FINDING CAREER PURPOSE - How To Find and Do Work You Love (Ikigai)Feb 16, 2022
I don’t know about you but I’d be absolutely lost without the GPS in my car (I’ve named mine Martha), because it’s one thing to know how to drive, it’s another to actually know how to get to where you wanna be. Martha is like my friendly little side-kick who gives me peace of mind that if I just follow her cues and trust her guidance then I’ll arrive at my destination!
It’s the same with careers, you need something guiding you in the right direction. You wouldn’t set out on a road trip with no directions, so why should you do the same for your career?
Here’s the punchline… Your career purpose is your Martha. The cool thing? She’ll be totally unique to you. She might be called Harriet, or Sophie, or Gertrude for all I know. Whatever her name is, lean into her, trust her, and she’ll take you to destination dream job, population: you.
Ok Rosie, enough with the GPS analogy, how the heck do I find my career purpose? Well, I’m glad you asked!
I use a concept called an ‘ikigai’, or as I like to think of it, an 'ikiwhy', because it roughly translates to ‘reason for being’. So basically, it’s the reason why you want to get out of bed every morning. Your ikigai is a concoction of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. The sweet spot lies riiight in the centre where they all overlap.
I use a 5 step framework to get to the heart of my clients’ ikigai, and lucky for you I’m willing to share! So if you wanna be in the know…
- Keep reading below for the breakdown
- or, check out this YouTube video!
STEP 1: FINDING OUT WHAT YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT
It’s critical to have a strong grasp on what your unique strengths are, so you know how to leverage these in your career.
If you’re not sure what your strengths are, you might like to prompt yourself with questions like…
- What do I tend to understand more quickly than most people?
- What do I find fun that others might find boring or difficult?
STEP 2: FINDING OUT WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE
These are the things that energise you. If you want a career that you just can't get enough of, you need to know what lights you up. Understanding this gives you an idea of what you should try to integrate into your career, or they can help to predict what career paths you would find most enjoyable.
A couple of questions you might like to ask yourself to get to the heart of this…
- What content do I consume? Books, Podcasts, TV shows? What are they about? What do I enjoy about them?
- When did I most recently find myself in a state of flow where I lost track of time, what was I doing?
STEP 3: GETTING CLEAR ON WHAT MATTERS TO YOU MOST
This part is all about nailing down the core values that guide your life and decision making so you can make sure your future career prospects line up with this. Falling into a career that is misaligned with your values will create inner conflict and stress, and that’s not the energy you want to have in your day to day life!
These are some great prompts to uncover your core values…
- What gets you fired up? What injustice infuriates you?
- Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party for your role models, dead or alive. Who would you invite and why? What’s one characteristic you value about each of them?
STEP 4: FIGURING OUT WHAT YOU CAN BE PAID FOR
The above steps are all very well and good at deciphering what you care about and what you’re good at, but that doesn’t really mean much if it leads you to something that you can’t be paid for. For example, I care about cats and I love eating ice cream, but am I gonna get paid for those things? I freakin’ wish - If I could, I’d be a millionaire by now.
So this part is all about matching your values, strengths, and what you can offer the world with what the world needs. What problems can you solve and who is going to pay you to do that? Put that research hat on and see what’s out there - you might just be surprised at some of the roles that exist!
STEP 5: BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now you’ve got your four components sussed, it’s time to whip all of these ingredients together into one big juicy career purpose. Don’t get it confused, even though I’ve given you the formula, it’s not as easy as 1 + 1. It can be a bit more like g(𝑥) = (3 - 8𝑥)11. Don’t ask me what the answer is, I have no f*cking idea. But that’s the whole point, finding your career purpose isn’t supposed to be easy. That’s probably why so many people don’t even bother, and instead settle for a mundane, lacklustre job that doesn’t ignite their passion and flex their skills!
But I know you’re different. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have an innate desire within you to figure out what your true purpose is in life, to figure out why you were put on this planet, and how you can make a tangible impact in your day-to-day life.
Bada-boom bada-bing, just like that, you’re now armed with a foolproof way to build your very own career purpose! It may seem like a lot of work, but TRUST ME, the clarity you’ll feel after this exercise? Priceless.
So get working on that ikigai! Find your Martha, punch in those GPS coordinates, and you’ll be on the road to true career happiness 🚗💨 Toot toot bitches, coming through.
P.S. If you're hungry for more tips and tricks on how to define your purpose AND put it into action, you NEED to watch my free masterclass, Career By Design! I teach you the 4 steps to unlock your wildly fulfilling, lucrative career. Just tap on the image below to get watching 👇