Find Your Calling: Nick Corcodilos

This expert headhunter offers a unique method for finding your calling.

Nick Corcodilos has received more than 18,000 questions about calling and purpose. Unable to respond personally to each desperate plea, he crafted and trademarked the Library Vacation (TM) on his Web site, Ask the Headhunter. The following is an adaptation of his strategy.


The Plan

Take three days off and go to the library. Enter the magazine and periodicals section, and start reading anything and everything that strikes your fancy. The only rule is this: You must have fun.

“After a few hours,” Corcodilos says, “you will finish with Rolling Stone and Vogue, and you will discover that there are literally hundreds of publications about countless professions and industries. Pick up the trade rags that pique your curiosity and see where they lead you.”

On the second day, you will begin to notice a trend in your reading. And if you follow the “fun” rule, you’ll begin heading in a focused direction. When you return time and time again to a specific industry or function, it’s time to hone in and do some research.

The Research

1. What industry makes the products or tools you are reading about?
Research that industry.

2. What companies are the movers and shakers in that industry?
Research those companies.

3. Who are the models and mentors in those companies?
Learn more about these people, and chase them until you schedule an informational interview.


As you follow this process, ask yourself whether your research is worth the time and effort, and whether you would be interested in engaging in a conversation about it. If the answer is “no,” cut your losses and move on. Eventually, Corcodilos insists, you will find something that really “rings your chimes.”

“The Library Vacation is a different approach to taking a lot of psychological tests to learn your calling,” he says. “I find those tests necessarily inaccurate because they simply match up your answers to those from a number of polled professionals in given jobs.

“Simply because you have the same interests and characteristics as 50 lawyers, doesn’t mean you should become a lawyer. You could be absolutely miserable as a lawyer. Fundamentally, discovering your calling should come from you, and it shouldn’t be easy. It’s your entire life.”

Nick Corcodilos is president and host of Ask the Headhunter, and is president of the North Bridge Group Inc. Read more from him later this month as the online headhunter shares his guide to for getting the job of your dreams. Contact Corcodilos on his Web site,

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