1. Give yourself permission
Maybe because of our Puritan work-ethic roots, many people think workshouldn't be fun. From the moment we're born, we're programmed to becomedoctors, lawyers, teachers or whatever else is expected of us. No onegives us permission to love what we do.
So here it is. You have permission -- no, an obligation -- to love yourjob. Not just because you'll enjoy your work, but also because those wholove what they do are successful.
2. Know your strengths
Ask yourself, "What do I do well?" "What have I done that I'm proudestof?" Maybe you've worked your way through school, earned a promotion quickly or received an award.
3. Cultivate a "beginner's mind"
Zen teaches a concept called the "beginner's mind." Beginners seeinfinite possibilities, while experts may see few because they'resupposed to know everything. Accept that there are things you may notknow. View your job search as an adventure.
4. Enlist help
Some new graduates -- and sage executives -- have trouble asking forhelp. They view it as a sign of weakness. But it takes courage to admityou need assistance.
Get help from your family and friends, church or synagogue,past employers, professors, libraries, the Internet and universitycareer centers. Develop a concise statement that describes what you need: "I'm lookingfor a job in retail sales, and I was wondering if you have any ideasabout people I should speak with." Your mission is to get names, phonenumbers and permission from your referrals to use their names.
5. Take initiative
You don't need to go it alone, but you do have to take steps to helpyourself. For instance, enroll in a job-search seminar. Join a professional society. Consult books, magazines and Web pages for information about career fields and employers. And remember to exercise, eat right and get enough sleep.
6. Find a coach
A coach is someone who makes you do what you think you can't do so youcan be what you say you want to be. No one achieves excellence without acoach; the first person an Olympic athlete thanks after winning a goldmedal is usually his or her coach. However, unlike friends and family, acoach won't provide unconditional encouragement.
Have you ever known someone who asks for help but then doesn't followthrough? There's nothing more frustrating than people who're committedto their own misery. So if you're serious about having a job you love,listen to your coach and be accountable for what you say you want to do.
8. Take action
Write a strategic plan for your job search. Include your goal,objectives and strategies for getting the job of your dreams. Then listthe steps to take to accomplish your objective.
9. Tap your faith
Whatever your chosen faith, now's the time to call on it. Finding yourspiritual "center" can help during the emotional roller coaster of the job hunt.
10. Give back
When someone's referred to you for assistance, view it as acompliment rather than an imposition. Meet her for coffee or take him tolunch. You'll be known as someone who's well connected. Thoseconnections will pay dividends in finding -- and keeping -- the job youlove.
Whether underemployed or just feeling stuck, many people face Mondaymornings with a groan. Don't let this happen to you. Follow this adviceand love what you do.