Have you sometimes wondered if there is something better out there you should be doing?
You are competent at your job, and you are paid well. Your boss and colleagues are fun to be with, and you have a decent work-life balance. You are grateful. Yet there is a niggling feeling that something is missing. The work is not engaging – you could do it with both eyes closed.
Most people respond by going through job postings on LinkedIn and firing out 20 applications to see what bites.
Before you do that, pause. Do you know what you want to do?
As recruiters, we interview candidates everyday. We always ask “Do you know what you want to do?” and often they struggle to articulate the answer.
“If you don’t know where you are going you might not get there.” – Yogi Berra
You are born with a persona, which comes with a unique set of strengths. You have gained mastery around your experiences to-date. But, you are not quite sure if you are unleashing your fullest potential. What is your imperative, what is the work out there you cannot not do?
According to research by Amy Wrzesniewski from University of Michigan and her collaborators, there are three approaches to work – job, career and calling. A job is where it is purely to support our financial commitments. It pays the bills. A career is where the focus is to move higher on the corporate ladder. Promotions are the highlight of the work. A calling is where the work is an important part of you, something you take great pride and share fondly with friends and family.
For most of us, we pursue a job and career, without thinking about our calling until we have paid off the mortgage, kids and saved for retirement.
“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?” – Warren Buffett
You can find work you love and get paid for it today. If you look at the innovators of our time – Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Angela Ahrendts, their work was a calling, not just a job or a career.
So, do you know what work you want to do?
Take time to slow down and look inside.
When you have clarity on what you want to do, you may discover your dream job is right under your nose. Initiate that conversation with your boss. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want.
Alternatively, your vision could be so big and audacious, it feels unattainable. Create a plan to take the first step towards that direction.
Your plan could include:
- Talking to a career coach
- Acquire a new skill
- Connect with an industry insider
You do not have to quit your job or join a 5-day juice cleanse in Bali to discover yourself. The answer is within. Take charge of your career today.
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About Roger Grant, CEO of PERSONNA
Roger helps organisations turn ideas into real business impact. The change comes from the inside out.
He has more than 20 years of experience leading large diverse teams to create innovative customer-centric technology services, including the launch of Nokia’s first enterprise mobile device support service.