Don’t Quit Your Job, Craft It: A 7-Step Process For Doing More Meaningful Work (Without Changing Careers)
If you’re like most passionate health & fitness change makers, you’re likely looking to optimize your career. One of the things you might be contemplating is quitting your current job and finding work that you love. But quitting isn’t always the best option. So, before you take the leap into a new role or industry, here are 7 powerful steps you can take to find greater meaning, engagement, and satisfaction, right where you are.
You Don’t Have To Quit Your Job To Be Happy
There is something captivating about “taking the leap.” Throwing caution to the wind. Chasing your dreams. Going after what you love.
Doing the “brave thing” and making a career transition into health & fitness can sound like an epic tale. One that is accompanied with trials on the way to triumphant results.
But what if you didn’t have to change everything about your career to be happy?
What if you could take advantage of all the good things your current role gives you (like a clear-eyed view of the workplace, existing relationships, application of existing skills, just to name a few) and create greater meaning?
What if quitting and starting from scratch isn’t the best thing for you?
Because the truth is, the intersection that lies between 1) what you have and 2) what you want can often house a lot of gold.
Plus, for every person we’ve seen make the successful transition, we’ve seen just as many people flounder and regret their decision.
So before you start looking for something entirely different, and scrap the resources you have at your disposal, you may want to consider how you might make the most of your current situation.
The 7-step process we’ll share with you will help you figure out what:
- Really matters to you, so you can know if you’re in alignment (or not),
- Makes you effective, so you can move the needle on the above,
- You most like to do, so you can enjoy the time you spend at work (which accumulates to ~90K hrs over the course of your life).
This information can inform your next steps and help you craft your career into something that’s more meaningful and engaging.
Let’s get started.
Job Crafting For Health + Fitness Pros
The following steps will help you outline steps you can take to improve your career over the coming days and weeks.
In the first half of this exercise, we’re going to help you map out your current reality (so you can assess your gaps). And in the second half of this exercise, we’re going to help you map out your future vision (and create concrete steps to get there).
You can complete these exercises in your own notebook, or in our Job Crafting For Health + Fitness Pros workbook:
In your workbook, you’ll notice that there is space to answer the written questions, along with two WorkMaps which you can use to outline your current — and your future — realities.
Your written workbook will contain questions like this:
While your WorkMaps are templates you can fill in to get a quick snap shot of where you are now (and where you want to go):
Map Out Your Current Reality
Outline your current career + the tasks you perform.
Painting a picture of where you are is a prerequisite to figuring out where you want to go. Take a couple of minutes to sketch out how you’re currently spending your time and energy at work.
- Creating a list of tasks you perform (or projects, areas of responsibility, daily activities, or whatever makes sense for your job and role), and
- Allocating a given percentage of time + energy you spend on each of those tasks (compared to other tasks).
For example, if you’re a strength coach, you might spend time doing the following:
- Training clients (40%)
- Programming (20%)
- Marketing/Sales (10%)
- Administrative tasks (email, invoicing, etc.) (30%)*
*If you’re like many strength coaches we know, the amount of time spent doing administrative tasks can be shocking.
We like to separate our separate tasks into blocks, including as many blocks as you need to represent your various responsibilities.
To see what we mean, here’s what this might look like for a strength coach:
*Note: The remaining blanks will be filled in as we work through the exercise. So don’t panic if you see some boxes that aren’t touched in the step above.
Assess how you feel about the way you’re spending your time.
Here are a few questions that can help:
- How has the division of my time and energy changed since I first started my job?
- How do I feel about the way my time and energy is currently spent? Why do I feel that way?
- Does anything about the way I’m spending my time and energy surprise me?
Complete these questions in your Job Crafting For Health + Fitness Pros workbook.
Define your values, strengths, and passions.
Figuring out what you care about, what makes you effective, and what you love to do will help you assess whether your current career is in alignment (or not) and what you can do to close the gap.
To get started, select the values, strengths, and passions that best represent you. While you might be tempted to choose them all, we recommend limiting yourself to two to four of each, so you can prioritize what matters most.
Values: What you care about
Achievement: Earning success + respect through accomplishments
Autonomy: Being in control of your own work + life
Enjoyment: Having fun + feeling satisfied
Growth: Experiencing stimulation, novelty, challenge
Harmony: Getting along well with others
Humanity: Caring for the world at large
Impact: Helping + making meaningful connections with others
Power: Attaining influence over others
Security: Preserving what you like + sustaining stability
Tradition: Devoting yourself to an established set of customs + ideals
Strengths: What makes you effective
Creativity: Originality; having novel + useful ideas
Energy: Working with enthusiasm and vigor
Expertise: Valuable skill or knowledge
Focus: Self-control, attention to detail, discipline
Generosity: Compassion, kindness, altruism
Grit: Persistence; overcoming adversity to reach goals
Humor: Making others smile/laugh; being lighthearted
Judgement: Making smart and informed decisions
Learning: Ability to gain new skills or knowledge
Optimism: Hope about the future
Social Skill: Understanding people; interacting well with others
Taste: Recognizing aesthetic appeal + beauty in the world
Wisdom: Seeing the big picture + having helpful advice
Passions: What you like to do
Doing: Working with tangible things, rather than ideas
Creating: Generating new ideas, designs, and concepts
Helping: Assisting others, building relationships, sharing resources
Leading: Guiding and inspiring others
Organizing: Coordinating data, information, and ideas
Thinking: Investigating, discovering, solving problems
Write your top 2-4 values, strengths, and passions* in your own notebook, or in your Job Crafting For Health + Fitness Pros Workbook:
*Note: The above values, strengths, and passions are just a sampling of what exists. Feel free to add your own answers into the mix as well.
Pair your values, strengths, and passions with your tasks.
The next step is to write your values, strengths, and passions near the tasks they fit.
For example, if you’re a strength coach and you value impact, you might write “Impact” next to “Coaching.” If one of your strengths is “Creativity”, you might write this next to “Marketing.” And if you’re passionate about helping people, you might write “Helping” next to your “Coaching.”
Note: It is possible for a value, strength, or passion to align with more than one task. Following our example, “Helping,” “Impact”, and “Expertise” align with both marketing and coaching.
Here’s what this might look like for a strength coach:
Complete step 4 in your Current Reality WorkMap, or in your notebook.
Note the alignment (or lack thereof) between what you’re great at + what you’re doing.
After pairing your values, strengths, and passions, write down how you feel about your current level of alignment between each component and the tasks that you perform.
- How do I feel about the level of alignment between my values and the tasks I perform?
- How do I feel about the level of alignment between my strengths and the tasks I perform?
- How do I feel about the level of alignment between my passions and the tasks I perform?
If you like your current job and role, chances are that the alignment between all three components and your tasks is relatively high.
If you’re feeling like you’re trapped, wishing you were doing something else, chances are fairly high that you’re out of alignment.
After you’ve answered the questions above in your workbook or notebook, make a note of how you feel about the alignment between your tasks, values, strengths and passions, by checking-off the emoji that best categorizes how you feel. Do this in your Current Reality WorkMap.
Map Out Your Future Vision
Assess what you’d like to do differently.
Now that you’ve got a clear picture of how you’re spending your energy (and how it aligns with who you are + what you care about), it’s now time to think about what you’d like to change moving forward.
While you might be tempted to quit your job, there are many options that exist in between staying where you are and starting something new.
In fact, research shows that job crafting, or changing the tasks you perform, the way you interact with those you work with, or how you view your work, can dramatically increase levels of engagement, meaning, and effectiveness.
And you can craft your job, or improve your current role, in one of three ways.
The 3 Ways To Craft Your Job
- Task crafting. Rather than quitting altogether, you can alter your role by adding new tasks, dropping undesirable tasks, increasing or decreasing the scope of current tasks, or changing the way you perform tasks (e.g automating/systematizing redundant tasks).
- Relational crafting. Changing the extent or the nature of your relationships can impact your overall level of satisfaction. For example, you might communicate more with colleagues you enjoy spending time around (and less around those you don’t). Or you might lean in and be more helpful to others (and they, in turn, will likely be more helpful towards you).
- Cognitive crafting. Altering the way you think about the purpose of the tasks you perform, your relationships, or the job on the whole can change the meaning you attribute to your job.
So, here, we’re going to help you outline the changes you’d like to make in each of these realms.
Task Crafting Questions
Using the degree of alignment between each of your tasks and your personal values, strengths, and passions:
- What percentage of my time would I like to allocate to each task moving forward?
- Are there any tasks that I’d like to add into my responsibilities?
- Are there any tasks that I’d like to reduce the time I spend on (or get rid of altogether)?
Answer these questions in your Job Crafting For Health + Fitness Pros Workbook.
Relational Crafting Questions
Looking at each of your tasks (including any additional ones you’d like to add), consider the individuals or groups that may be involved with, or benefit from, your work.
And then ask yourself:
- How might I craft my interactions or relationships to better suit my values, strengths, and passions?
- Is there anyone I’d like to engage more (or less with)?
- If my relationships were better at work, what would I have done differently to achieve that?
Answer these questions in your Job Crafting For Health + Fitness Pros Workbook.
Cognitive Crafting Questions
The way you frame your work can alter the purpose you attribute to it. So, now that you have your tasks laid out, assign a role, or a personally meaningful label, that you can define each task by.
For example, while a large part of an insurance agent’s job might be processing claims, if they view it as a way to help people get back to engaging in their lives and work, they may feel very differently about the task itself.
Similarly, a strength coach may spend a lot of time catching up on emails. Rather than seeing it as mundane, repetitive work, they could see it as a means to make their clients feel heard, seen, and respected, which is a prerequisite for trust (and actual change). Which would, in turn, make the work more meaningful.
For each of your tasks, ask yourself:
- What is a meaningful label, role, or greater purpose I can use to describe my work?
- How does each of my tasks contribute to something bigger?
Answer these questions in your Job Crafting For Health + Fitness Pros Workbook.
To bring this all together, you can create an outline for your “future vision” in your Future Vision WorkMap, that shows what tasks you’d like to engage in (and to what extent), how your values, strengths, and passions align with these new tasks, and how you might craft your relationships and the way you frame your work, to make it more meaningful.
Below is an example of the Future Vision WorkMap filled out for a hypothetical S&C coach who is not crazy about sales. Notice how they are trying to relate to sales differently, and how they might shift the meaning of what they are doing.
Outline your next steps.
Now that you’ve figured out the changes you’d like to make to your tasks, your relationships, and the way you view your work, it’s time to take those thoughts and create an action plan.
Here are some questions to help:
- What specific actions can I take to make my vision a reality?
- What three specific people might be able to help me make my vision a reality? How and when might I ask each of these people for help?
- What are the main challenges or barriers involved in making my vision a reality?
- What strategies might help me avoid or overcome these obstacles?
Answer these questions in your Future Vision WorkMap or notebook.
Take Action And Create A Change
Just like a workout plan, on its own, won’t help your clients get in better shape, making a plan to improve your career won’t make a difference unless you put it into practice.
So, block out time in your calendar to conduct the actions you’ve outlined for yourself and slowly chip away at your goals. Even small changes can have a big impact on your overall levels of satisfaction and enjoyment.
Want To Learn More? Dive Deeper?
Knowing how you currently view your job, and what changes you’d like to make, is a great step towards finding work you’ll love and succeed at.
Yet it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. You must also…
Know your unique abilities — applying them is one of the only ways to increase your chances of success.
Understand how you work — it will help you operate in a way that’s more natural for you, while giving you the opportunity to gain support around your blindspots.
Know what people are willing to pay you for — testing your assumptions, and prototyping your career, is one of the best ways to ensure you’re on the right path.
To help you figure all this out, we created a special career coaching program:
The Career Blueprint:
10 weeks to discovering your perfect career path and going “all in” with confidence.
If you’d like to have confidence in your career path and do the work you’re meant to do, with the people you’re meant to work with, in a way that brings out your best…
…then this course is for you.
In just 10 weeks, we’ll help you create a clear path to do work that:
- Makes the most of your unique abilities,
- Is in line with what matters most to you, and
- Empowers you to fulfill your ultimate purpose.
And you’ll do this with direct support from your instructors and with other ambitious health and fitness pros around the world.
Be The First In Line
Registration for The Career Blueprint opens on September 14th. Spots are first-come, first-served and, last time we offered the course, it sold out very quickly.
So, for your chance to…
- learn more about the program today,
- see if it could be a good fit for you,
- get access 24 hours before everyone else,
… join our free Presale List.
By doing so, again, you’ll learn more about the program plus get early VIP access, which is a big benefit as our last cohort sold out very quickly.
The Health and Fitness Industry's Best Career Guide.Download Chapter 1 of Change Maker, Dr. John Berardi's new book, totally free.
The health and fitness industry is huge, competitive, and confusing to navigate. Change Maker helps you make sense of the chaos and lays out a clear roadmap for success. Get the first chapter for free by signing up below.