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I feel I am no longer appreciated at work and think I want to start a new career, but I am not sure of my new career direction - where do I go from here?

heart to heart
I've been employed with an organization for almost 20 years. I started at the bottom and finally worked my way up after getting not only a Bachelors degree, but I also went on to receive my MBA. After much time and work, I was rewarded with a promotion, but it did not amount to anything "sufficient" is the word I will use. Now with that being said, I have come to terms that my efforts and time are not appreciated at this organization.

Here is my problem: I want to start my own business, but I'm not quite sure what it is I would like to do. I know I like to work alone, but I also enjoy people sometimes. I considered writing children books because writing is something I enjoy. I really would like to make a career change and somehow make a contribution back to my community. I like to do volunteer work and I'm always ready to help those in need when and where needed. Can you advise or tell me where do I go from here?

Wallace's reply
It seems to me that your heart is opening and you are beginning to look for more meaning in your life, but you are not sure how to express this - is it to be through a creative business or through voluntary work?

It is a principle of inner guidance that if you are unsure about the direction ahead, then keep all options open and move a few simple steps in the directions that appeal to you, while all the time checking inwardly as to whether your inner guidance is directing you further along your existing paths or suggesting an alternative route.

Therefore I suggest that you get involved with some children in the age range you wish to write for and tell them some stories. This will stimulate your creativity while keeping you in touch with your chosen audience. Then in time see if your inner guidance is suggesting you develop these spoken ad hoc stories into a written form. If it is, simply follow your inner promptings with follow up actions and see what develops.

At the same time I suggest you work voluntarily for a local charity which is doing work that is close to your heart. This will give you experience of voluntary work in a suitable field as well as discovering new friendships and the energy they bring into your life.

While you are engaged in your new occupations, I advise you to stay in your current job. During this time of exploration a number of possibilities might develop. For example you may discover you have a real talent for writing for children and feel a strong inner prompting to pursue that further. Alternatively you may respond more powerfully to your voluntary work and discover that your job, which you previously found uninspiring, now feels fine because your need for compassionate service is met by your voluntary work. Or there may be other possible outcomes.

The point is that if you continue to explore options in this way, while maintaining your existing job, you will gradually be guided from within as to the best path, without feeling under financial or other pressures. Then if you eventually feel drawn to leave your job you will be doing so from a position of strong inner guidance with an accompanying clear direction and a partially or fully developed project.

Further Help and Resources
If you would like to learn to benefit from the wisdom to be found in listening to and following inner guidance then I strongly recommend my book Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off. In addition, I suggest you order Julie Cameron's book "Walking in this World - Practical Strategies for Creativity" and work your way through it. It is a practical work book, as well as a good read, with lots of useful insights.

There are a whole bunch of helpful articles in Counterpoint about Creativity and Career fulfillment.

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