career planning, spirituality and work


Nicholas W. Weiler, in collaboration with Stephen C. Schoonover, M.D.

"Filled with practical, researched advice that is simultaneously both spiritual and profoundly down to earth." -M. Scott Peck, M.D., author of The Road Less Traveled

Surviving downsizing

If you have been recently "downsized," you're certainly not alone. With the frequent shifting of corporate structures and strategies, downsizing has become a common experience.

Most of us are prone to cruising along with the status quo and only become introspective and purposeful when our lives are disrupted. Perhaps you have found this web site because of an interruption in your career.

In our work, we've learned that there are clear strategies for surviving downsizing. We summarize the strategies here, and you'll find more in the free excerpts, but to get the real value, you'll need to buy Your Soul at Work and use the workbook with its proven step-by-step exercises.

1) Don't panic

Being downsized can be a real opportunity to step off the treadmill and take an organized look at who and what you want to be in both your career and life. Many have found that being downsized ended up being a very good thing. It forced them to reevaluate their life priorities and helped them move into careers that were much more rewarding than the ones they were forced to leave.

2) Establish clear future career and life priorities

These include:

  • Your Life Value Priorities
    Most of us want everything and we get bogged down because some of our values
    conflict. The book outlines a process that helps people identify the contradictions,
    decide which values are most important, get off the dime and move forward.

  • The type of work you want to do
    The techniques we present help people identify what specific skills they want to
    exercise and grow on the job (technical, interpersonal etc.). If your energy flows
    naturally into your work you will perform better, be happier, be more valuable to
    your organization, and be less likely to face a future downsizing.

3) Identify what type of work or career best meet your personal criteria

The book provides a process for identifying potential career paths that can best meet your criteria (i.e. personal life value and skill priorities). Then we present specific techniques for securing investigative interviews with successful people on the career path(s) you identify. We also give you a detailed interview format designed to help you learn most from the interviews, make the best impression on the interviewees, and evaluate data you get in the interviews to determine which career path(s) will best meet your needs.

4) Identify the specific skills required for success on the career path you choose
and assess your strengths and weakness (i.e. gaps to be filled)

Our research shows that technical skill isn't enough to truly succeed. We've interviewed some 5000 people in over organizations and discovered that, in addition to technical skills, there are some core on-the-job behaviors that distinguish successful from less successful people in most every career specialty. Good examples include how well you communicate and sell your ideas.

We've synthesized these into some easy-to-use self-evaluation tools that help people identify what they're currently doing, what they're not doing that may be causing problems, and how to improve. These behaviors can be very helpful in avoiding future downsizing.

5) Market yourself effectively for jobs on the career path you've chosen and in
your preferred geographic location(s)

Your Soul at Work presents specific research on how managers hire. This includes
what criteria they use, what the single most important criterion typically is, and the
process they use to assess and select candidates. Based on that and our own long
experience helping organizations hire, we outline a proven step-by-step process for
marketing yourself on the career path you choose.

If you are ready to not just survive downsizing, but to truly take charge of your work life and align it with your inner self, you need this book.

Determining Your True Life Values