"How do I find work that fits me perfectly? Can I have a career I'm passionate about? -a job that's not a big compromise, realistic, uses my talents fully, fits my personality, doing something I enjoy that matters to me?" These are questions that master career coach and social scientist Nicholas Lore has helped hundreds of thousands of people answer. As the director of Rockport Institute (rockportinstitute.com), his work has been commended for excellence by President Clinton. "In writing The Pathfinder, I put on paper the same process we use to coach clients through making a career change. Even though our work is about career choices, it is actually about life choices, and about creating one's life and future rather than having the past decide what we will do."
Lore's Rockport Institute has coached more intelligent, complex people, working one-on-one, through career change (and original choice for younger clients) than any other organization. The lessons learned give his books depth and breadth, passion and experience.
I was born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, like my childhood hero Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, in a little village with dirt roads that turned to mud when the perfect blue Appalachian skies cried on the men who, along with my father, made atomic bombs.
Later on I lived in Greenwich Village during the days when it was the center of the explosion of creativity that was The Sixties. My fellow villagers were people like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. My great passion was inquiring into unexplored possibilities: how could people live their lives creatively, fully self-expressed and fulfilled, without giving up their sense of wonder and play. I studied psychology, Eastern philosophy, anthropology and literature, and participated in the 60's full tilt. My friends became rock stars, explorers, painters, writers, and scientists who had found their means of self-expression. Some gained worldwide renown. I still had no idea what to do with my life. Work was just a way to make a living.
I got married at the age of 27. I thought I had better start acting like a responsible adult and settle down. A fellow offered me the job of plant manager of his factory, mainly because I was honest and his previous manager wasn't. My final job was running an energy conservation company on the coast of Maine. Even though I was passionate about the subject matter, I became restless and bored with it, just as I had with every previous job.
I looked all over New England to find a career expert who could guide me through the process of choosing a more fulfilling direction. I was shocked to find that career counseling methods were extremely primitive, the technological equivalent of 16th century surgery. I was very fortunate that a fellow member of my local boat club, R. Buckminster Fuller, became a mentor to me. Through his coaching and support, I dedicated my life to creating powerful and effective career coaching methods that would allow anyone to choose a career direction that would fit them so well they would be able to wake up in the morning with enthusiasm for the workday ahead. In 1981, I founded Rockport Institute. Our philosophy is that, with dedication and hard work, anyone can choose or change to a career that they are passionate about, and fits them completely.
Rockport Institute developed a wide range of new career design tools and methods. We called our work "career coaching" years before personal coaching became a household word. We realized that most career assistance was (and still is today) prescriptive: you would take some assessments or talk to a counselor and they would prescribe a list of fitting jobs or give you some advice. Even the best counseling stopped at exploration. They didn't seem to have any tools that would take a client or reader all the way to the point of certainty about their specific future work. Our methodology was (and is) completely different: based on coaching you through a career design project.
Making the best choices should never be based on taking an experts word as truth. In order to choose components of your future work, you've got to do whatever is necessary to become sure about the importance of each piece of the puzzle. The best question is "what am I sure will be some definite components of my future work." It turns out that up-to-date research in neuroscience backs up the effectiveness of this method. The brain is not very proficient at making personal choices based on lots of maybes. It is much better at working on career decisions one step at a time, and making choices piece-by-piece.
With the Rockport Career Design Method™, you start by delving into the most vital elements of career success and fulfillment to find clues revealing the fit between you and the working world: natural talents, personality, temperament, goals, passions, vision, life-style, values, commitments, practicality, and your degree of willingness to stretch for new horizons. Then, as a sort-of career detective, you "work" the best clues and start building definite components/specifications of your future work.
We have coached more than 14,000 clients (mid-career changers, young adults and students) through the morass of uncertainty to making the best possible career decisions. These programs combine in-depth testing of natural abilities, talents, aptitudes, etc., with a complete exploration of clients' personalities, temperament, values, commitments, passions, spirituality, habits and life-style. Then, clients put all the pieces together into a practical, doable career choice, a new direction that they designed themselves. Clients represent all walks of life: young and old, rich and poor, professionals, artists, students and people reentering the work force. I have done my best to include much of what we have learned over the years into my books, "The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success" and "NOW WHAT? The Young Person's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career."
President Clinton was kind enough to commend my work. He wrote: "I am heartened by your efforts to empower people to lead productive and fulfilling lives... As you well understand, knowing one's own gifts and talents is a powerful tool for finding work that is challenging and rewarding...The success of this information revolution will ultimately depend on the dedication and commitment of individuals who, like you, care deeply about helping people reach their creative and productive potential. (Your career coaching programs represent) the kind of effort our country needs in order to meet the demands of a global economy."
In the distant past I have been: a CEO, entrepreneur, plant manager of a manufacturing company, researcher in psychology, blues musician, well driller, and paperboy.