Book Summary

Making a Living Being Yourself


In order for individuals to find their place in the new world of work, they need to be prepared to create opportunities, rather than relying on the existing “job market.” For those who do not fit into the high demand jobs and industries, there is a new paradigm suggesting individuals take responsibility to identify and create their own employment options. The opportunity to define and market ourselves with the current technology available through the internet and social media, has never been as easy as it is now. Topics and tools to guide the reader include:


The Individual in Transition – individuals need to understand there is a pattern of grieving and healing that needs to take place as one leaves a job or identity behind. Identifying and accepting the stages of healing, can provide valuable information and insight to move forward.

The New Employment Reality – Workforce experts and sociologists identify trends accurately, but by the time the information becomes available to the average worker (or student or apprentice) the information is often obsolete. Today’s worker needs a set of principles that reflect the reality of what is required to stay competitive and employable…. (8 principles)

  • Know yourself as “Me, Inc.,” possessing a portfolio of multiple skill sets.
  • Know the appropriate skill sets and functions in your fields of interest.
  • Know your field. Stay current through networking and on-going learning.
  • Know your current skill sets that increases your “value added” and overall marketability.
  • Know your customers and the changing demands of the marketplace.
  • Know your department or specialty and the changing demands and trends of the marketplace.
  • Know your competition and collaborators. Develop collaborative relationships.
  • Know how to lead change. Develop a proactive attitude.

Career Management & Self Employment Competencies In addition to understanding (and accepting) the principles of the New Employment Reality,
individuals will benefit greatly by knowing their level of competency with
the top 10 survival skill sets. This is the beginning of the individual realizing they are capable of self mastery, a major requirement for creating opportunities in the new world of work.

Interpersonal and Facilitation
Project Management
Planning and Decision Making
Computer Technology
Growth and Development
Creativity and Visioning
Time Management

3 Models for Understanding Human Behavior Individuals also benefit from the following models to understand and accept where we are so we can set realistic goals for creating more options.

  • The Nine Stages of Career Development are summarized and the needs that must be met to continue to grow.
  • Self Actualization in the workplace becomes an achievable goal, by embracing the work of Abraham Maslow
  • The Energy System Review is a model for activating the human energy systems for honoring body, mind and spirit in order to create meaningful work.

TWO: FINDING YOUR TRUE NORTH: Creating a Life Work Objective

This section introduces our model for centering the individual in themselves to reflect and review past experience in order to create meaningful lifework. The end goal is a practical Lifework Objective that comes from personally defined criteria, such as skills, values, goals and purpose. The model consists of answering 4 key questions addressed in over 25 exercises

  • What do I enjoy doing and do well? (skills & knowledges)
  • Where will I do my best work? (working conditions)
  • Who do I want to work with and serve (traits & needs)
  • Why do I do what I do? (rewards)

Steps 1 – 5 provide the foundation of the process, for Finding Your True North, a metaphor for clarity and focus.
Step 1 – Telling your Story offers 4 different tools for getting the big picture overview plus several on-line self assessments.

Step 2 – Defining Core Competencies ensures the individual fully assesses and owns the functional and transferable skills that are at the heart of the individual’s reinvention process.

Step 3 – Redefining Yourself provides an in-depth review of values, preferences in work settings, types of responsibility, definition of ideal role to make the greatest contribution. Profound insights around purpose and lifestyle guide future choices.

Step 4 – Goal Setting encourages realistic time frames and priorities. By taking an integrated approach to goal setting, create a more sustainable lifestyle that will informs the search process

Step 5 – Creating a Life Work Objective is the culmination of the self assessment process and the prioritizing of important elements to create more than one researchable career life work objective for pursuing meaningful work.

THREE: PUTTING YOUR SPIRIT TO WORK: Exploring the World of Work

Create a systematic research strategy to find the perfect match for your ideal Life Work Objective criteria. By using your previously identified internal criteria to launch a search, you will receive tips on

  • researching career options using the internet *
  • building your network online and in person, and
  • the most effective networking and informational interviewing tools.

* Researching Career Options Using the Internet

What are the industries that might be interested in my experience & interests?
What information about interests did you glean from the on-line assessments?
What are the actual descriptions of career fields that capture my interests
What are specific job titles that match my interests and level of skill?
What are the professional associations that reflect my interests and skills?
What are the professional journals?
What are the educational requirements?
What are the specific companies and organizations that interest you?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jan sennewald September 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm

what is the cost of your workshop?
i used to do this for a living for people who had lost their jobs…..much harder to do for
the self isn’t it?


Deborah Knox September 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Hi jan – The question is, what is the value you would place on finding meaningful work, or whatever it is exactly you want to accomplish. As you know it is a lot of hard work, and requires a commitment to oneself to slug through the assessment to get to where you know you want to be. And that nothing will stop you.

Let me know what your goals are? What is the clarity you need, and I’ll let you know how I think I can best help you. I have several different programs based on client goals and needs, and circumstances. I look forward to hearing back from you.


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