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Gayle Howard

What a fascinating and refreshing perspective Walter. After reading it, I feel oddly inspired! (I guess you do that to people a lot!). I think all of us at some stage forget to stop and smell the roses. And you are so right; sometimes finding a new lifestyle can take you down different paths of interest that you may never have considered before! Interests that allow you to seek new opportunities. What a great article!

Hannah Morgan


YES! The concept of retirement might be dying. With all of us living longer and social security shaky, why are we killing ourselves so that we can live life during our retirement?!

Live the life you want now! Make it fulfilling!

What a wonderful message! I hope people hear it!

Megan Fitzgerald

Great post Walter!

I love that Mexican fisherman story. Understand what you really want, and find the most effective way to find it - not just following wisdom of the uber successful. Each of us have parts of our lives that are just as we want it - building on that will help us find the joy and peace many expect won't come until after our official career is over.

Thanks for those wise words!

Meg Montford

Good reminder in this post, Walter. I agree - it's very important to focus on the "who" you are, then the "what" you want to do will follow. When you let job search burnout dominate every waking hour, you can develop a bad attitude - and then, whatever you've accomplished so far may begin to unravel. Thanks for sharing this perspective to the job search process.


Walter Akana

Thanks Gayle! You know you can always count on me for taking a slightly (or not so slightly) different angle!

In thinking about that mid-year check up (especially in an environment where even doing the right things may still mean a long job search), it seemed a good time to suggest looking at the bigger picture.

In fact, I do believe that by stepping outside of the box we so often put ourselves in, we may see ways to make a better life that helps us escape the treadmill we think we have to jump back on!

Not advice for everyone, necessarily, but there are lots of people who may benefit from this kind of check up!

Walter Akana

Hi Hannah! Thanks, as always for your great comment! You definitely get it!

Interestingly, at Right Management, I faciliated a life options workshop for people just beyond mid-career. Typically, the response was that this is the kind of mindset they wish they’d developed years earlier.

Actually, what most people don’t realize is that nose-to-the-grindstone work and sacrifice makes you ill prepared to enjoy yourself with new-found free time!

So, if you can’t live a meaningful life now, you won’t be prepared to live one when you retire (whatever that means!!).

Walter Akana

Thanks, Megan! That story is one of my favorites!!

The lesson, just as you point out, is that we all need to understand what we really want. Of course, since it can be a moving target, we do need to check in from time to time.

I think the idea of a life well lived is what drives my affinity to personal branding as a process. Because the work helps you reach deep introspective insights you can discover the core of who you really are.

And once you learn that you can be yourself, you can take that permission and apply it in a variety of ways that serve your vision for the world while providing you great personal satisfaction!!

Walter Akana

Thanks, Meg! You’ve hit an angle I wasn’t really considering, but is so very true!

Even a model job search still has that element of being driven that can create frustration, and ultimately burnout, the longer it goes. And while I’m not saying everyone should dramatically alter their career path, I think pausing to determine if the path is the right one is well worth the effort.

For me, that means putting your career into the context of your life and seeing if it is leading you closer to the meaning and fulfillment your want for yourself and your loved ones. If not, then clearly there is a need for making significant adjustments!

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Threshold Consulting

  • Walter Akana is a Career/Life Strategist who works exclusively with mid-career professionals who want to achieve more self-direction and satisfaction in their careers and lives. He is Reach certified as a Personal Branding and Online Identity strategist, and is a Reach Keynote Speaker




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