Start with imagination, says Italian Peruvian author and consultant Piero Morosini. Make it the focus of your work.

Not money, not power, not stock options.

Imagine.

Now, imagine what careers, jobs, and the transitions between them would look like in that world.

Seven Keys

I recently heard Peter Day of the BBC's Global Business program interview Morosini about his new book The Seven Keys to Imagination, subtitled "Creating the future by imagining the unthinkable ... and delivering it".

"Imaginative" is not what you want to be called in Corporate America, unless you work in advertising. To call an accountant creative is practically an indictment. Don't even mention "emotional," which has been used to keep generations of women out of the board room. In the career industry, a "creative" job search technique conjures uncomfortable visions of a sandwich board or clown costume.

What if that were not true?

What if, Morosini asks -- instead of distrusting our imagination and emotions as conventional business does -- we treated them as valuable resources to be used to shape our future?

Perhaps:

* "We've always done it that way," would no longer end dialogs.
* A business calamity could be turned to opportunity.
* Layoffs would not be the most common corporate response to a recession.

Imagine your career

When we imagine our career, we realize everything we have done has brought us to this place and this moment. "If only" has no place in our vocabulary. We can turn regret into opportunity simply by recognizing it. We can remain in one place, looking back over our shoulder and wishing that we had taken the job, not taken the job, made more money, made more time for family, not been among the layoffs, quit the job sooner. It doesn't matter. What is, is.

Then, we can imagine what is next. Morosini suggests imagining the unthinkable ... and delivering it. What would that look like?

When I was in my thirties, I quit a job before I had landed another job. I know it's not a great idea, and I don't recommend it to my clients today. Unfortunately, my dislocated jaw and muscle spasms in my back had become unbearable under the stress I felt. Instead of looking for another job, I started my first business. It was nearly unthinkable. I had never dreamed of owning a business. I hadn't even taken bookkeeping in high school or college. A more unprepared business owner has probably never lived.

Instead, I imagined it. I put all of the things I knew how to do in a figurative bowl, stirred them up, and poured out a freelance writing business. Soon, resume writing had become my bread and butter. In those days, I'd never heard of resume writing as a profession, but I was doing it. My imagination and a DOS-based PC with a 20-MG hard drive made my living. I have a bigger computer now, and I have a whole bunch of credentials I didn't have back in the early days of this industry, but I'm still making my living using my imagination.

I'm not suggesting your career transitions be as drastic as that one, but I am recommending keeping all of the options in the bowl. When you use your imagination on what looks like a jumbled mess of ingredients, you can end up with a cake, as long as you follow the directions.

How to

Morosini says his seven keys to the imagination "can be recognized, developed and applied by all individuals, teams, and organizations who have the courage and determination to unlock their power to imagine and create successful futures for themselves.”

Michael Murray described the seven steps in his article, An imaginative approach for entrepreneurs:

The first two [steps] involve trading on mindset and customer obsession, with the aim of enabling individuals to imagine 'radically new, unimaginable futures' by seeing around them important things that others keep missing. The next four – Wiraqocha leaders and tinkunacuy, Peruvian concepts that loosely mean inspirational leaders and co-operation based on respect, as well as gentlemen’s promises and common glue – all allow imaginative individuals and teams to make the challenging mental pictures they originally conceived a reality. The remaining key, purposeful mission, turns these imaginary thoughts into a results-oriented process.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, skim through the related articles below for some early 20th century inspiration from Napoleon Hill and his band of merry millionaires.

Does this article spark your imagination? We welcome your comments below!

Copyright 2010 Jeri Hird Dutcher, Workwrite.net. Republication permissible with attribution and link to Workwrite.net.

Author's Bio: 

If your job search could use a spark of imagination, visit us today at http://workwrite.net. We offer executive and professional job search and career change services. Jeri Hird Dutcher is a Certified Professional Career Coach and Resume Writer with clientele nationwide. She is the winner of the 2010 Best Creative Resume TORI Award from Career Directors International.