Knowing the answer to this seemingly simple question has proven to be far more complex than many understand. Translating your answer into a career direction is where the reward resides.
Our life is a complicated combination of different moments of action and inaction of work, rest and play. Any one of these elements may provide us with an inner creative joy. They focus our energies to a suitable use. Lacking this direction, our energies may create misalignments in our lives and carry the potential to make us physically and/or mentally unhappy.
Simon Sinek, Author of the book Start With WHY says people are inspired by a sense of purpose (or “why”), and that this should come first when communicating, before “how” and “what.” Finding the intersection of your purpose and career choice is not easy to do. It forces us to look inwardly to understand how we got where we are, and to direct our next steps forward toward our purpose and impact.
Asking ourselves “why” provides us with the necessary permission to analyze what we’re doing. It creates the opportunity to find the direction that leads to impacting our world, however great or small. And it allows us to find meaning and a sense of peace in a sea of ideals.
Work is an important element leading to satisfaction in our lives. But many people find no satisfaction in their daily work lives; they’ve become survivors of what we do. When asked who we are, we simply respond, “I’m an accountant,” or “I’m a sales representative.” Is that who we really are? Understanding the role of work in one’s life provides the roadmap for discovering the values behind a career worth having.
Many of the problems we face in finding a sense of purpose in what we do could be avoided by determining what we want out work before throwing ourselves into it. For example, maybe you have a job that you never intended to do, nor particularly really want, and it makes you behave in ways contrary to your character. Having a focused sense of purpose allows work to become a catalyst, a deliberate driving force to provide the necessary direction in your career.
Interestingly, understanding your why, and even why you are where you are, is not easy. Taking a long, hard look at yourself can be uncomfortable, and coming to a conclusion about your “why” can turn things in a different direction than you thought you were heading. Where do you go from here?
Exploring the role of work in our lives provides the direction necessary to guide our careers and becomes the definition of who we are. Have the courage to STOP, look at what you’ve become, then ask yourself “Why?” The art of translating your purpose into a career is the real work. Finding a partner like the LAK Group will help guide you through this process, put together a plan, and execute your strategy. We would love the opportunity to help you.
Through work, we will help you understand the various elements that can help you on your journey and provide you with the models and tools you need to inject your Career with your purpose.
The intent is to help you step back and take the time to identify what is it that you would truly love to do for a living and help you synthesize what is right and unique to you. So, before you start updating your resume and LinkedIn page, evaluating companies, and begin interviewing for your next career, let’s do it with purpose. Let’s determine together what your true north is and what’s important to you so there are no missteps along the way and your next career decision is the decision for a lifetime.