Many of my clients come to me for the exact same reason – increasing their fulfilment at work.
They want to find work that excites them, that gives them meaning, that feels GOOD – yet they aren’t quite sure on what that looks like exactly.
What are they passionate about? What are their biggest strengths? What unique skills, attributes and talents do they hold? What kind of lifestyle do they want to lead? What would their dream job look like?
And that’s where I come in!
People say that what we are seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.
– Joseph Campbell
You see so many women (and men) are caught up with climbing the corporate ladder. Yet they don’t even question WHY they want to, where it will take them, or if they even will enjoy it once they get there. The thing is you can spend your entire career chasing the next rung on the ladder, but have you ever even stopped to ask yourself if your ladder is up against the right wall?
Most people haven’t.
The most common metaphor for careers is a ladder, but this concept no longer applies to most workers. As of 2010, the average American had eleven jobs from the ages of 18-46 alone. This means that the days of joining a company and staying there to climb that one ladder are long gone.
– Sheryl Sandberg
And it’s not until you finally reach that illusive promotion that you realise you’re not quite as happy as you thought you would be. It falls flat. It’s a total come down, and source of major frustration. Thoughts rampage through your mind – Wasn’t this supposed to make me fulfilled? Aren’t I supposed to be happy now? Wasn’t this supposed to solve everything?
But unless your career move was rooted in a strong understanding of your personal foundation – who you are intrinsically; your values, your needs, your strengths, your biggest passions, your vision for your life – it’s likely that it won’t bring you the satisfaction you so deeply desire. It’s probably more of a bandaid solution to a much deeper yearning.
Most of my clients have blinkers on.
That is, they see themselves in only one particular industry, or job role, without truly knowing WHY. The thing is, once you get to know yourself on a much deeper level, and truly understand what makes you tick – you start to realise that in fact there are MANY dream roles for you out there, not just one. They may show up in multiple industries, under many different titles – but they will all give you the satisfaction you desire and deserve.
Remember that you don’t always have to be about moving UP, in most cases you will gain far more satisfaction, meaning and enjoyment from moving sideways, across or diagonally. Because careers are a jungle gym, not a straight ladder.
Ladders are limiting – people can move up or down, on or off. Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration. The ability to forge a unique path with occasional dips, detours, and even dead ends presents a better chance for fulfilment.
– Lori Goler
The key to career satisfaction, and to deciphering your “dream job” lies in three key pillars:
- What your passionate about
- What you’re best in the world at
- How you make you an income.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
But uncovering this golden answer is no easy task, and it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. It takes time, dedication, and a lot of energy devoted solely to YOU. You have to really want it, and be willing to do what it takes to get there. (Trust me, it is definitely worth it!)
So I encourage you to step back from your life right now.
Remove yourself from your job role, your company, even your whole industry.
Allow yourself to see the BIG picture.
What is your underlying passion? What is your purpose?
What did you dream of being when you were a kid? Perhaps its time to sign up for Space Camp or intern as an assistant to a marine biologist. Recapturing the excitement of childhood isn’t impossible. In fact, its required. There are no more chains – or excuses – to hold you back.
Asking yourself this may seem silly at first, but digging around into your unique passions, the things that excite you and light you up – that is exactly where you need to be to discover your dream job.
Then you need to make it happen. Step outside of your comfort zone, and commit to your goal.
Yes, when you finally discover what you’re good at and enjoy, sometimes it takes guts to do it. Yes, it may not make you rich initially, but success isn’t all about wealth. Too many people get stuck in a career that a high school counsellor divined through those weird tests and said they had an aptitude for.
– Sheryl Sandberg
After all, it comes down to how YOU define success for yourself?
Measure yourself and your progress against that, not to anyone else’s definition of success.
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