I recently had the opportunity to interview Julie Jansen, author of “I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This.” The third edition of her book is about to be released March 1, 2016.  I wanted to learn more about the newest edition, so I could share it with you.

I Don’t Know What I Want…” is one of very few career change books that I recommend over and over again to clients.  If you are considering a career change or have been out of the job search process for awhile, you’ll find valuable tips, assessments, and case studies to guide you.


What inspired you to write I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This?
I wrote the first edition in 2002 and it was published in 2003 during the dot.com era. This was a time where money was flowing in the economy and people started feeling like they could do something different work-wise, but they didn’t know how to approach the process.

I updated the book again in 2010 during the end of the Great Recession when there was no hiring and people felt stuck.  Now in 2016 nearly every company is hiring, Millennials are reinventing workplace values, and the hiring landscape is very complicated. So people need as much guidance as ever to help them realize gratification in their work.

The assessments in your book identify things like values, personality preferences, favorite skills and much more. How did you determine these elements were potential success factors for choosing a career?
I have been fortunate to work in different aspects of the career management field for 20 years – sales, coaching, training, speaking and writing. What I have learned through these different functions and activities is that if someone doesn’t learn about and understand who they are and what they want first, they will not be successful at finding gratifying work that is sustainable. The assessments that I discuss in my book encompass someone’s inner and external drivers.

High school or college graduates often have different priorities and criteria for choosing a career, compared to someone who has been working for 20 or more years and wants to change careers. How does the book address the needs of both groups?
It is true that everyone has different needs, priorities and criteria for choosing a career regardless of their age or experience and these continue to change throughout their lives. This is why the book is written in a way that enables an individual to customize their approach to identifying their work.

The book is probably more useful for someone who has at least worked for a few years, however there is still so much useful information about workplace trends, job search how to’s, and most important, especially for someone starting out in their career, the ability to identify who they are and what they want.

What mistakes do you see people make when they are choosing a career or changing careers?

• They don’t understand who they really are first
• They focus too much on tangible things like titles, money and status
• They don’t learn enough about a type of job, an industry or career before going into it
• They succumb to their insecurities or what other people think they should do


Tell me more about the third edition; what’s new and different?
New case studies, added contemporary interests and favorite skills, updated and replaced all statistics throughout book, changed the entire tone of One Toe in the Retirement Pool chapter from the old model of everyone retiring at some point, to today’s reality that fewer people are going to make a hard stop from working and retire, either because they are healthier, passionate about doing something new and different, or need to keep working for financial reasons or to get benefits.

The Job Search – The Nuts and Bolts chapter was expanded immensely in the following ways:

  • Added a social media section about how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, monitor “digital dirt” and managing your on-line presence.
  • Added considerable content to branding section including why it is necessary, what it is, and the multitude of ways to perpetuate your personal/professional brand.
  • Updated the resume section and deleted info about on-line versus traditional resume.
  • Updated the interviewing section to reflect on-line applications, phone interviews, Skype and Google Hangout interviews, panel interviews, behavioral interviewing, making PowerPoint presentations in interviews, psychological and personality testing and other changes to the interviewing process.
  • Updated the majority of resources (95%) listed in the Resources section.

You can pre-order your copy of the new release online here:


Barnes & Noble



About Julie Jansen

Julie Jansen – speaker, trainer, coach and author — has helped thousands of professionals find success and satisfaction at work as well as find work that is gratifying. Whether to a senior leader, manager, single contributor, entrepreneur, career changer, or job seeker, Julie offers her practical, no-nonsense approach to mastering business and career challenges, helping them to achieve a more fulfilling and rewarding work life.

She has written two booksI Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work (third edition on sale March 2016) and You Want Me to Work With Who? Eleven Keys to a Stress-Free, Satisfying and Successful Work Life…No Matter Who You Work With and six e-books on various workplace topics.

Her website is: www.juliejansen.net


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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

by Ginny Williams

Note: “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” is a an assignment we all remember and most of us dreaded every September. By “beginning with the end in mind,” completing this exercise in June is about creating the summer you WANT to have, one filled with happy memories.This is a slightly edited version of my original newsletter from May 2002. I’m still brainstorming my 2015 list (And yes, I did all but one of the items on the list during that summer of 2002!)


How I Spent My Summer Vacation

What does the start of summer feel like to you? To me, it feels a little exciting and full of possibilities for fun and relaxation. I know this is a carryover from childhood when summer meant freedom from the drudgery of school and when the only goal for every day was to have fun.

So how are you planning to spend your 12 weeks and weekends of summer? I’m not talking just about the big family vacation that you may take every year. I mean the little stuff, the ideas and activities to help you relax and enjoy the fleeting days of summer.

My suggestion is to start with the end in mind, as Stephen Covey suggests in: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Pretend that it’s September and someone is asking you how you spent your summer. What would you want it to include? What do you not want to do this year, no matter how much of an annual tradition it is?

Create a list of at least 12 ideas, one for each week of the summer. You don’t have to do all of them, but at least try something new each week. My own list includes ideas that fit one or more of the following criteria: low cost, low tech, low effort factor, indoors, outdoors, will teach me something new, or will make me feel a little silly, but in a fun way.Here are some of mine:

  • Eat an Italian ice from an ice cream truck
  • Read a bunch of Archies comics some afternoon (instant nostalgia!)
  • Put together a puzzle
  • Go miniature golfing
  • Go to the beach and make a sand castle
  • Look at the clouds and try to find animal shapes
  • Ride my bike the length of the Minuteman Bike path
  • Visit the Mohawk Trail in western Massachusetts and get a dose of history and nature.
  • Look at the summer stars through the Merrimack College Observatory’s telescope

Here are a few suggestions for creating your list of summer pastimes:

  • Think about what triggers your happiest memories of summers past: Here are some of mine: The smell of suntan lotion and backyard barbecues…Hearing the sound of a baseball game on the radio…Seeing fireworks on the 4th of July…Eating cotton candy…Feeling sand under my feet at the beach.
  • Balance the list with a variety of ideas. Not every weekend has to be filled with constant activity. Include low-effort ideas for those days when it’s too hot to think, let alone move.
  • Print your list on colored paper. Post it on your refrigerator. Without reminders, life has a way of causing us to forget even our best-intended plans. Don’t skip this step!
  • Share your list with a spouse, buddy or partner. Find someone who’ll help you follow through on your quest for a memorable summer.
  • Rearrange your schedule. Take care of the domestic realities like housework during the week and keep your weekends free for fun.
  • Borrow a child if you don’t have one of your own. Kids instinctively know how to enjoy themselves; let them be your guide to fun for an entire day, or even a couple of hours.

Finally, one of the benefits of being a grown-up is that you are in charge of how you spend your free time. You can create your vision of summer fun and no one is going tell you to come in when the street lights come on…or make you go to bed when it’s still light outside.Have a memorable and fun summer!


25 Benefits of Working with a Coach

November 25, 2013

It’s true that coaching can help you set and achieve your goals. But being in a professional coaching partnership offers you so much more than just working on goals. Here are 25 benefits you can experience when you work with a professional coach.  Are you ready?   The list may surprise you! Coaching can help you… […]

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