Monday, May 24, 2010
Miller Mondays, part 1
I've been feeling a bit stuck in my research for a while now. Part of that is because I've had some setbacks and have had to almost start over on some of what I was working on. I had originally planned to defend my thesis in July, but now I am pushing (and pushing hard) for late September instead.
Another part of my problem is that I have lots of projects started (work, home, and community involvement), but most of them don't feel like they are headed towards a finish any time soon.
Recently, I finally pin-pointed the biggest reason I feel so stuck. I don't feel like I have anything I am working toward, past the actual degree. During vet school, the goal was to finish school training so I could move on to my one-year internship. During the internship, the goal was to finish the internship and move on to my residency. Likewise, finish the residency, and start the PhD program. Now I'm getting close to finishing my PhD, but don't know what I am going to do (or what I really want to do) after this.
Enter Dan Miller. He is a career coach, and a prolific writer. He advocates finding the work you love to do, and then building it in around your life, rather than settling for work you have to do to make ends meet and filling your life in around work. He is an entrepreneur at heart, and of course would love for everyone to work for themselves, but realizes that is not the best fit for everyone. His main books are 48 Days to the Work You Love, and No More Mondays. You can hear the overview of 48 Days here, why he chose this timeline, and the things you should aim to accomplish in that period.
Dan also does a weekly podcast (available on iTunes or through his website) and a weekly newsletter (also available on his website). I've been reading the newsletter and listening to the podcasts for a while, all along thinking "I should be doing that!" but not taking the initiative I should be.
For Christmas this past year, John got me the 48 Days to the Work You Love Career Kit. It included a copy of the book, an Interactive Study workbook, and audio CDs by Dan Miller that complement the information in the books. There is also a "schedule" of how best to use the three pieces together. I started working through this material earlier this year, but it has fallen off my priority list. Which is unfortunate, because I could really use this, especially now!
While Dan recommends that you take inventory of yourself, what you have been doing, what you want to do, set some goals, and start making progress on these goals in 48 days, he realizes this timeline is not for everyone. Having said that, without a timeline at all, most people (myself included) tend to procrastinate and procrastinate and never get anything moved forward or accomplished. One of the ways he recommends working through the Career Kit is on a five-day plan, whether it's all done in one week, or one night a week for five weeks.
Over the next five weeks, I'll be working through the material in the 48 Days Career Kit and share it with you - what I've learned from the material, what I've learned about myself, and what I am going to do about it. Then I'll move on to No More Mondays. All with the goal of identifying what I want to be moving towards, and taking some steps to get there.
Stay tuned for next week's Miller Monday topic: Is all change good?