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Live (and Work) by Design- Not Default!

A woman writing on a glass board. Her colleagues are right behind her watching.

As January comes to a close, you may be reflecting on the work you've done towards your new-year goals. Are you still on track, or could you use a little kick in the pants? If you have slipped behind, don't beat yourself up over it. Rather, use the tools and resources that are available to you to get yourself back in the game. And if you're already on a roll, what better way to get a leg up than by gaining access to a new resource that can help keep you on track.

One such resource is the soon-to-be-launched e-book by Key Doby, The Career Architect, Live By Design, Not By Default: Simple Steps to Get a Career You Love. Discover What You Are Really Meant to Do.

Key suggests that job seekers use her process so you can define:

  • what you’re truly passionate about
  • what your natural talents are
  • what you give to others/your purpose
  • what’s most important to you in your career and work environment
  • what fulfilment means to you
  • and how to put that all together

Her hope is that by following the steps, you'll be able to fine-tune your career so that you love Mondays just as much as you love Fridays!

Key likens the process to baking your favorite cake and notes that there are steps you must incorporate to get your career to be as enticingly mouth-watering. You’ve got to have quality ingredients, the right measurements, the proper baking pan, the right temperature, and the right timing. 

Below is an excerpt from Key's book focusing on the first element in her five-step process:

The First Element: Values

Before you can even begin baking your cake, you want to ensure that you have quality ingredients. As you know, the better, fresher, and more potent the ingredients are, the better the cake.

When discovering your perfect career, the quality ingredients are your VALUES. Your values are so potent and powerful that you cannot ignore them. They are the most important driving force in your life. Therefore, your purposeful and passionate career must align with your values.

Your values are the principles you live by. They make you who you are and help you decide what’s important. Values are your core beliefs that guide and motivate your behavior. Being unclear on what values are important in your work can result in interpersonal conflict because you may feel a lack of integrity. Values are definitely one of the most important things to consider when choosing your career—when discovering what you’re meant to do.

If you use lesser quality ingredients to bake your favorite cake, you will quickly taste the difference and be less enthused about this treat. Similarly, if you choose a career or position without aligning it with your values, you will eventually come to dislike your work, even if you are good at it. For example, if autonomy is a top value for you, then you will become frustrated and unhappy in a job where you are micromanaged.

You’ll find that your values are consistent across all areas of your life. To be living your purpose fully, you shouldn’t separate your work values from your general values. To be in alignment, without dissonance, they should be one and the same.

When you sit down to list your values, you may realize that some of them—like your old terms and rules—were taught to you. Sometimes you can pinpoint where they came from, and sometimes you cannot. Don’t worry about that. What is important is to next evaluate if each value is fear-based or passion-based. Is the value driven by a “have to” or a “need to,” or is it driven by a “want to”?

Ready for the next element in Key's five-step process? Key is offering a free downloadable copy of her e-book, Live By Design, Not By Default: Simple Steps to Get a Career You Love. Discover What You Are Really Meant to Do to Idealist Careers readers! Sign up to get the announcement about her free download day, and bake your career to perfection!


Key Doby - The Career Architect - and Certified Professional Coach and a person who has had a job she hated and then built a career she’s in love with, Key has been able to help clients discover what they are meant to do, stop being afraid of the unknown, and make a leap into the new position or business that has them excited to work each day. Her clients embody her guiding principle, “Live By Design, Not By Default.”

By Victoria Crispo

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