The pace of change in today’s world can leave us all feeling a bit shell-shocked, insecure and fearful of losing what we’ve worked so hard to accumulate. If you’re feeling trapped by the trappings of modern life, forced to choose between spending precious time with the people you love or earning a paycheck, it might seem impossible to even consider the fact that you have other work options.

When you’re distracted by earning a living, it’s easy to overlook the choices and the chances you have for designing your own life. A red flag that you’re limiting yourself unnecessarily is when your thoughts become ‘either this or that.‘ The truth is, we always have more options available to us than we are aware of, it’s just a matter of unleashing our creativity to exploring new opportunities.

While there are dozens of books on the subject of career transition, the basic process is simple.

Step 1. Begin by recognizing that you are not doing what you love. Life is too long to be stuck doing work that is drudgery, so get up and get moving on transforming your job into work that is more fulfilling.

Step 2. Decide to embark on a journey of discovering work that would bring you energy, delight and fulfillment; a worklife that would align you head with your heart and is built on the foundation of your values, special skills and unique gifts. When you listen to your heart, you become more empowered.

Step 3. Open your eyes and your heart to think creatively about all of your assets and how they might transfer to a new career opportunity. Listen to your desires and needs. Emphasize your values and special gifts. And by all means, celebrate your passions! Be open to every possibility initially—even thoughts you had in younger years, but previously rejected. Vincent Van Gogh said, “If you hear a voice saying ‘you’re not a painter,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

Step 4. Discover something you enjoy doing. Upfront, it’s critical to link the skills with your emotions. It’s human nature to enjoy doing things we are good at. Describing the general feelings associated with your ideal work will help you find work you’ll love.

And take heart, you probably already have much of the knowledge, experience and skills you need to succeed at your next career. As you analyze your skill set, be sure to include:
• skills you picked up from a hobby, volunteer work or previous job
• transferable skills like evaluating, advising, presenting, designing, administering, managing, planning, constructing and operating
• adaptive skills, like being caring, efficient, insightful, organized, patient, responsive and truthful.

Write it all down.

Step 5. Synthesize. Don’t rush through this part – give yourself plenty of time to sift through your options. Your ideal work will honor your values and give you the opportunity to share your gifts.

Step 6. Find someone who will pay you to do it.

Charles Kettering advises us to give a lot of thought to the future, because that’s where we are going to spend the rest of our lives. So discover your passion, use it to create your ideal work, then connect that purpose every day with what you are doing. Join the growing number who knows what it means to say, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”

It can be a magical journey. Getting past the fear of the unknown is the hardest part. Just remember: fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real. But the challenges you’ll encounter on the road to your ideal work are easier to deal with than the bitter disappointments that come from being unfulfilled. The upside is that overcoming obstacles feeds your heart as well as your mind. It makes you more than you were before, strengthening your mental muscles and preparing you for the next challenge.

To give yourself some mental space and bring your best thinking to bear on the subject, take yourself on a mini-retreat. Don’t have time for that? Then see the article 20 Ways to Create Time on my blog (listed below), for suggestions on how to create up to four hours and get started this week.

Author's Bio: 

Judy Widener, CEO of Inner Frontiers Empowerment Life Coaching, is a Certified Life Coach. Her passion is assisting her clients to discover what is most important to them, then use their special gifts to create more balance, abundance and satisfaction in their lives. Empowerment Life Coaching is a comprehensive program that teaches clients simple ways to build their personal power and overcome obstacles to achieving their dreams. The world-renowned Empowerment model, created by David Gershon and Gail Straub, has been used by thousands of people for 30 years. Judy has coached more than 600 people in the past 13 years. Her website is