Now What? Fulfilling your need to change

So maybe you feel lost. You’ve been out of work seemingly forever. You have skills, you have passion—heck, you even have a resume that blows away most of your peers—but you just can’t seem to find a way to land the dream job that you’ve been looking for, despite your best efforts. And now, you’re at the point where even looking for a job seems pointless.

Or perhaps you’re just stuck. You successfully climbed the ladder, you’re in the job that you searched for your entire life, and you’ve had it for years. You have everything you thought you ever wanted, including a good paycheck. But still, something seems—wrong. Somehow, you know this isn’t where you really want to be. Discontent gnaws at you until simply going to work in the morning is a challenge.

Now what?

That’s the question that author and life coach Laura Berman Fortgang wants to help you answer in her book, Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) a book that she says will help you get to know who you are, and know how to get what you want.

The book was written to help people who feel that somehow, they’re being drawn towards a life-altering change, but have no idea what to do or how to move forward. This can be a difficult process, particularly for people who already “have it good” in the eyes of family, friends and co-workers.

“Maybe everyone around you thinks you’re nuts for complaining or thinking of shifting gears,” she writes. “My motto is: ‘If everyone is saying you’re crazy, you’re on the right track.’

“As a population (first world, likely two or three generations away from our immigrant ancestors), the notion that having a job or an income of any kind should be happiness enough has become outdated,” she writes. “You know your life is good by the standards that society measures itself, but you are not happy and can’t seem to justify it or name why it is so. You may not be sure how else to go about things or what else you should do with your life.”

For the unemployed, the feeling of being trapped in a hopeless situation is just as likely. “So many people are finding themselves ‘old,’ ‘overqualified’ or ‘shut out’ of opportunities and industries due to the quickly changing landscape,” Fortgang writes. “You’re being asked to send your resume out into cyberspace with barely the courtesy of an acknowledgement that anyone’s read it and no way to follow up with anyone. It’s pretty easy to feel hopeless.

“New tactics are a must,” she writes. “Complete reinvention is required.”

Fortgang’s book offers a 90-day process during which she guides the reader, day by day, and step by step, through a series of exercises and tools which she says will lead to satisfaction and fulfillment. With the book, she promises to help readers identify exactly what it is they’re looking for, but how they can achieve it.

This updated version of the book, which was originally published in 2004, features 10 years of personal experiences of Fortgang’s life—coaching clients who have enjoyed success with her program. They include a high-fashion shoe executive who found a much more gratifying occupation helping adoption agencies around the world place children in permanent homes, and a woman who quit her unfulfilling job to find more rewording employment doing motivational work with professional athletes.

The new version also has a 21st-century twist: QR codes that appear throughout the book which, when scanned, will lead readers to videos and other supplemental material that will support them in their efforts to change their lives.

According to Fortgang, finding one’s true calling can be an exciting—and sometimes scary—experience. But once a person’s “Life Blueprint” (as she calls it) is drawn, a time of “great wonder and unexpected surprises” will follow.

“It will be up to you whether you pursue it or not,” she writes. “However, in my experience, once ‘it’ is undeniably clear, it is virtually impossible to ignore its call.”

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Michael Ruscoe is a writer, teacher, and musician living in Southern Connecticut. He is the author of the novel, "From the Stray Cat Files: You’ll Do Anything," the anthology, "Baseball: A Treasury of Art and Literature," and numerous educational texts. An instructor at Southern Connecticut State University, Ruscoe is also lead singer and songwriter for the indie band Save the Androids! In his spare time he earns karma for his next life by ardently following the New York Mets. The proud father of two children, Ruscoe also cares for and supports a pair of goldfish, who, in all honesty, are not very good conversationalists.