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Career Coach: Career Checkup

If you don't enjoy your work, maybe your career is ready for a checkup.

Pamela KleibrinkMy teenaged daughter Kearney recently received two paychecks in the mail.  One was for four times as much as the other.  But she was more excited about the check with the smaller amount.   Why?  Because of the way she had earned the money.

For the smaller check, Kearney had worked as a grip for Antiques Roadshow for two days in June, lugging heavy equipment from a truck with an internal temperature of nearly 120 degrees.  She pulled muscles, scraped knees, bruised legs and arms, but worked as a member of a cohesive team to build the set for the nationally televised show (watch for the Boise episode in January 2014).  It was grueling, painful, hard work.  She had never been so tired.  When I asked her if she would like to have a job like that, working on a set for long hours every day, she said emphatically, “I would love it!”

For the second paycheck, which was for more than four times the amount of the first, Kearney worked in an air conditioned office as an event planner and technology coordinator for a conference in Boise.  The conference took place last week and was a success–over 700 people attended.  Her supervisor lauded Kearney and said that they could not have pulled off the conference without her help and that hiring her was the best decision she had made.  But Kearney was not nearly as enthused about this job.  Why?  Because she wasn’t doing what she loves.

Kearney has a specific career goal–she wants to be a feature film director.  She was thrilled to work as a grip on the television show because it gave her insight into how hard grips work.  She has a new appreciation for all the people who work on set.

Hard work is not hard if you love it.  Give your job and career a quick check up.  Are you excited about getting a paycheck for doing what you love?  If you are working in a job you don’t love, think about ways to make it one that you do love or make plans to move on.  A fat paycheck is one thing–a joyful heart is another.  And often, you can have both.  What are you waiting for?


Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter and career coach who helps creative people succeed.    Pamela is a frequent speaker at colleges and conferences around the world.   To contact Pamela for personal career coaching, recruiting or speaking engagements email her at  You can also connect with her on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter!/PamRecruit.