Where are all the people who don’t know what they want to be when they grow up?

I’m looking for people who are, at this time, looking for inspired vocational guidance. Professionally, this is what matters most to me. I want to find these folks and help them to realize how to live the calling that only they can give the world. I need your help to spread the word. Will you help?

Delightful Work Blog Declaration of Intent
Our mission is to increase the number of folks on this planet who are in active pursuit of work life freedom. We are doing so by:

  1. Encouraging and inspiring the action of discovering, validating and engaging in the authentic pursuit of livelihood – a livelihood so right for you that it provides all of what you want in fulfillment and financial reward.
  2. Creating a community of those who want an ongoing dialogue with others who are in similar pursuit.

I’ve been coaching folks in career transition since 1998. It’s the coaching assignment that I care about the most. But it’s clear to me that I need your help to spread the word.

Why would you help me?

Perhaps you believe as I do that our world would be a much more productive and happier place if more folks would simply do what they really love to do for a living. But would that be enough reason for you to help me in this quest?

Perhaps, like me, you really feel for those folks who struggle needlessly when it comes to making a living. Money is a very complex concept, especially when it’s all interwoven with our sense of self-worth and self-judgment of our personal talents.

Maybe you’ll do it for them. Will you pass along this post or Stumble it for all those folks who need help in transitioning to a more fulfilling career? Stumble It!

I can assure you that they will be in very good hands. Have you ever asked yourself the question: What can you be best in the world at? (From the Jim Collins classic Good to Great) My answer: telephone coaching a group of true calling seekers into action on their right livelihood.

I’m open to feedback on how you would reach this group of folks. Where would you look for them? Here’s a question for you. Are the reasons above enough for you to help or do you require further incentive? If you’re a blogger, I’m more than willing to reciprocate in any reasonable way.

But I wonder if that’s still enough incentive for you to go out of your way and help me to spread the word. Time is dear for most of us, so I asked myself this question. If someone were asking me for this same kind of help, what would inspire me to help? Here’s my answer.

Social networking with a deeper connection

I’d be sure to help if I’d be assured of a deeper ongoing connection in the months and years to come. Everyone reading this is aware of social networking sites. I’ve reached out and begun making connections on them as some of you have. But I often wonder if I would be better off belonging to a smaller group who cared more for one another and who were willing to aid one another to a greater extent. A small group of dedicated folks who come alive in deeper, more meaningful connection would make me feel more socially connected. If you’d like to discuss creating such a group, please let me know.

“Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” – David Whyte, from his poem Sweet Darkness.

Who knows what we would have already accomplished if we had been celebrated and loved unconditionally in our formative years?


  1. Tom,

    Love your blog! Jim Collins’ book is definitely a top ten book! I love the quote by David Whyte and totally agree… my mantra is “where there’s passion, there’s hope.” Hope that life will be fulfilling and worthwhile.

    Thanks for a great read.


    Heidi Richards Mooney

  2. Heidi,

    Your welcome, I’m glad you liked it. That’s quite the inspring mantra.
    Welcome, looking forward to reading more on your blogs.


  3. Tom,
    Not sure if you have already discovered it or not, but how about joining Twitter? Nice place to get your professional services known, discover who is out there wondering where the life/career coaches are, and interact with colleagues. If you head that way, I invite you to follow me: I’m listed as wellnesscoach. Enjoy.

  4. Erica, I’ve checked it out once and dismissed it because I don’t think I could actually update as frequently as people seem to do. I also wasn’t attracted to all the brief bits of fluff that most seemed to report. But since you recommended it I’ll give it another look. Thank you.

  5. Dave Miller says:

    Right now I’m not working for anyone but I’m also not making any money blogging or doing any of the other things that fill my day. I took one look at the survey though and decided that you still needed to hear what I have to say on the subject at hand.

    I’ve had jobs where I literally couldn’t believe that they actually paid me to do what I enjoyed doing. I’ve also had jobs where I couldn’t wait to leave (which explains why I’m not working for anyone else right now). And I’ve had jobs evolve from “can’t believe they’re paying me” to “I can’t wait to leave.”

    I have held a number of positions in software development over the years. These have ranged from being an individual contributor to managing up to thirty people. One of the jobs that fit into the “I can’t believe…” category was when I was managing. I had really good people and it was an absolute blast to watch the team create something that no one of us could have done. I enjoy problem solving so seeing people under my direction create a solution to a problem that I couldn’t solve on my own was fantastic.

    The problem is that this kind of position and role only exists within some larger context. That is there are jobs to do that include things that are absolutely satisfying but which also entail doing other things. I don’t care if this is when you work for someone else or you work for yourself. The real world has a way of intruding on the job you like with things that have to be done but which aren’t part of what you like to do. Even if you work for yourself there are things to do like billing, paying expenses, taxes, etc. that aren’t what you really do unless you’re an accountant.

    So, the bottom line out of all of this is there are skill sets that can only be exercised in some larger context and often that larger context has other demands. As I alluded to above, sometimes the demands of the context can completely swamp whatever it is you used to love about a job. In that case you end up where I did: working in a job you hate that you used to love. I finally decided to end the pain and left to write a book and restore my ballance.


  6. Dave well said. You might enjoy the thread of comments in this previous post, http://delightfulwork.com/2007/11/12/work-as-play/. The very topic you raised was discussed.

    Here is what I’ve found. Self-employment beats employment, hands down. Yes, even when self-employed there are things we need to do that are not a delight. But overall the freedom of self-determination that we have working for ourselves is so much greater than when we are enslaved to a boss.

    I believe it may not be easy, but we all have the ability to design the work life we most want to live, including getting to the point where we are out-sourcing unpleasant tasks.

    Dave, I hear you and I can understand if your experiences have made you a tad cynical. It sounds like the Unconditional Support Experience could be wonderful for you. Who knows what you might be capable of with supporters who really cared? If you have yet to take the survey, do so and I’ll be in touch.

  7. Dave Miller says:

    Thanks for the advice Tom. I was more trying to answer your question, “Why do people work at jobs they hate?” I guess I should have summed up the answer as: Sometimes the job changes.

    I don’t know anyone who consciously seeks out a job they won’t like. But what frequently happens is the job changes (BTW, yes I’ve read “Who Moved My Cheese”). Working for yourself is a possibility but then there are people like me who enjoy working in a larger group. The price we pay besides our actual toil is that we don’t control our destiny or environment in that sort of situation.

    Working for yourself isn’t a guarantee either although you have more control of yuor day-to-day activities. I know of several people who set out to work on their own only to find out that the skill they had was no longer in demand (an example would be folks who used to do small appliance and/or electronics repair: now it’s cheaper to buy new than to fix).

    The bottom line is that there are no guarantees. It helps to stay on top of what is happening to your environment but things outside of your control can change. The trick is to recognize the change and act proactively but that’s not always possible and seeing what’s changing can be difficult.


  8. Ah, but that’s life isn’t it? Refining the ability to adapt to our environments is a very critical life skill. It can be done and I’d rather ask, what’s good about it?

    That line of thinking always allows me to see an opening that I couldn’t earlier. Thanks for your thoughtful comments Dave. Hope you visit again soon.

  9. Hi Tom,

    I feel like I continually struggle to have the authentic me accepted. I work for a social service agency & really enjoy that work. But how they pay has caused me so much stress because of instability that I’m starting a temp position Monday utilizing my extensive customer service experience in addition to continuing my work at the social service agency. Ideally, I think I’d like to have a farm, raising Alpacas & adopting retired Greyhounds. I know that I have the ability to be a Healer of some type too. I really want to half of my life to be so much better personally than my first half. I know I can do anything I want to do. I just need more people supporting my beliefs!

  10. Jan, I appreciate you for demonstrating the courage to share your dreams and your trials. A key aspect of support is the story we tell others and ourselves. Regardless of our present moment challenges, we would all be better served to tell the story of the sunny side of our lives.

    One thing you can do right now is begin to imagine a wonderfully supportive environment in the upcoming Unconditional Support Experience that you have decided to join. Imagine greater clarity and wisdom coming as a result of your immersion into a social group who wants nothing but the best for you. At the same time begin to remove yourself from environments and people who put you down or make you feel bad in anyway. The result will be feel amazing.

  11. Tom,

    I’ve just come across your blog and am enjoying catching up on some of your posts. I’m doing a bit of soul-searching about careers right now and this being the age of Web 2.0, I’m blogging it at http://40-nowwhat.blogspot.com/.

    Just wondering if you’ve tried Linked In (http://www.linkedin.com/)? I have used it for my business a bit, but I do know a few people who really work it and get a lot of leads.


  12. Carla … welcome, since I’ve never had a job and doubt that I ever will I haven’t found LinkedIn to be that productive. I’m there and you can offer me a connection if you like. Perhaps I’m using under-utilizing it. I have found that FaceBook works better for a self-employed soloprenuer like myself. There are groups there that you can join and interact with folks of the same interest.

  13. I’ve read with interest all the postings which have lead me to my present thinking: Am I not missing the point? Allow me to expand. If the persuit of meaningful employment -and this means different things for different people- is determined by the possibilities that are out there, then why are we all sitting here talking about it? Shouldn’t we be getting on with looking, testing, discovering or just simply trying? The possibilities that are out there are as such defined by how we perceive our limitations. I think the key word here is guidance and if anyone is able to offer this in a professional capacity (whatever “professional” means), then I’d support that.

  14. Red – Welcome and thanks for your thoughts. Seems like I have a new supporter in you because that is exactly what I do. I guide the pursuit of right livelihood. If that’s something you’re interested in yourself then contact me and we’ll discuss it. I also don’t think that we are limited by what’s out there. Many of us need to create our ideal work in the form of a business that brings us alive.

  15. Tom,

    Always great to read your contributions to the world. No doubt you are clear on what your passions are and I love to see you going for it.

    I have a friend who is starting her own business and talks about it on Facebook. Her friends and family are advising her to be firm and I commented that rather than being a strong leader, she should be an inspiring leader. That was met with some pushback because folks just don’t see it as realistic. They felt that employees will slack off, if you let them!

    I’m left wondering why you’d want to have an organization like that.

  16. Paul – Your instincts are good. I hope she listens to you. Have her come over here and get a sense for how to really inspire folks. I also have some great free business startup resource here at CoreU Coaching.

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