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Warning! Pursuing Your Passion Is Not for the Faint of Heart

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I have a friend from my church small group who is an epidemiologist. No one becomes an epidemiologist without having at least some passion for the study of disease outbreaks.

About this time last year, he took a new job as the chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health, right before the pandemic hit the United States. As you can probably imagine, my friend’s job has been extremely busy and stressful this past year. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

But it’s my friend’s God-given passion for his specialty and for helping people that keeps him going. God-given passion is what helps him push through the stress he’s dealing with and the overtime he’s putting in.

And when he gets a little time off, it’s his God-given passions outside of work which help restore and rejuvenate him, like spending time with family, hiking, and kayaking.

Your passion is meant to serve others

My mission is to help people discover ways to pursue their God-given passions in their careers. But pursuing a passion is not to be confused with finding the perfect job, because no such thing exists.

Also, it’s not to be confused with just finding what’s going to make you happy. You have not been given passions and skills to only serve yourself. They’ve been given to you to serve others, either directly or indirectly.

You don’t have to be an epidemiologist to make a difference in the world. Instead, you only have to learn how your own gifts and desires can be used in noble ways.

You do this by asking yourself what problem your own passions and skills help solve. Next, you determine who experiences this problem and is in need of your solution.

Once you discover who your passions and skills best serve, you’ll have to make some decisions that line up with your personal values and your family’s values. Clarifying those values is what will help you determine which sacrifices you’re willing to make when necessary, and therefore which opportunities to say yes to.

Knowing your values will also help you to persevere when the work gets difficult or stressful. Because make no mistake, it will get stressful at times.

Are you ready to pursue your passion?

No matter what your passions or skills are, you have them for a reason: to help serve others. One of the most God-honoring things you can do is to work in those skills and passions. Yes, there will be times when it becomes difficult. And when it does, it becomes a living sacrifice.

But it should not be difficult because you’re trying to do something you have no desire for, or haven’t been equipped to do. This only leads to a quick burnout.

If you need help figuring out how your passions and skills best serve others, or if you feel like you’ve been neglecting them and want to use them to make a difference, let’s talk. I’d be happy to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with you. Click here to take this brave step in your career.

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Sunday Inspiration: Realistic Goal-Setting

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. I hope these posts from various resources will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to paNASH’s weekly original career posts. Enjoy!

In the previous installment of Sunday Inspiration, I talked about the importance of having goals.

If you didn’t get a chance to receive a free copy of my 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan, you still have time by subscribing to my newsletter.

Now it’s time to look at how to set goals with some realistic goal-setting methods straight from the Bible.

Realistic goal-setting

“Write down the revelation and make it plain.” Hab 2:2 NIV

Put your goals in writing

God told the prophet Habakkuk, “Write down the revelation and make it plain…so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time…Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (vv. 2-3 NIV).

Note the word “delay,” because it’s not one we particularly like. God can give you a vision overnight, but usually it won’t be fulfilled overnight. You’ll face disappointments, discouragements, and delays.

Because your vision always costs more than you estimated, and takes longer than you planned, it can become “blurred” by your circumstances and emotions. That’s why it’s so important to write it down and keep it in front of you!

Keep the vision alive

Why did God tell Abraham that his children would be as numerous as the stars in heaven? Because stars are something you can physically look at and count.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish [languish and waste away]” (Pr 29:18). The word “perish” suggests something that’s slowly decaying, and that’s what happens when you don’t keep your God-given vision in front of you.

If you’ve dreamed of losing weight, post a picture that inspires you on your refrigerator. If you dream of one day owning your own home, stick a picture of it on your bulletin board. And if your goal is to give a certain amount to God’s work, write a check for that amount and place it where you’ll see it every day.

With a clear-cut written goal, you’ll always know where you are and remember what God has called you to do.

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/how-to-set-your-goals-6

Your Next Job: How to Reduce the Time in Finding It

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Most job seekers underestimate how long it will take to land their next job. Many find themselves six months into the process and say to themselves, “I had no idea it would take this long.”

The truth is, on average, the typical lifespan of a job search is three to nine months, and that’s in a good job market. Factor in the current job market, and you may be looking even longer.

This isn’t to say you can’t find something much faster. I’ve seen it happen many times. I’ve even had some clients find jobs after only a few sessions with me. So, like all rules, there are always some exceptions.

Current trends

Right now, because of the ongoing pandemic, most companies are hesitant to hire back much of the staff they had to lay off. This is despite the expectation the new vaccine will help the economy bounce back from the pandemic.

Recruiters are seeing this reticence from many companies. Therefore, you may be facing a longer job search.

6 ways to reduce the amount of time between now and your next job

While you have no control over the current job market, there are several things you can do to shave some time off your job search.

Below is a curation of those things I’ve previously written about, which you should find helpful if you’re currently looking for your next job.

1. Avoid looking desperate on LinkedIn

Are you doing the same things I keep seeing others do on LinkedIn that makes them appear desperate? It’s time to stop! Recruiters can recognize desperation in your profile, and they don’t find it attractive.

Instead, you want to show the confidence recruiters seek in candidates. Find out how in my post, “How to  Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn.”

How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

2. Do what’s necessary to keep recruiters interested in you

Once you’ve stopped turning recruiters off with your desperation, it’s now time to keep them interested in you. Find out how in this post from September, “How to Keep Recruiters Interested in You,” which lays out two very simple ways to stay in the good graces of recruiters.

How to Keep Recruiters Interested in You

3. Give your elevator pitch an overdue makeover

You probably still think an elevator speech should be 30 seconds long and sum up all your skills and experience. This is probably because outdated info on the Internet still says this.

I’m here to tell you, there’s a better and more effective way to deliver an elevator pitch. A way designed to generate a more meaningful conversation and a real connection. And, it’s more effective for our current means of networking via phone and Zoom meetings.

Learn how to update your pitch in the post, “The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech.”

The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech

4. Don’t rely solely on online job boards

I know I’ve posted this article several times, but it bears repeating since this is the only strategy most job seekers take in their search.

You must learn to use your time wisely if you want to land your next job sooner than later. For a more successful strategy, read or listen to my post, “What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

5. Invest in career coaching

I know money is tight right now, but if you can’t afford to go without a job for as long as nine months, it may be time to invest in some career coaching. Doing so could even result in the ability to negotiate a higher salary, giving you a much better return on your investment.

paNASH has several coaching options for improving your job search, and therefore lessening the time between now and your next job. Some are quite affordable, and also allow you to work at a faster pace.

If the thought of investing in career coaching seems a little overwhelming to your current budget, I encourage you to re-frame the thought, “I can’t afford this,” into the question, “How can I afford this?”

Re-framing your thoughts will prevent you from having to completely shut the door on the benefits of career coaching, and will provide room for the opportunity when it’s financially feasible.

To determine if career coaching is the next step for you, check out my post, “Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach.”

Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach

6. Learn patience.

After you’ve done everything you can to reduce the time between now and your next job, the only thing left to do is be patient. It’s not easy, but patience is a virtue you can learn.

For five tips on learning patience, read or listen to my post, “How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs.”

How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs

Parting words

Hopefully, this post has not only helped you manage your expectations about the average length of the job search, but has also given you some good tips to speed up your search.

Ask yourself,

“What’s at least one tip from these posts I can implement within the next 24 hours?”

I encourage you to be patient with yourself and with everything going on in the world today, be realistic, and use your time, money, and energy wisely.

paNASH is here to help.

Resources for your job search

On-demand video courses

paNASH provides an affordable on-demand coaching option that allows you to work at your own pace. These online video courses include:

One-on-one career coaching

Also, paNASH provides several one-on-one career coaching packages for various budgets. Coaching sessions are currently being held through the convenience of Zoom or phone, depending on your preference.

To schedule a free initial consultation, click here.

How to Find Joy in Your Work Right Now

When I do presentations on the importance of personal branding, I often ask the question, “Why is it important for us to know our weaknesses, limitations, and failures?” Most people respond with, “So we can get better at them.”

While I’m all for personal and professional development and improvement, this is not why we need to know our weaknesses. We need to know our weaknesses so we can know what to say no to (instead of saying yes to everything), and therefore free up our time for the work that positively impacts the people in need of our strengths.

Making the shift in your work

If we constantly go against the grain, trying to improve our God-given weaknesses just so we can give the appearance of being good at everything, we have no time or energy to use our God-given talents.

But, when we make a shift and focus on giving the talents we have, instead of trying to get the talents we don’t have, we discover something truly beautiful and amazing: our weaknesses become part of our assets.

The lessons we learn from our weaknesses, along with the adaptations we make for them, become our strengths. This is a true example of beauty from ashes. And this is what uniquely equips us to carry out our calling in a way that makes our work fulfilling instead of soul-sucking.

Don’t believe me? Watch this TED Talk from comedian Michael Jr., and you’ll get it.

Know your set up and deliver your punchline

Your gifts will make room for you in the place you’re supposed to be. If you don’t yet know your strengths or your calling, paNASH can help you.

We can help you weed out the things you don’t need to waste your time and energy on. And, we can help you discover not only your talents, but also who you’re called to deliver them to.

Work that’s fulfilling and purposeful

To learn more about how we do this, you can schedule a free initial consultation by filling out our intake form. The result is the fulfillment and purpose you’ve longed for in your work.

What are you waiting for? Get in the game today!

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Sunday Inspiration: Press On Toward Your Goals

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. I hope these posts from various resources will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to paNASH’s weekly original career posts. Enjoy!

At the start of 2020, I struggled to come up with as many goals as I usually do at the beginning of each new year. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps it’s because I’ve accomplished several of my goals over the past four or five years. Or perhaps it’s because God knew the events of 2020 would prevent me from accomplishing some new ones. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

I just turned 47 a couple of weeks ago, but I still have a lot left to accomplish in my life. So I’m taking time at the start of this new year to re-think and revise my goals with the hopes of having at least a few new ones.

Not having a lot of goals to work toward, especially because of COVID, has left me unmotivated. This is not a good feeling, and it’s not a habit I want to slip into.

This post below is a good reminder that I don’t have to put pressure on myself to have a lot of goals. It’s okay to have just a few, but I still need to have some goals to be productive and to serve others.

The same is true for you! Your 2020 goals may have been thwarted by COVID, but you can still press on toward them in this new year. It may require some creativity or tweaking, but don’t stop working toward your list of goals.

I’m going to continue following my own advice and take myself through some goal-setting exercises. I invite you to do the same.

I can’t wait to see what goals God puts on my heart and how He’s going to work through them!

Have you clearly established your goals for your life

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me.” Php 3:14 NIV

In 1972, Life magazine published a story about the amazing adventures of John Goddard. When he was fifteen, his grandmother said,

“If only I had done that when I was young.”

Determined not to make that statement at the end of his life, John wrote out 127 goals. He named ten rivers he wanted to explore and seventeen mountains he wanted to climb. He set goals of becoming an Eagle Scout, a world traveler, and a pilot.

Also on his list was riding a horse in the Rose Bowl parade, diving in a submarine, retracing the travels of Marco Polo, reading the Bible from cover to cover, and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. He also planned to read the entire works of Shakespeare, Plato, Dickens, Socrates, Aristotle, and several other classic authors.

He desired to learn to play the flute and violin, marry, have children (he had five), pursue a career in medicine, and serve as a missionary for his church.

Sound impossible? At age forty-seven [the age I am now], he had accomplished 103 of his 127 goals!

Now, your list of goals may not be as extensive as his, but if you don’t have some goals for your life you’ll have little motivation to get up in the morning and little satisfaction when you put your head on your pillow each night.

And unless you try something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you won’t grow. So set your goals in prayer, and with God’s help work toward them each day.

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/have-clearly-established-goals-for-your-life