Careergasm: Find Your Way To Feel-good Work by Sarah VermuntCareergasm: Find Your Way To Feel-good Work by Sarah Vermunt

Careergasm: Find Your Way To Feel-good Work

bySarah Vermunt

Paperback | March 14, 2017

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Rousing, bullsh*t-free advice for aspiring career changers

What is a careergasm? Does it feel as good as it sounds?

You bet your ass it does. A Careergasm happens when your work feels good. Really good. Like a groovin' Marvin Gaye song. Like you and your work belong together, and you can't help coming back for more.

But how do you get your mojo back when you're in a passionless relationship with your job? In Careergasm, Sarah Vermunt leads the way. This playful, empowering book for wannabe career changers is a rally cry, a shot of courage, and a road map charting the course to meaningful work. Filled with real stories about brave people making great stuff happen, this how-to book will help you step out of your career rut and into action. It is written with love and punctuated with laughter. The snorting kind. And the occasional F-bomb. It's a warm hug and a kick in the ass delivered by a straight-talking spitfire who walks the talk and has hundreds of thousands of people sharing her work online. It's time to feel good again.

A former business professor, Sarah Vermunt is the founder of Careergasm, where she helps people figure out what the heck they want so they can quit jobs they hate and do work they love. She writes about careers for Forbes, Fortune, Inc., and Entrepreneur. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, and online at
Title:Careergasm: Find Your Way To Feel-good WorkFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 7.5 × 5 × 0.68 inPublished:March 14, 2017Publisher:ECW PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770413715

ISBN - 13:9781770413719


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring and Eyeopening I feel it's safe to say I've had many Careergasms while reading this book! I was completely inspired and had many ideas spark in my brain while soaking up all of the words Sarah had written. I was also happy to see Sarah at a career conference as a keynote speaker. Her advice and words inspired me to achieve my career goals and understand how I can move in the right direction to feel good work! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about a career change, knows what they want, but not how to get it or to anyone that feels lost in the work world. Cannot recommend this book enough!
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend Sarah Vermunt is genuine and has lots of useful advice. I loved reading every moment of this book. I was surprised by how much I liked it and found it applicable to my life.
Date published: 2017-10-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from cover the front cover makes me want to judge a book by its cover because it looks so fun!
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring This book was something I stumbled onto, it's empowering and had quite a few nuggets of important advice/information. Highly recommend purchasing this book. Be warned it'll be left with dog-eared pages and highlighted nuggets of very helpful information.
Date published: 2017-03-08

Read from the Book

What Is a Careergasm?What is a Careergasm? Does it feel as good as it sounds? You bet your ass it does. A careergasm happens when your work feels good. Like, really good. Like a groovin' Marvin Gaye song. Like you and your work belong together. It happens when you feel connected to your work - when you choose it, and it chooses you - and when you want to keep coming back for more.When you're on the right career path, it feels like a vocation, a calling. You feel like you're doing exactly what you're meant to do and what comes naturally to you. Your work leaves you feeling happy and satisfied and full - not every day, but most of the time.A careergasm happens when you want the one you're with. You've got a hot date every Monday morning, and you show up over and over and over again because it just feels right.It's hard to describe a careergasm to someone who has never had one. All you can do is smile knowingly and say, "Just you wait. It's amazing. And worth every bit of effort it takes to get there." Because it does take effort. Like anything good, you have to work at it. This book will help you do the work you need to do to get there. Maybe you've had a careergasm before, but things have fizzled out. You've lost that lovin' feelin'. If your work used to be hot, and now it's not, it's either time to spice things up or time to move on. Some things aren't meant to stay in our lives forever. That includes old passions that have burned out. Maybe it's time to let go and move in another direction.But how do you get your mojo back when you're in a passionless relationship with your work? One step at a time, baby. Every day there are people all over the world doing just that - letting go and taking a bold step in a new direction. I'm here to help you take yours. It's time to feel good again.I QUIT: A Note from the AuthorI had a breakdown in the middle of a crowded Starbucks. I was working on my dissertation. I hated it. I had hated it for a long time, but on that day something in me just broke. I was miserable, and my capacity for faking interest - even mild interest - in something I hated was exhausted. I couldn't do it anymore. Not for another second. I don't know why it happened at that particular time on that particular day. I didn't see it coming. Maybe I should have, but I didn't.I felt myself start to unravel. My stomach twisted, and I felt an icy hot flash of panic pulse through my body. To my horror, I made a scene. I cried. We're not talking a quiet, single-tear cry. We're talking the fast and furious flood kind, with a snotty nose and choppy, heaving breaths. I was shaking so hard I nearly spilled my coffee all over my laptop. I rushed to gather my things so I could leave and save myself the public embarrassment, but it was too late. I watched the whole affair unfold from up above, outside of my own body. I thought, So this is what a breakdown looks like. It was awful. And exactly what I needed.The next day I walked into my Ph.D. supervisor's office and told him I was quitting, four years into my Ph.D. and 93 pages into my dissertation. I'd keep my teaching job until the end of the year, but I was leaving. A career as a professor was not for me. I was afraid of what people would think. I was afraid I'd look like a failure. I was afraid I'd lose everything I'd worked for. I was afraid it would kill me. But I did it anyway. I listened to the little voice.I am so proud of that decision. It's the hardest decision I've ever made, and one of the best. Quitting was a gift I finally found the guts to give myself.That happened four years ago, and since then I've devoted my life to helping people quit jobs they hate, to helping them get the hell out of Dodge when they just can't take it anymore. I took all of that experience from teaching at a business school and spun it into something new, something that feels way better. That broken-down woman at Starbucks is now a career coach, helping other people to take their power back and choose something better. If you're lost or struggling or unhappy in your work, know that I know what that feels like. So do a lot of people. Gallup, Forbes, and the New York Times report that more than half of Americans are unhappy and disengaged in their work. What most of us don't realize is that your breaking point is actually freedom calling. In the following pages, it's my hope to help you find the strength to turn away from work you hate and the courage to move toward work you love. I'm going to help you ask the right questions, dig deep, and figure out what you actually want. I'm also going to help you address your fear and resistance so you can say, Fuck it. Yes, I'm terrified, but it's worth it. Let's do this.XO SARAH P.S. I changed the names and identifying details of pretty much everyone in this book. Because I'm not an asshole. May their stories, and my own, give you the loving kick in the pants you need to find your way to feel-good work.Part 1: Looking for Clues: You'll Never Find What You're Looking for if You Keep Looking in the Wrong PlaceI DON'T KNOW WHAT I WANTPeople say one of the hardest things to do in the pursuit of a happy career is figure out what kind of work you actually want to do. I agree with that. Kind of. In fact, I'd say it's something more like this: One of the hardest things to do in the pursuit of a happy career is admitting to yourself what kind of work you actually want to do. There's a big difference between not knowing what you want and not admitting what you want.Most of the people who come to me for career coaching feel lost. They don't know what they want. At least, they think they don't know what they want. But more than half of the time - hell, most of the time - the problem has nothing to do with knowing; it's the fear associated with desire.There's nothing more terrifying than admitting what you actually want - especially if you think you can't have it.For most, the problem isn't that you don't know what you want. It's that you're scared shitless to want it. Admitting that you want something means doing something about it. It means you're either going to be on the hook for making it happen, or going to knowingly let yourself down. And I don't even have to tell you which of those two outcomes is tougher on you in the long run.Saying you don't know what you want is easier because it makes you the poor schmuck who's in the dark. But I would toooootally pursue my passion if only I knew what it was. Is that really true? I'd be willing to bet that on some level, there is a very wise part of you that knows exactly what you want. Some people live their whole lives trying to hide from their own truth. Don't go through life willingly playing the part of the poor schmuck.Here's what I'm talking about: BANKER: I've got to get out of this god-forsaken profession, but I don't know what I want to do.ME: What kind of work do you think would make you happy?BANKER: I don't know.ME: [activating stern librarian glare] Is that really true? You have no idea what would make you happy?BANKER: Yes. I don't know.ME: [radio silence + raised eyebrow (the facial equivalent of calling double bullshit)]BANKER: Okay. I've actually always wanted to be a brewmaster, but I can't do that! BINGO.If this resonates with you, then, honey, your problem is not that you don't know what you want. It's that you're afraid to want it. And those are two very different things. Think the banker-turned-brewmaster example is far-fetched? Think again. A client of mine made that exact transition. And he did it several years into his profession, and while raising two young boys. He even took a crappy minimum wage job at a brewery one summer, so he could learn the industry. He was paying the nanny more per hour to watch the kids than he was making. If you're afraid to let yourself want what you want because you think you can't have it, just remember the banker-turned-brewmaster. Consider the following question, and answer it honestly: Are you really as lost as you think you are, or are you just afraid? Maybe that question feels like a relief to you. Maybe you're thinking, OMG, deep down I DO know what I want, but I don't know how to get it. I'm terrified! Or maybe that question really pisses you off. Maybe you're thinking, Listen, lady, you have no idea how much I've struggled with this. I really DON'T know what I want, and I'm trying really fucking hard to figure it out. If this is you, hang in there. I'm going to help you return to the part of yourself that knows.If you truly don't know what you want, chances are you lost touch with your desire somewhere along the way. At some point in time, you pushed that desire waaaaay down to a place where you're now able to tell yourself, convincingly, that you don't know what you want. Maybe you did this after college, or when you started a family. Maybe earlier. Maybe you pushed that desire down when you were an anxious teenager worried about your future, or when you were an obedient child trying your best to show your parents love and gratitude, no matter the cost. You may have pushed that desire down so long ago that you don't even know how to access it anymore.But it's there. And if you're willing, I can help you find it.AND THE SURVEY SAYS . . .Have you ever taken one of those aptitude inventories that tells you what you should be when you grow up? You know the kind. Based on this 10-minute survey, you're destined to be either an accountant or a lion tamer!These types of assessments can be comforting and are sometimes a good starting point, but without some more introspection they're also often the reason why people get stuck in the wrong career. When it comes time to make a career decision, many people take the easy road and do what an assessment tells them to do, with little further inquiry. Maybe you took that road, too. Maybe you picked your career based on what you were told to do by a career inventory, or an aptitude test, or a personality assessment . . . or a guidance counselor, friend, parent, spouse, teacher, or mentor. These people all probably had the best of intentions, but they had no real way of knowing what's best for you. Only you know that.On the one hand, that's awesome! As Glinda the Good Witch would say, "You had the power all along!" On the other hand, Holy pressure, Batman. That's why so many people cave to someone else's career advice: It seems easier. But sometimes the easy road actually gets you lost, even when you follow directions and do everything "right." Have you ever done that? Followed someone else's directions only to get lost? It's infuriating. You probably could have done your own navigation and been just fine, but it seemed safer, more prudent, to get directions from someone else, just to make sure you're going the right way. Then when you get lost, you think, WTF?! I thought these directions were supposed to get me where I wanted to go!Sometimes you take direction from others and get exactly where you were supposed to go - only when you get there, it looks nothing like you thought it would. You think, This is it? THIS is the place I've been working so hard to get to? What a letdown. You want to get the hell out of there, but you have no idea which way to turn. You've "arrived," but you're also lost.If you're feeling lost in your career, chances are you'll have to dig a little deeper to see which path is best for you.When a highway is about to be resurfaced, first the road has to be milled - you have to dig beneath the surface and expose what's underneath to make a foundation so the new road will actually stick. The milled road is kind of bumpy and corrugated, like corduroy. The old road has to be ground away before the new one can be laid.It's the same for buildings. You have to dig beneath the surface to build a foundation. This is the most important step. If you get the foundation wrong, you can't properly support what you build.What do roads and buildings have to do with your career? On the off chance that you're in construction, lots. On the more likely chance that you're not, this: If you want to build something that will last, you're going to have to dig deep first. You need to get in touch with what you actually want. What you want will be different from what I want, and what your mother wants, and what your best friend wants. That's why following someone else's advice (whether it's dispensed by your dad or a guidance counselor or a sophisticated career assessment) doesn't always work. You are unique: Nobody but you can get it right.We're not meant to be pigeonholed: You're one of a kind, and your career should be, too.ACTIVATE YOUR INNER TODDLERnot shy about expressing their feelings. They can go from squeals of delight to a raging hissy fit in 10 seconds flat . . . and vice versa. A new Spiderman action figure? Pure joy! But ask him to share it with his little sister, and you've got a miniature Godzilla on your hands.Toddlers aren't very concerned with social norms. They wear their feelings on the outside. They're still relatively new to the planet, so they haven't picked up all of the rules yet. And is that really such a bad thing?As adults, we play by the rules and do what's expected of us. We're polite, proper, and professional. We don't do a happy dance in the middle of a crowded street. We don't cry and kick and scream in a vocal range audible only to dogs. Well, aren't you a little bit sick of that? Aren't there times when you want to kick and scream and make a scene because you have to do something you hate? And aren't there times when you want to squeal with delight and do a goofy little jig, but you don't because you're afraid people will think you've flipped your lid?When it comes to your career - and, hell, when it comes to life - I think we'd be better off if we embraced our inner toddlers a little more often.Now, I'm not suggesting that you call your boss a poo-poo head (if you must, please line up another job first), or pout and stomp around when you don't get that promotion (okay, maybe in private). I'm simply suggesting that you notice what makes you want to throw a raging fit. Notice what makes you want to squeal with delight. These are MAJOR clues on the path to feel-good work.A friend of mine is a business consultant with a big firm. They have lots of rules - even rules about her shoes. She's allowed to wear pointy-toed high heels, but not square-toed ones. When I hear this, I think, OMG, kill me now. I would never survive there. That is just too many rules for me - not to mention ridiculous.Stupid rules make me want to throw a hissy fit. Other things on my hissy fit list include pointless meetings, mindless small talk, annoying jargon, networking events, and boring research journals. All of these things make me want to throw myself on the ground and carry on like a toddler who's just been told it's time to leave the splash pad.What's on your hissy fit list? Think about it. What rules do you long to stop following? What do you wish you never had to do again? What makes you want to flop around like a fish in the candy aisle of a crowded grocery store?Go ahead and make a list. Include things from your work life that you hate, but feel free to add other things, too. Non work-related things on my hissy fit list: wine (I've tried to like it for years, but I think it's gross and I'm sick of trying to like it just because everyone else does) and messy spaces (the thought of curling up and watching Netflix in a room with yesterday's dirty dishes within sight gives me hives).Now, let's look at the other side of the inner toddler spectrum: squeals of delight. What lights you up? What makes you feel like a kid with a bag of Skittles and a Kool-Aid-stained grin?I'm talking about work things and non-work things. Some things on my squeals of delight list: bright nail polish, rivers and mountains, alone time, pretty stationery, writing, deep conversation, beautiful design, organizing, planning, nurturing others, problem solving, and working with delightful people one-on-one.If you look at both of your lists, you'll probably notice some themes. Don't expect a specific job title to pop out at you. We're not there yet. Just look at your lists and see if any themes emerge.Need some help? I'll show you what I mean. Let's take a look at my own lists.My hissy fit list tells me that I'm reeeeeally not into shallow connections or interactions. It also tells me that I'm not into traditional corporate stuff, and that doing something just because it's conventional makes me feel like crap.My squeals of delight list suggests that I like things that are fun and a little bit kooky. I'm also a visual person. Art and design matter to me. And space and nature make me feel good.Return to your own lists and see what you can learn. It should be obvious, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway: Put some distance between yourself and the stuff on your hissy fit list, and move toward the things that feel like pure delight. But I can't stop doing the things I hate! That would mean a total overhaul! Uh . . . yeah. Maybe that's exactly what you need. And I can't devote more time to stuff I love. It's not practical! People will think I'm nuts! Dude. Who cares? This is your life we're talking about. You're supposed to enjoy it. It's time you took your life back. Embrace your inner toddler. Live a little. I'll meet you by the splash pad.

Table of Contents

What Is a Careergasm? - ixI QUIT A Note from the Author - xi1. LOOKING FOR CLUES - 1 I Don't Know What I Want - 2 And the Survey Says . . . - 7 Activate Your Inner Toddler - 12 Child Genius - 17 Obsessed - 21 Weird Is Good - 26 Hey, Jealousy - 30 Mason Jar Smoothie - 35 Check Your Rearview Mirror - 392. YOUR SECRET INGREDIENTS - 43 Iron Chef - 44 I Can't Work in These Conditions! - 48 Hot and Cold - 53 More Happy or Less Happy? - 57 You Do You - 62 Embrace Your Inner Molly Ringwald - 673. THE RESISTANCE - 73 Just Gimme a Sign - 74 You Can't Quarantine Desire - 79 Welcome to the Resistance - 83 Excuses, Excuses - 88 I'm Fine, Really - 934. BURNOUT, BAGGAGE, & BREAKDOWNS - 97 Snap - 98 The Burnout Club - 102 Gut Check - 108 Surrender - 113 Check Your Baggage - 117 Selfish - 1235. FEAR - 129 Careerhack - 130 Fear Disguised as Practicality - 134 Is All Fear Bad? - 138 Fearless, My Ass - 1406. AMBITION - 145 Don't Fight Your Curves - 146 $UCCE$$ - 150 Easy There, Tiger - 153 Enough Is Enough - 157 Enlightened Ambition - 161 The Seduction of Should - 168 Ambition Amnesia - 171 Even Better - 1787. MONEY - 183 The Cheesemaker and the iPhone - 184 A Van Down by the River - 189 The Shitty End of the Stick - 193 Who's the Boss? - 1968. FAILURE - 203 Worst-Case Scenario - 204 The Agony of Defeat - 209 Plan B - 213 Don't Apologize - 2189. EVERYBODY'S TWO CENTS - 223 What Will People Think? - 224 Where Is the Parade I Ordered? - 229 Angels and Assholes - 233 Watch Your Language - 23710. BEGINNING - 241 Make Room - 242 Amateur - 246 Glamorous, It's Not - 251 Get in the Game - 255 Al dente - 260YOU'RE INVITED A Send-Off - 267Acknowledgements - 270About the Author - 272

Editorial Reviews

"What makes Sarah Vermunt's new work manual Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work stand out from all the rest is she strips out all the yawn-inducing, sometimes straight-up nonsensical corporate jargon that makes so many other how-to's insufferable, injects just enough casual language to make youngs feel comfortable, and breaks it down into totally digestible, doable, realistic chunks (no abstract "If you dream it, you can achieve it!" mantras here)." - FLARE"Her advice is spot-on . . . This is an irreverent but important addition to the career shelves." - Booklist "Careergasm is refreshingly real, fiercely empowering, and full of piss and vinegar . . . like the author herself! For a feel-good career that thrills and delights, think of this as FUN required reading!" - Linda Sivertsen, bestselling author and host of the Beautiful Writers Podcast"There aren't many people out there who are willing to tell the hard truth. Lucky for you, Sarah Vermunt is one of them. Buy this book if you're ready for powerful professional advice, served straight up - because who wants that watered down sh*t, am I right?" - Steph Jagger, coach and author of Unbound: A Story of Snow and Self-Discovery"Passionate, honest, and funny, Sarah Vermunt will take you from having no freaking idea what to do to being super jazzed and running down the path towards work that feels good. There might even be rainbows. There are so many YES! moments, so many gems, so many nuggets of smarts and wisdom in this book. Each one is a little nudge; add them all up and you'll find yourself down the path of a fun and fulfilling career and, just maybe, actually liking Mondays." - Marc Johns, artist"Careergasm is a fun, energizing, useful tool for the person who wants more from their work than a way to pay bills. Prepare to engage deeply and transform your work!" - Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation and Body of Work"Careergasm is a bible for anyone of any age who wants to take a career leap. Sarah Vermunt's words spill through the pages with stunning accounts of real and true stories that anyone can relate to. My copy is lovingly filled with dog eared pages so that I can come back to her wisdom over and over. Although I love what I do, this book is filled with beautiful reminders and inspirations to stay on the path, intact and orgasmic." - Tiffany Pratt, stylist, designer, and author of This Can Be Beautiful"With trademark wit and wisdom, Sarah Vermunt's Careergasm calls out our passion and marries it to practicality to help us produce the kind of career we've all been dreaming of." - Christina Crook, author of The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World"For those looking to throw their careers in the air and start fresh, Careergasm gives you a fun, friendly, and fierce approach of exactly how to do that. You'll find yourself reading and laughing your way to your boss's office to quit. Filled with both comedic and motivational punches, Careergasm will help you see there is more to life than a 9 to 5 that makes you roll your eyes every Monday morning." - Jen Glantz, author of Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire)"She has such a way with words that made me feel vulnerable and exposed but also like I was in a safe space. I have been singing her praises to everyone I come into contact with because it was such a Godsend for me. I could probably write a dissertation on it because it is seriously life changing." - Speaking Of Everything Mag