laid off, Mike upgraded his skills and contacted employers. He was offered a job the day he received his pink slip.
Questers create work that’s in harmony with their purpose. As a child Fred loved fixing things so he studied mechanical engineering. He had been promoted to senior management within a large organization, but wasn’t happy. Fred realized he couldn’t express his passion – fixing things – in the company. Therefore, he pursued his purpose by becoming a maintenance man in an apartment complex. “If you’re doing something you like, it’s not really work, and you’re making money…” Fred radiates joy.
Fred, Jesse, Mike, and other Questers measure success internally. Success, to Questers, means moving up or down the occupational prestige ladder to achieve fulfillment and growth. Questers are productive because they enjoy their work and set high standards.
Not all Questers live to work. Some work to live. Lorrie’s calling is to enjoy life. “I work to support my lifestyle…Although I get satisfaction from doing a good job, I devote my life to hobbies and volunteer activities.”
Retirement is obsolete to Questers. John, a professor, says; “I could retire, but choose not to because work is too much fun…”If I wasn’t paid, I would continue to work. If I retire, there is only one thing left!
We’re all born Questers. However, as we grow older, societal institutions inhibit development of Quester traits. Fortunately, we retain Quester traits within and can strengthen these, if we desire. Sometimes, crises such as layoffs, illnesses or death of loved ones force us to come to terms with who we are and what we really want.
Nurturing the Quester spirit
Security is an illusion. To prevail beyond 2020, strengthen Quester traits.
– Focus on the positive. Think about who you want to be and do. Believe in yourself. Look for and expect good things to happen. Avoid phrases such as, “I can’t.”
– Continue to learn. Read, take courses. Challenge conventional beliefs. Find better ways to do things. Place no limitations on yourself.
– Look upon something different or unknown as an opportunity to challenge yourself. If you don’t try something new, how will you find out you can do it? View mistakes as learning experiences.
– Use intellect and intuition when making decisions. Research needed information, then use intuition. For example, ask dreams a question before falling asleep, journal, meditate, relax in nature.
– Be authentic. Do what you feel is right for you, not what others think. Your actions should be consistent with your thoughts and feelings. Don’t succumb to peer or family pressures
– Manage Fear. Identify worrisome issues. Minimize these by researching relevant information and resources. Live in the present. Let go of “attachments.” Form a support system.
– Enhance courage to risk. Review three successful risks taken. Note what made these successful. Identify perceived barriers for taking another risk, and explore ways to overcome these.
– Strengthen resilience. Approach problems from different perspectives. Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Take things out of their ordinary context and create new patterns for them. Notice the number of ways you can use eggs or milk cartons. Develop a playful, childlike curiosity. Ask questions, experiment.
Questers are described in the award-winning, best seller, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Dr. Carole Kanchier, registered psychologist, coach and author of the life changing, groundbreaking, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, helps individuals and organizations dare to change. A free copy of Chapter 1, Questers, is available: www.questersdaretochange.com
Tom was approaching 30 and he wanted to step off the treadmill, but to do what? He needed time to rethink his goals.
Tom and his wife, Elva, decided on a moratorium — a time-out from responsibilities and commitments. They sold everything and bought a van. “But you’re giving up everything. … What will you do when you come back?” everyone cried.
After driving throughout North America, they settled in a small town. Tom does carpentry, an old hobby, and Elva is a bookkeeper. They have no regrets.
Time-out or moratorium was initially used to describe the period that adolescents go through while trying out roles in establishing their identities. Adolescents are given permission to delay adult commitments as they search for roles that fit. Those who experiment emerge stronger and more in control of their destinies.
But time-out is becoming more acceptable for adults. Adults want to derive more meaning from work and to define success personally.
Those who take moratoriums return from their breaks with greater vitality, enhanced self understanding, renewed confidence and greater vigor and courage to pursue their goals. They are healthier, revitalized.
Nevertheless, time-out may involve temporary personal or financial sacrifices or uncertainties. Tradeoffs include fear of not having a job to return to, loss of security or guilt that one won’t meet obligations.
Organizations are taking a more liberal view of time-out. While some have offered sabbaticals every five to ten years, many are recognizing that those who take time-out bring greater creativity and renewed vigor to their old or new positions.
Your identity is not static. You continue to learn and grow. Throughout life you progress through alternating transitional and developmental periods.
Transitions, which generally occur during late adolescence and around every birthday that ends in a zero, are times for questioning who you are and where you want to go. Time-outs usually occur during transitions.
Should you take time out?
You must do what’s best for you. Responding “yes” or “no” to the following will help you clarify feelings:
1. I’m not sure what I want to do with my life.
2. I’m disenchanted with my lifestyle.
3. I question the importance and meaning of my work.
4. I feel stale or tired.
5. I’m restless.
6. I’m irritable and impatient.
7. I’ve explored many occupations, but don’t know what to do?
8. My body is sending me messages. I have frequent colds or other ailments.
9. I lack a clear sense of purpose.
10. Many things get me down.
Scoring: Four or more “yes” responses suggest you should consider at least a month off or get professional help. The more “yes” responses you have, the more you need time-out.
Prepare for Time-Out
– Listen to yourself. This will help clarify what you want. Believe you’ll succeed.
– Define and overcome barriers. Describe any blocks that are preventing you from taking time-out like fear of losing material things, power or prestige; fear of making a mistake; not knowing what you’ll do when you return; or guilt that change may interfere with relationships. What can you do to overcome the barriers?
– Let go of attachments. Growth requires letting go of material possessions and people. Ask yourself, “What do I need to let go of?” “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I let go?” “What can I do to minimize the risk?”
– Assess your finances and budget. Consider how much money you’ll need to live on. Can you survive on your partner’s salary? Live on savings for a year? Work at odd or part-time jobs? Live on less? Borrow money to survive?
– Know you have many exciting options. Investigate these. Research and planning will reduce risk.
Gloria took a sabbatical from teaching to study psychology. “I needed time to rethink the direction of my career,” she offers. Recently married and laid off, Barbara is enjoying the pleasures of day-to-day-living and developing previously ignored life components.
Mark’s illness, caused by job stressors, forced him to take time-out. During his convalescence he reassessed his career goals and researched his dream business. Today, this former executive describes his life as, “Disneyland … fantastic.”
Show prospective employers how you bettered yourself. Many employers will respect your strength and courage.
Present a solid reason for your time-out. Have clear goals and focus.
Continuous learning is a hot topic so explain your new knowledge, self-understanding or skills. Illustrate how your enhanced creativity, enthusiasm, vigor and vitality can improve your performance and the company’s bottom line.
Time-out will enable you to develop courage to be open to new experiences. You’ll become more independent, mature, purposeful, flexible and have the power to effect change. You will be stronger and wiser.
For more advice, check out Quester’s Dare To Change Your Job and Life. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle —
Knowing yourself leads to better decision making, goal attainment, health and happiness. To understand yourself, clarify your purpose, skills and strengths, needs, values, interests, interpersonal skills, and communication style. Be aware of your moods, reactions and responses to happenings in your environment. Use this self knowledge when making decisions.
Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life has many reliable and valid personality tools for self-discovery, and guidelines for decision making: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Aristotle, born in Athens, Greece, in 384 BC, is one of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history. He developed a philosophical and scientific system that became the framework for both Christian Scholasticism and Islamic philosophy. His work in formal logic, ethics and political theory as well as in metaphysics and the philosophy of science continue to be studied and debated today.
A Quester, Aristotle believed that “education was central – the fulfilled person was an educated person.” Learn about other Questers who love learning in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: http://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1936672715
“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.” Sir Roger Bannister
Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister is an English former middle-distance runner, physician and academic, who ran the first sub-four-minute mile. Bannister first achieved this feat on May 6, 1954 in Oxford. His exact time was 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. Bannister went on to become a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.
A Quester, Sir Roger Bannister, relentlessly visualized his goal to create a sense of certainty in his mind and body. Learn about other Questers with indomitable spirits in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: http://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1936672715
“We are living through one of the most fundamental shifts in history … By deliberately changing their images of reality, people are changing the world.” Willis Harman, Author, Global Mind Change
Reassess your view of career success. Create and grow your desired life career — Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Dr.Carole Kanchier shows how: www.questersdaretochange.com; https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
“There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right.” – Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill’s political career earned him many enemies, but his stirring speeches, bulldog tenacity and refusal to make peace with Adolf Hitler made him the popular choice to lead England through World War II.
Churchill wrote a plethora of histories, biographies and memoirs, including the landmark four-volume A History of the English-speaking Peoples (1956-58). In 1953, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
A Quester, Winston Churchill was one of Britain’s greatest 20th-century heroes. Learn about other courageous Questers in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: http://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1936672715
– Associate with positive, supportive people. They remind us of our strengths and give needed encouragement. Becoming more assertive will enable you to achieve your career goals. Because you’ll feel in control of your career — and life, you’ll also be healthier, happier and live longer.
For more helpful advice, check out Questers Dare To Change Your Job and Life by Dr.Carole Kanchier: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Researching career options takes time, but the benefits are numerous. It reduces uncertainty, tempers fantasies and saves considerable time, energy and money. In addition to knowing yourself, researching career options is a key to making a good choice. It’s also a great way to expand your thinking about your career and discover new alternatives.
Before you embark on your new venture, explore more than three career options, and check such things as the number of positions listed in the want ads, salary, benefits, employment outlook, advancement opportunities, duties, work environment and education and licensing requirements. Find out what personal qualities are best suited to the job, how to get your foot in the door, what kind of lifestyle the workers have and what kind of occupations are related to the field.
Also look at yourself, considering the minimum wage you can live on, what education you need to fill the gap between the skills you possess and the job requirements, how you’ll support yourself during training, what you consider as the job’s advantages and disadvantages, and how the job fits your attributes and desired lifestyle.
Sources of information.
— Printed materials. Directories, pamphlets and books, available in libraries, college, university or community career centers contain excellent information. Useful directories include the “National Occupational Classification,” the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” and the “Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance.”
–The Internet. This has excellent sites for exploring general occupational fields, job trends and university and college programs. Most professional and business associations have web pages that provide information and link you to additional resources.
— Rehearsing. This involves “trying out” an occupation to determine your suitability or “fit.” Obtain an evening or weekend job or work as a volunteer or intern during your vacation. Consider taking a job on probation while you enjoy a sabbatical, or enroll in a course offered by an educational institution, professional association or industry.
— Shadowing. Spend a few days following a professional in an occupation you’re considering. This can illustrate the day-to-day job realities and give you a “feel” for the work environment. Shadowing can also develop into mentoring relationships and networking contacts. Some large companies have job shadowing programs with eligibility criteria. But many smaller ones don’t. Speak with the human resources department, or, in a very small company, the manager.
— Informational interviews. These are excellent information sources and can be fun. People like talking about themselves and their jobs. Interviews are a great networking tool. They can also uncover a prospective employer’s needs and may lead to a position.
Conduct as many as possible with professionals in the field. Contact friends, relatives, colleagues, and personnel in human resources departments or representing professional, trade, labor or business associations to locate knowledgeable professionals. Check the Gale Research Inc.’s Encyclopedia of Associations”and other guides in the library.
Ask: How did you get started in this work? What’s a typical day like? What do you like most and least about your work? What challenges do you deal with? How are the working conditions — hours, travel, physical demands? What skills are required? Where can I get these, how long it will take and what financial assistance is available?
Who else would you suggest I speak with? What professional associations should I contact? Would you enter the field if you could do it over? Do you have any advice? Follow-up with a thank–you note.
— Additional resources. You can get good information by attending career fairs, touring businesses, enrolling in career guidance courses, working through a computer guidance system available at some career centers, and viewing audio visual materials provided by some industries.
After you’ve investigated each option, write down your thoughts. Do you have the skills or can you acquire those needed to become successful? Does the occupation fit your personality, interests, needs, passion and desired lifestyle? Do your family and friends believe you’re suited to this work?
Use your intellect and intuition to determine the right path. Then develop a plan to attain your goal. Remember, if you follow your heart you’ll make the right decision.
For more information, check out Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Since needs form the basis of behavior, unfulfilled needs result in job dissatisfaction.
Your job needs reflect your reactions to your work situation. As you gain competence, a job that first seemed challenging may become boring.
Moreover, as you mature, your need hierarchies may change. A young person with a job that involves extensive travel may be very satisfied. But once married with children, travel may become displeasing. For a more in-depth explanation of job needs, please refer to Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life:www.daretochange.com
What Job Needs Are Important to You?
Rank your top six job needs:
Contact with colleagues
Good salary and fringe benefits
Way of life
What needs are currently being satisfied? What needs aren’t? What needs do you want your ideal position to satisfy?
How to create fulfilling work
– Explore ways to creatively redesign or restructure your job. Then propose suggestions to your superiors.
For example, if you need more challenge, envision how a highly motivated, creative person would restructure your position. If you feel overworked or dislike some tasks, delegate responsibilities to a colleague who may enjoy them. Then devote more energy to completing projects compatible with your needs and strengths.
– Investigate other options within your company. This is less risky than moving to another organization. Know what’s going on in the company. Read memos, listen to rumors, and attend meetings. Anticipate changes.
Determine the kind of position that can satisfy your needs and use your skills and other attributes. Get to know the key people in the right department and make your interest known to them. Show how your skills and accomplishments can contribute to the department.
– Broaden your career horizons. Investigate options with different companies, related occupations, different fields of work, or self employment.
Ask yourself, “What do I really want to do?” “If I received 20 million dollars, what would I do?” “Of all the people I’ve met, whose job would I want?”
What other personal qualities would you like to express on the job? Include your passion, interests, values, skills, strengths, job tasks, and amount responsibility and authority.
– Take charge. Monitor your career development. Stay attuned to new opportunities. View your career as a continuing quest to develop personally and professionally.
For more tips, refer to Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
How to you handle disagreements at work? Do you:
- Satisfy your own needs at the expense of others (Compete)?
- Identify concerns of both parties and explore resolutions that would satisfy both (Collaborate)?
- Settle on a solution that partially satisfies both party’s concerns (Compromise)?
- Evade unpleasant issues (Avoid)?
- Satisfy the other person’s concern at the expense of your own (Accommodate)?
- Use varied approaches depending on the situation (Integrate)?
Surveys show that supervisors spend about one-quarter to one-third of their time handling conflicts. Disagreements occur over resources, policies, complaints, rule enforcement and resentments.
Many people don’t know how to manage conflict positively. Poorly practiced, conflict may result in hurt and defensiveness. Because people have to work with certain colleagues every day, they don’t want to harm relationships. Therefore, they tend to avoid or settle disputes too quickly.
Meaningful conflict management is crucial for healthy organizational and individual growth. Disagreements often result in a more thorough study of options and better decisions and direction.
There is no best way to handle conflict, and there are varied conflict resolution models. The following five conflict management modes, developed by Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann, can be highly effective when used in the right circumstances and applied skillfully.
Each style has advantages and disadvantages. Your effectiveness in managing disputes depends on knowing when to use each approach, and having the skills to perform them well. Acquire a few new behavioral skills each month.
– Competing. You want to win, assert your position. You try to satisfy your own concerns at the expense of others. Benefits of this model include a quick victory or decision, protection of your interests, and the ability to test assumptions. Disadvantages include stressed work relationships, suboptimal decisions, decreased motivation, and possible deadlock.
Use competing sparingly. Compete on vital issues when you know you’re right, when decisive action is required immediately, or when you’re under attack.
Set and adhere to rules of fairness for everybody. Be respectful, tough-minded, persuasive and credible. Gather necessary information, explain your motives and appeal to shared concerns. Stick to the issue. Listen and respond. Don’t threaten or impose a decision.
– Collaborating. You try to find a position that would fully satisfy your own and the other’s concerns. This win-win strategy moves you toward an integrated solution.
Benefits of collaboration include innovative, high quality solutions, enhanced communication and learning, commitment, and strengthened relationships. Disadvantages include expending time and energy, and the possibility of offending or being exploited.
Collaborate on important issues. Pool resources when you want to integrate ideas from diverse perspectives, require commitment, or want to develop a relationship.
Study issues first. Build trust and foster a climate of openness to new ideas. Clarify and share concerns. Use “we” language, and focus on the benefits of a solution. Brainstorm resolutions and select the one most acceptable to both parties. Be firm when necessary.
– Compromising. Compromising is about both giving and receiving. There is no clear winner or loser, but rather both gains and losses for each party.
Advantages of compromising include pragmatism, speed and expediency, maintenance of relationships, and fairness. Disadvantages include partially sacrificed concerns, suboptimal solutions and superficial understanding of the situation.
Try not to compromise on vital issues. Take turns bearing small costs. Settle on important issues when you need a temporary solution, when assertiveness would harm a relationship, or when competing or collaborating have failed.
Evaluate the facts of your situation objectively. Insist on fairness up front. Suggest compromises without appearing weak. Ensure partial concessions are reciprocated.
– Avoiding. You try not to engage in a conflict issue. In this lose-lose approach, you sidestep the conflict without trying to satisfy either party’s concerns.
Advantages of this strategy include reduction of stress by avoiding unpleasant tasks or people, evading the possibility of “rocking the boat,” and gaining time for preparation of another strategy. Costs may include resentment of ignored people, delays which may cost more time and negative energy, and deterioration of communication and decision-making.
Try not to avoid people, even those you dislike. Evade unimportant issues, those you can’t win, are too sensitive, or may be symptoms of other problems.
Give reasons for avoidance. When postponing, set a time. Don’t personalize the issue, blame, or become angry or evasive. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt, and use humor to diffuse tension
– Accommodating. You neglect or sacrifice your own concerns in favor of the other party.
Benefits of this mode include maintaining or building goodwill by helping the other, and cutting losses to move forward. Disadvantages include sacrificing your interests, loss of motivation or respect, and exploitation from others.
Don’t fall into a pattern of appeasement. Make small sacrifices when it’s important to others or to clean up hard feelings. Concede gracefully when you are overruled or losing.
Explain, but don’t defend your position. When satisfying a complaint, accept anger but not abuse. Listen, apologize, and make reparations when appropriate.
Remember, you have choices in conflict. You can steer conflicts in different directions by choosing diverse strategies. Give yourself time to think about which technique would be most beneficial in the particular situation.
Dr. Carole Kanchier is a registered psychologist, coach, syndicated columnist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963