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CLICK HERE to listen to interview transcribed for a National Career Development Association article in the Spring 2011 issue of Career Developments on the topic “In Remembering Life’s a Secret.”  The topic is a preview of the speaker's upcoming 2011 NCDA conference keynote presentation.

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Mark Guterman


Desperately Seeking Meaningful Work

It is the gap between our aspirational values and those by which we operate on a daily basis that accounts for our level of desperation. Mark will discuss the meaning of values and when is an opportune time to engage in the search for meaningful work.

Powerpoint Presentations


 Your Inner Work Life.ppt


Desperately Seeking Meaningful Work.ppt

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.



Mark Guterman, M.A., is co-principal of MeaningfulCareers.com, a web-based business that guides people to meaningful work, lead coach and trainger for Springborad Forward, a California-based non-profit dedicated to providing career development for entry-wage workers, and career coach for San Francisco-based Jewish Vocational Services.  Mark also teaches for John F. Kennedy University's MA program in Career Development, does individual career coaching, and consults for organizations in various aspects of career management, leadership devevelopment, and work/life balance.  He is the author of Common Sense for Unccommon Times:  The Power of Balance in Work, Family, and Personal Life, co-author of ValueSearch, and developer of dozens of training programs used by large and small organizations throught the United States. He is a frequent speaker throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia and will keynote the 2011 National Career Development Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  He was recently awarded a Purpose Prize Fellowship by Civic Ventures, to honor "social innovators in their encore careers."



ValueSearch: A New Approach to Clarifying Values

Values determine the degree of meaning and satisfaction derived from work.  ValueSearch is a cross-culturally based process that helps individuals, groups, and organizations determine the values that give meaning to their life and work. ValueSearch includes a reusable deck of 60 values cards, which are prioritized, defined, recorded, and mapped on the ValueSearch Profile Form.  The Counselor’s Manual gives detailed information on the administration, interpretation, and theoretical foundation underlying ValueSearch. MORE...



Mark Guterman
San Francisco / Bay Area

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Exercise #!:  A Time in the Shallows

Think back to a time when your work/life felt shallow, empty, or meaningless. Reflect upon the following questions:

  1. What was that experience? 
  2. How were you feeling? 
  3. What caused it? 
  4. How did you get through it? 
  5. What did you learn as you went through it? 
  6. What does the experience mean for you now?

Exercise #2:  On Purpose

  1. What word or phrase best describes your purpose?
  2. How does that expression (or lack of) affect your sense of meaning?
  3. If there is a little or limited expression, what can you do?

Exercise #3:  Journal Writing


Wrte three journal entres (of at least 15 minutes each) in the next week in response to the question, "For whom do you work?"

In his interview, Mark will reference SLIDE 5: ValueSearch Map:1 below.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
User-uploaded Content
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Interview Questions


Introduction (5 minutes)


  1. You provided listeners with two powerpoint presentations that are posted on your Careerwell page:  one about "Your Inner Work Life" (purpose) and the other about "Seeking Meaningful Work" (values). I'm going to ask you questions on the first presentation for the first half of this interview and the second presentation for the second half of this interview. Listeners are welcome to follow along by viewing these two powerpoint presentations.
  2. How do the concepts of purpose and values relate to each other?

Your Inner Work Life (25 minutes)


  1. Let's look at your first powerpoint presentation on "Your Inner Work Life." Could you explain more in depth what you mean by "inner work life" (SLIDE 2)?
  2. In SLIDE 3 of your "Inner Work Life" presentation, in which you present a model of meaningful careers, you mention purpose, intention, and competence. Speaking of competence, whose competence are you talking about, your own, that of your associates, supervisors, or clients, or that of society?  Could you explain competence using an example of social networking technology competence?
  3. You bring in sensory awareness as part of inner life.  I've heard recently that coaches tend to bring in body/mind awareness more than most counselors.  Is this what you have found and how do you place the importance of value/mind awareness in the career advising process?
  4. What are your four levels of purpose on SLIDE 4? You mention in your other powerpoint presentation the difference between aspirations and current values or how they relate.  What are you talking about in SLIDE 4? Could you give an example of building one's business and overall life purpose?
  5. In SLIDE 5, you provide an "Exercise on Purpose." Would you mind guiding a volunteer listener on this phone call through the exercise?
  6. In SLIDE 6, how can you follow the traditional career decision-making step process when life challenges intervene? Could you use a personal or client example?

Desparately Seeking Meaningful Work (20 minutes)


  1. In your other powerpoint presentation, "Desparately Seeking Meaningful Work," you show a Value Search Map on SLIDES 5 and 6.  How is your Value Search Map unique? You choose eight categories of values. What are these values and why are they important? Could you use example (respect for elders and for one's own beliefs)?
  2. Let's take the example of career advisors and the general public.  How might our values differ from those of the general public and how can they be resolved?

Conclusion (5 minutes)

  1. Could you summarize what you have been talking about on your inner life work and meaningful work?
  2. I understand you will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2111 NCDA conference in San Antonio next summer.  I look forward to hearing more from you at that conference.  If listeners want to get in touch with you before then, how can they contact you?
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.