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Is it time to discover your calling?

Legendary life coach Richard Leider says that “a calling is the inner urge to give your gifts away.�

How can a career become a calling? If work in the second half of life means better aligning our livelihoods with our values and aspirations, how can we proactively direct ourselves toward what could be called a bliss career?

How can we combine our financial needs with work that is personally fulfilling, relates to a deeply held interest or passion, uses our unique talents and skills, allows us independence and flexibility, or enables us to contribute to our near and far communities?

Would you be an entrepreneur? How about a social entrepreneur who starts a nonprofit? Would you work for pay, or is a paycheck not as important as it once was? Would you be a consultant? What skills would you need to learn for your bliss career? What kind of work would reduce your stress and promote a genuine sense of accomplishment?

Have you discovered your calling? How would you make your career into a calling?

20 Comments

How does one thinking about retirement and a future 'bliss career' beginning transitioning early toward that goal? How might one experiment with integration of 'bliss' components within one's current position in a manner that would have utility for both oneself and one's current employer? How can employers be encouraged to support such exploration?

This sounds wonderful! It is interesting because at 58yr 8 1/2 mon, I am constantly using the phrase; " I don't know what I want to be if/when I grow up this time!" Any creative, different ideas are welcome; yet I still want to utilize the previous hard-earned knowledge and experience??? Since it has taken this long to learn and acknowledge we can never do the best without help we must guide and assist each other.

What makes you think I have grown up? I am working on my better career as a digital photographer, while still dealing with the first as a parent and nonprofit consultant. One of the major reasons for this is that age discrimination is alive and well, and when I was downsized at 50, it rapidly became clear that I was NOT going to become re-employed by anyone any time soon. I also have many friends and acquaintances in the same position.

WOW...I have been so busy earning a paycheck that I never thought to consider the possibilities beyond...I want to do it all and will need tons of help. This sounds fabulous. A sounding board to help focus, organize and help push forward.
Thanks!

For me this second half of my life has come with sweeping changes. I'm no longer the person I was and I'm trying to discover the person within. Life has been so busy for so many years that I have not had time to look inward. Now my life is a journey, one not of a grown up, but of the fledgling, as I discover things to fill this part of my life and perhaps carry into the next.

I already know my calling, but it is quite another orchestrating the multiple goals that accompany my undertaking. I have problems with the ad hoc methodology that I alone must now undertake in the acquisition-of-acumen process. There are proprietary rights and protection issues which must be satisfied. Do I have time to become a business major, much more an MBA? Perhaps a nitty-gritty, hands-on continuing ed. coursework for a researcher-turned-CEO of "startups" should be offered. I just want to cut through the quagmire of set-up demands to the point where my group can move effectively forward, confident that it's "next moves" are in keeping with the business protocols of today. If the U of M offered an advisory service pro bono for "startups" working on a shoestring budget, that could bring partnering possibilities of unprecedented levels. Certainly, these firms would obligingly hire from the pool of talent graduating from the U of M.

I will retire next year at age 55 on a small pension and savings. This will give me the freedom to find a career that I will enjoy rather than working only for the salary. I was in IT for most of my life and I want something different. I think I would like to get into one of the hard sciences, maybe biology, and work without having to worry about maximizing my paycheck. To do this I will need lots of school and some guidance counseling.

A very open ended and great concept. At 60 I am just retiring and thinking about how to get some of the knowledge that I want for a new direction. For me there are two componants.
One is to get assistance in developing as a videoographer and editor without enrolling in a long term program.

The second is all about life long learning, getting involved in seminars or other formats for learning and discussing things like philosophy, science, humanities and all of the other areas of intellectual challenge that I have had to forgo in great part due to the years of career and family committment.
I don't need institutional credits or certificates, or being the "non traditional" student trhown into undergraduate classes. I need to be connected with resources.

I plan on beibg a writer, I am 59 yrs old and have written one novel and I am working on having it published and writing my second novel.... I am also a history buff and would like to reconstruct true history... what was left out of history after to Romans conquered Egypt? why does history seem to start with the Greeks? Where there no other civilizations prior to these people? and yes the Egyptians were Negroid... there is only one race of peopl that live on this planet and that is the human race, color is just color...a matter of geographical influences, climate and such....

I am a singer/songwriter/musician and have been for a long time. But I have canyons of room for improvement and want to learn things associated with this and the engineering to record. It is a first and now a third career, since I have gone back to it after a number of years of frustration and discouragement. I believe I have a creative legacy to offer.

This is a great opportunity. I was in the Human Service field for my career but have been retired for a number of years. I have found that many churches need business leadership and something like an MBA in Church Administration would be benifacial to some one who has become interested in this area of community life.

This came at a perfect time. I just earned my bachelor's degree this spring at the age of 51 and am now wondering how to proceed. Thank you and let me know how I can help.

6 years ago I traded my professional clothes for Granny pants. Best career choice I ever made, and I love it. No money, but the fringe benefits are the best! I could not have done it without my wonderful husband's support. My grandchildren will someday be all in school. Time for me to change my clothes and do something that will allow my dear husband to fish all day. I want to do something that will give me the same fulfillment I now get from my "current job" At 56 now, I'm not looking to retire just yet from Daycare Granny. I look forward to discovering what my options for the future may be!

I am planning on retiring in April to a part time sales position. I have been in the insurance industry all my life. I recognize the need to increase customer service in a creative way in all industries. I would like to become a consultant to business owners, helping them to increase and retain their clients through effective communication. As far as growing up, NEVER!

This is a perfect fit for me. I have been toiling at a job for too long. Now I want to do something I am passionate about, but I still have to earn money. I need some help and direction to co-ordinate my inner self with my working self.

I have a small business of my own as a legal support person, and I travel all over the Twin Cities to work with a variety of firms. I would like to get the "design" side of my brain certified so that I can do things like design moves for law firms so that their personnel are ultimately comfortable and functional, and their clients are drawn into the environment feeling warmth, strength, security, intellect. Some environments are cold and fight functionality. Some are beautifully well designed but lack technical intuition. I believe I can move this concept forward.

I would like to finish writting the books I statrted and get published. I would like to coach soccer on a daily basis. I would like to teach pedestrian safety in schools, safety camps, etc. I did this before for the state and loved it. In short my Bliss Job would be to do what I want to do. But I am stuck because I still will have to pay the house payment. I have 3-4 years before I can get the full state retirement. I often wonder about finishing my degree and starting sometrhing new and different. Lots of options but none seem worth the risk. Where does one go from here?

There is life out of work, after working? Really? WOW what a concept. I have work. I want an inspiration for life.

Everyday waking up gives me the inspiration to forge on and seek my future.

Focusing on my career these past few years has been challenging to say the least. While still in my forties, no where near ready to consider anything other than working for myself and/or for a good company, I was diagnosed with cancer (I am currently in remission) and since having gone through multiple surgeries and treatment after treatment--making me very sick until I found the right mix of pre-meds (believe me when I say that less really is more! Some of those super-expensive pills are NOT worth their weight in sugar pills).

Just starting with a new company a couple of months prior to my diagnosis, I was ineligible for the FMLA protection. The company did hire me back (I'd proved myself as a hard-working; smart manager) after my treatments but the working conditions were far from that for which I had originally signed on. This left some distinctive gaps in my history and it looks like I enjoy job-hopping. Stability is what I seek but not at a company that is not a good fit.

Facing life now includes worrying about whether or not the cancer will return as well as sexism and ageism. I just want the opportunity to prove myself--I am not looking for pity, sympathy or anything else that I don't deserve. The internet has been a great force in searching for new opportunities but it has (likewise) caused many problems that can be associated with invasion of privacy. I just want to work!

I have yet to be able to aspire to use my talents to fulfill my dream of a profession outside of raising my 4 children and teaching Sunday school for over 20 years. It is unfortunate that life skills are not needed, but a degree is which may or may not really be learned is what is accepted in order to be able to persue a career. When a person does not have the financial means, they are left with meanial options.