Our work lives are crazy busy. And sometimes we compromise on certain things just so that we can keep that well-cushioned job.
Think of workplace toxicity, grapevines that don’t get us anywhere, and distractions that we don’t need when focus is a precious currency.
A lot of us are adjusting our career compass so we can pay our need-to bills and live an appropriately well-lovable life.
But the truth is, deep beneath the facade of praising ourselves in our society for how great we are doing, we are wallowing.
So how can we intelligently plan – instead – our careers around the lives that we truly and abundantly want to thrive in?
Through career design. Through the long-term planning of our future that coalesces our work and life into a blissful unison.
Here’s how we can start to think in a rather strategically smart way:
- Reflect on what has consistently worked well for you despite certain career aberrations. No matter the job we get, over a period of time you see a certain pattern of comfortable consistency in what you’ve been doing usually well for a long time. Seek a career in which you can naturally play your A-game. Life is too short to constantly dabble with immature perceptions of what has and has not worked for you. Go into the genesis of what brings you alive in a said career field or profession, even if you don’t have the requisite credentials to back you up. Sometimes, you choose a career path only to discover certain aspects of it to suit another work function more adequately. Rather oftentimes, we get redirected to something else that gets the best of our resources and competencies. In retrospect, patterns are priceless clues to what our strengths are – and how we can enjoy using them to get the best results for our employers. In the context of career design, we live more satisfying lives when our careers teach us life lessons that help us bring our whole selves to work.
- Understand the basis of your daily enthusiasm and parlay it into career-life goals. What perks you up on a daily basis? What keeps you curious even when it’s not your best day? What brings a smile to your face and love doing even when someone didn’t pay you for it? (Well, I encourage all of you to monetize what you truly love doing, but just parking this thought in your mind to take a step back and revisit where your sustained enthusiasm lies.) Our career and life is often shaped when we progressively love what we do more frequently, if not daily. It is the barometer of how we inch towards our purposeful career-life. If daily motivation doesn’t come to you, try daily meaning-making. Create something or seek value in small things in a day and see for yourself what keeps you ticking on this planet. You will find your answers in your love for things that instantly jolts you out of your bed to pursue your life ambitions. Don’t worry about the path – it’s an enduring journey, just design your career by deeply pursuing your bigger mission in your life.
- Envision your Total career compass on a philosophical, emotional, and daily practice level. Your career is not just limited to working in a swanky office, getting paid decently, and making a few water-cooler friends pass your day and arrive into the night convincingly tired. Your career is a manifestation of how you live the way you live and how you work the way you work. So the way you live and work (read: in the precise order) stems from how emotionally and spiritually immersed you are in your work. In view of the fact that we on average have 4000 weeks to live on this planet, how much invested you are holistically in your life determines how qualified and enriched a career you have at this time. So plan your carer around your life and not vice-versa – that’s your guiding light, your total career compass.
How are you carving your career around your life inspiration?