5 Questions With The Author of "Careergasm"
By: Karin Eldor
Every now and then a book comes along that stops me right in my tracks. And this summer, that book is Careergasm: Find Your Way To Feel-Good Work. If the title alone doesn’t pique your interest, the content surely will.
I mean really, who doesn’t want to do work that feels good?
Author and professional coach Sarah Vermunt is a regular career contributor for publications like Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Fortune, and the founder of Careergasm.com. She is perfectly poised to help people discover the work they were destined to do because she knows exactly what it’s like to be in a job that made her miserable.
Before The Careergasm, There Was A Meltdown
While working as a professor at a business school and researching for her dissertation, Vermunt had a complete meltdown in the middle of a coffee shop. That was the moment she realized she hated what she was doing. She quit the next day.
As the first page promises: “Careergasm is for anyone who dreads Monday morning.” So if you have the Sunday scaries every week, this book was written for you.
We sat down with Toronto-based author Vermunt to chat all things Careergasm, job love, and how to get started while searching for your dream job (a.k.a. your career soulmate).
Monster: When it comes to experiencing a "Careergasm," what would you say is the first place to start? (Other than reading the book!)
Vermunt: First you have to give yourself some time for clarity — to muck around with the vague ideas about what you might want to do for your career. A lot of people hate their jobs but have no idea what they would rather do instead. So they just panic and start wildly applying for everything under the sun. That's not effective. Plus, it has the potential to land you in another job you hate. If you want to have an effective job search try thinking about career ingredients first, instead of putting insane amounts of pressure on yourself to know your exact “dream job” title. Career ingredients are what you want more of in your career, even if you're not quite sure what the exact job is yet. Maybe you want more flexibility, creativity, collaboration, self-directed work, or anything else. Making some big dreamy lists about the ingredients you want is a good place to start.
Monster: Why is having a "feel good" career so important?
Vermunt: We spend most of our waking hours at work. Don't you want it to feel good? No job is perfect 100% of the time (that's why you get paid for it!), but your relationship with your work should be like the rest of the relationships in your life: it should feel good, most of the time.
Monster: Why do you believe "Career" related books (and the "find your dream job" theme) are so popular right now?
Vermunt: The way we think about our work has changed. Nobody is willing to just get a mediocre job and wait it out until retirement anymore; career has become a bigger part of our identity than it used to be. Work is no longer just a place we grind it out to put food on the table. We want it to have meaning, and so, naturally, finding the right fit matters more than it used to.
Monster: Career books have always been popular, but today they also seem to cross over into the "Self-Help" section -- any thoughts on this?
Vermunt: I think ALL career books should have a self-help component. Making a successful career change requires two things: figuring out what you want and going after it, but also doing all the things you need to do to get out of your own way. A lot of people forget about that second part. You don't want to try and move towards something potentially amazing and then self-sabotage with destructive thoughts or behaviours — things like perfectionism, fear, procrastination, avoidance, approval seeking... the list is endless. We need to address that stuff alongside our career ambitions so we don't mess it up.
Monster: Any tips for transitioning from one job to another? What are some words of advice or encouragement for Monster job seekers?
Vermunt: The best advice I can give is to focus on clarity before strategy. You'll have far more success with your job search if you spend some time (and maybe get some help) finding clarity around what you want. Once you have that, it'll feel more like a laser-focused search instead of fumbling around in the dark.
You can find Careergasm here, and get more details about Sarah Vermunt’s current and upcoming projects at careergasm.com. Vermunt is launching a brand new online career course this September, called Career Rookie: A Course for New Grads and Career Newbies Who Have No Idea What They're Doing.