Some say that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life. Others argue that if you turn your hobby into a paid endeavor, you will lose any gratification that normally comes from it. In our humble opinion, both are valid points. But while we can always find new hobbies, earning a living is rarely a choice. Unless we are born into wealth or win a lottery, we need to consistently devote a huge portion of our time to performing tasks for financial gain. So we might as well make the journey worthwhile, right?
Whether we like it or not, security is a myth. There are more and less risky professional paths for us to choose from, yet, ultimately, things like to shift in a blink of an eye no matter where we are on the career ladder. Today we dress nicely and head to the office, tomorrow we find ourselves laid off for reasons that might’ve had little to do with our performance or dedication. Some jobs are steadier than others, but in the grand scheme of things, there’s no predictability in this game as there are too many checkers at play.
Whether your risk tolerance is low or high, it’s wise to remember how many of our circumstances lie beyond our control. Hence, in order to survive this uncertainty and learn from all the detours and bumps in the road, we need a growth mindset – the capacity to see opportunities in obstacles.
Willingness to accept change and the ability to adapt are one of the most important qualities to put on your resume (at least that’s what we look for in our candidates at Intelligent Change). And if you train yourself in seeking discomfort, your confidence will grow and anytime the reality does not match your expectations, you’ll be able to do something about it.
So tell us, in all honesty, how has your heart been? Is who you are aligned with your professional path? Do the projects you work on excite you? Is the language you use to talk about your career positive or negative? Analyze, evaluate, reassess. Check in with yourself on a regular basis so that you stay on course. Determine whether at this point in your professional life you are where you want to be. If not, you can either stay in a seemingly safe zone of comfort, or you can act.
As we already established, taking anything for granted in life is folly. Therefore, is leaping into a potentially more fulfilling job opportunity really that scary? Weigh your pros and cons and ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen if I do this? Then, what would be the solution to the worst possible scenario? There’s no need to rush, no need to do anything you are too uncomfortable with, but you might find that the simple act of asking these questions reveals some obvious answers.
We can learn from the wisest sages, teachers and coaches, we may ask for the best pieces of advice from those we admire and look up to, but our life will always remain our own – we are the architects. Take some time to reflect on your possibilities. Which path in front of you makes you feel expansive, which one contracted? Are you treading the right one for you or the wrong one?
To restore your belief in the depth in life, we might know a piece of wisdom that will help you come up with the most effective game plan. The Japanese concept of Ikigai, which roughly translates to ‘a reason for being’, is a brilliant tool for finding clarity. Whether it’s your limiting beliefs, social conditioning, or a few bad experiences that stand in your way to earning a living doing what you love, Ikigai is a series of coordinates for remapping your dream life.
According to the Japanese concept, your professional happiness lies at the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs. It’s enchanted in the synthesis of your passion, mission, vocation, and profession. However, each of these components will require time and space to take shape in your mind and heart as every single one of them poses loaded questions.
What are your values, your purpose, and your goals? What kind of work pattern or environment makes you most productive? Where do you want to live? Who do you want to work with? What do you want to achieve? How would you like to contribute to the overall wellbeing of your business, or the one you work for? Whether on a page of your journal, during a gratitude walk, or talking it through with a trusted friend, settling on a new professional direction will take some pondering. Patience, friends, patience – sooner or later everything in your vision and your plan will click into place.
The Secret Ingredient
And now on to our ultimate gem of advice: tie yourself to the mission rather than any particular company. Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall, yet dreams and positive impact are forever.