[CCU] #94 How to Find Work That Doesn't Suck

In my last newsletter I cautioned against taking just any job. But, is it possible to find work, even a part-time job or contract/freelance work, that doesn’t suck? YES … and today’s article will show you how I did it! And, how you can too!


When I started up this, my current, company back in December 1997, it was my intention to make a living as a Freelance Writer. I’ve told you the painful story before about why that didn’t happen. It doesn’t bear repeating. BUT, I do want to share some important lessons, I’ve learned along the way, about finding work that doesn’t suck.

First, what do I mean by work that sucks?

I mean full-time or part-time jobs, contract positions, or freelance assignments that a) suck every ounce of physical, intellectual, &/or creative energy out of you; b) get you involved with parasitic, psychotic, or pain-in-the-ass clients; &/or c) pay sh*t wages.

Step 1: Know what you’d Love (or at least like) To Do

If you don’t know what you would love to do for work, then there is no better time than NOW to find out! How?

Do some Career Testing. <= ASK me I can help YOU with this!

Read and work through the exercises in What Color Is Your Parachute? The 2009 edition of this classic by Richard Nelson Bolles is aptly subtitled “JOB-HUNTING IN HARD TIMES”. I’ve used this book to guide my own career since 1984.

Let me give you a recent example from my own life of how to figure out what kind of work would make you happy.

Even though I’ve been working and reworking and re-reworking my career plans since 1984, there are some clear themes in my career dreams. And, that’s what you want to look for in your career planning: the common themes.

But, where do you get the data and information to tease out those themes? You get it by examining 5 key elements: Your Interests, Your Skills, Your Experiences, Your Personality, and Your Values.

When I work with clients who want to re-examine their careers and figure out what they want to be when they grow up, the first thing I do is to get them to complete several Career “Tests”. These assessments include: Career Directions Inventory (Interests), MBTI® (Personality), and the Career Values Scale (Values). Then, I use paper and pencil exercises to help you identify your Skills and Experiences.

I KNOW all the gory details of all 5 key Career factors. I’ve used them to help me find contracts and clients. And, even though I’ve had superb clients and extremely interesting work: something was missing. This year, when I did my annual Life & Career Goal Setting I became very aware of my NEED (more like burning desire, lust) to TRAVEL. So, when thinking about finding part-time work to supplement my coaching income, I decided to focus on my Travel theme. I began to think about how I might find work in the Travel industry. AND, I GOT IT!

YES, last week I signed on board Expedia® CruiseShipCenters as a contract Cruise & Vacation Consultant. And, you can benefit.

Next issue I will tell you HOW I found and secured this great ‘job’. And, how on earth being a Travel Consultant fits with the rest of my career aspirations.

NEXT ISSUE: Step 2: Use Your Theme(s) to Find the Work You Love

I love to hear from you. So, let me know what you think. Send me an e-mail or add your comment here at the blog!