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Are you in the right job or career? Take steps to get your ideal job

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Imagine that you'll have to do this job for the rest of your life. How can you perfect it enough so that you can stand that? And if you can't perfect it, how can you go about changing its direction altogether?

Master your current job

Resolve any communication or relationship problems with your boss and colleagues and master every aspect of your current job. That, oddly enough, is one of the best ways to attract a new and better opportunity. If you're doing a great job and enthused about it, you're more likely to be promoted to a more interesting job either within the company or outside the company.

A quick trick for getting new opportunities: clear out the clutter both at home and at the office. If you haven't used an item in the last six months, what's it doing clogging up your life? Start volunteering for tasks that sound more interesting and fun.

What makes you tick?

It's no good taking on a new position only to find that a few months later you're just as miserable. Take a few minutes to find out what you really need. If you require independence you'll chafe working under a controlling or micromanaging boss. If you need peace, you'll never do your best work in a loud, open-floor office. Take the free Emotional Index Quiz at to find out your own top four personal requirements. Then make the changes you need in your current work environment to make sure your needs are getting satisfied.

One journalist had a promising career until they converted the office to an open plan. The idea was to encourage communication and creativity among the staff. She found herself struggling to string two cogent sentences together. Once she took the Emotional Index and realized she needed peace it all made sense. She explained this to her boss, got permission to work from home a few days a week and she was back on form.

What does your ideal like look like?

We often get so caught up in our work that we forget that the point of working is to support our ideal life. Don't get hooked by media inspired images of an ideal life with a big house and fancy cars if your personal ideal is to drive around the country in a camper van.

It may be that you don't need to work as hard as you have been once you design your ideal life. Get a free life planner at

Identify your talents and abilities

Some people have such a clear natural talent for something, they know immediately what career to pursue, but for many, our true abilities are difficult to spot. And most people take for granted that which is innately easy and don't necessarily realize it's a gift that may lead to a lucrative and fulfilling career. Take The Highlands Ability Battery at to identify your hard-wired abilities.

What drives you?

Even if you have the natural ability to be a surgeon, if you aren't interested in the human body, you aren't going to have sufficient passion to make it through years of med school. List the highlights of your life and then consider what made that time so exciting or fun. My year abroad in Spain was one of the best years of my life.

When I looked at my core values, I realized travel and adventure were at the top of the list.

Create your own job description

It's worth doing a bit of navel gazing before you embark on a job hunt or start your own business. By taking the time to identify your needs, values, skills, abilities and passions, you'll have the elements in place to design an ideal career or business.

Once you align your values, passions and talents, you're on the way to a truly fulfilling career. Now write down an ideal job description – one tailor-made for you.

Make time for your interests

Keep your day job. Most of us don't have a stash of cash lying around to use to invest in a new business or for training in a new field. Keep your job and use your evenings and weekends to create what you really want. One colleague of mine with a new son only had the energy to write for half an hour each night.

In one year she completed a book and is now a published author. Give your best hour (often the first hour of the day) to your new project or big goal – and if you only have 30 minutes, that may be enough.

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