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Something a little more zen

Traffic jams, endless emails, and long hours filled with meetings, deadlines and PowerPoint presentations. It’s all in a day’s work for the modern workforce.

But a new trend is emerging – one where more and more people are trading in traditional jobs in the search for something a little more meaningful. It’s called zenployment, a second or alternative job that’s more in line with your goals and values, and of course, less stressful.

So who is your typical zenployee?

Typical zenployees include people who may not be happy with their current employment, people who have recently been made redundant, and those who want a fun or fulfilling career to provide additional income in retirement.

It’s particularly relevant to those who are looking to retire, or who have recently retired but are not quite ready to ‘retire fulltime’. Perhaps they were adversely affected by the Global Financial Crisis and would like to give their savings a final boost. Or maybe they just want a job to keep them physically, mentally and socially active.

Is zenployment for you?

Just because you’re dissatisfied with your current job doesn’t mean you necessarily have to overhaul your career. So spend some time thinking about what it is that makes you feel unfulfilled and what you could do to make it better.

Besides a career change, other possibilities include making changes within your current role to make it more satisfying or meaningful, or moving to another company that’s more aligned with your values.
If it’s the hours that are bothering you, consider talking to your boss about going part-time or find a company that offers more work-life balance.

On the other hand if you find that your job is just not challenging or fulfilling enough, consider speaking to your manager about  taking on more responsibilities, becoming a mentor to a younger staff member or working on a new project.

Planning for zenployment

When it comes to changing to a new career there are so many things to consider. Here are a few tips to get you started:

– Spend some time thinking about your goals and values, what you’re good at and what makes you happy. This is a good framework for finding a job that will make you    happy and fulfilled.

Consider how much money you need to maintain the lifestyle you want. Create a budget that includes all the things you couldn’t live without, and tally-up how much income you need to maintain this lifestyle.

Research different jobs. Start by searching the internet and reviewing books. There are numerous websites and books in the market on career change, such as ‘What colour is your parachute?’ by Richard Nelson Bolles.

See a career counselor or coach. A good career coach can help you recognise your strengths, do a reality check and create a clear picture to aim for.

Build a network. Use your network of friends and colleagues to get an initial foot in the door, and get out and about at seminars and events.

Create a financial plan for the transition. It’s important you plan your finances to support your career change. Talk to your financial adviser before making a change.

Changing careers can be extremely daunting, but the more you plan, the more likely you are to succeed. So it pays to put the effort in upfront – after all the reward could be the career of a lifetime.

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