It’s a mistake to think being miserable is the price of making a living. Everyone aspires to have a meaningful individual career. But how?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to make the job decisions that lead to satisfaction and fulfilment because no one teaches us how. We often pick jobs for the wrong reasons. We look for things we’re proud to talk about, follow common standards or expectations, or look good on a resume. But those are rarely the things that translate to satisfaction. Here are steps that entrepreneurial people should take in their search for career fulfilment.
Here are principles you can follow to find a meaningful career you love.
HOW TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
1 | KNOW WHAT 'MEANINGFUL' MEANS TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
Ask yourself: Am I respected by my colleagues? Am I being challenged? Am I growing? Do I believe in the mission? These things make the difference between being ok with your job and being truly happy. Don’t just look to obvious things, like salary, title, or prestige of the company.
2 | SEEK OUT THE PASSIONATE PEOPLE TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So banish the negative and pessimistic people in your life. If you want a fulfilling career, hang out with people who are fulfilled. Inspiring people inspire others. It doesn’t matter if you don’t share their same passions. Passion is contagious. It helps you to figure out your “why.”
3 | CONSIDER THE UNCONSIDERED
Make new experiences as much as you can. Carve out time to try new things and dig deeper into fields that interest you. You never know what might come of it.
4 | BUILD A SIDE BUSINESS TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
A side gig is a way to generate income outside of your day job. Launching a side hustle will give you the financial resources to explore other job options. Your day job will no longer feel like a ball and chain. A productive side hustle will free you up to try new things without having to worry about the next promotion or getting downsized.
5 | KNOW YOUR PERSONALITY TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
An essential ingredient to career success is rigorous self-knowledge. We are all different. What works for someone else’s career won’t necessarily work for you. Do you know how you are wired? What are your unique traits, behaviours and qualities (not your skills or qualifications) you inherently possess, likely since you were a child? A valuable tool in self-examination is a personality assessment. They are not the whole picture and have varying levels of accuracy but can help build up a more nuanced vocabulary of ‘you’.
Some popular online tools to start you off with:
Personality isn’t everything and isn’t even permanent, but some paths are far better suited to us than others. Rather than select an approach based on the perceived appeal or prestige, choose one with day-to-day responsibilities that suit your personality and where you can often find yourself effortless. So ask yourself: What would your most authentic self enjoy doing daily?
6 | WHAT WOULD YOUR LOVED ONES SAY ABOUT YOU?
What what your loved ones say about you?
Notice how the decisions you make regarding your spare time and money indicate clearly what you care about. If you don’t have a lot of choice in how you spend your time or money, look at your thoughts. What are you thinking, dreaming, journaling about? What themes appear first in your search history, in conversations with friends?
Whatever the topic, if it’s one you are curious about or interested in, it can provide a solid ground from which to build a career you will love.
7 | KNOW YOUR VALUES TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
Values act like an internal compass to guide our decisions. They trigger our intuition to grab our attention. When are values are not being met, something feels ‘off’ about a situation.
If you can identify your values and live in alignment with them, your decision-making capabilities will improve. Here’s a guide you can use to identify yours.
8 | DON'T TRY TO FIT INTO A BOX TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
Position your unique combination of skills and experiences to honor every part of your professional narrative. Do it in a way that joins the dots and aligns with the mission you want to solve. It’s ok to be different. Position your unique combination of skills and experiences to honor every part of your professional narrative. Do it in a way that joins the dots and aligns with the mission you want to solve. It’s ok to be different.
Multi-hyphenate careers (where we do more than one thing, as signified hyphenating your roles e.g. coach – podcaster – consultant) are becoming the norm.
9 | DEFINE YOUR MISSION TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
Direct yourself and your unique qualities towards something bigger than yourself by defining a meaningful career mission. In order for it to be your unique career path, you must choose one that is meaningful to you. Rather than your interests (as defined earlier) a mission is an unsolved problem. And this is a good thing.
10 | START BEFORE YOU ARE READY TO BUILD A MEANINGFUL INDIVIDUAL CAREER
We often want to wait until we have it all figured out or we are completely prepared. But we’ll always be less experienced than someone. So stop comparing yourself to others.
If you commit to doing something, by the time you get there, you’ll have figured out how to do it.
Let us support you
Defining and living a meaningful individual career requires doing a lot of inner work and making difficult trade-offs. It isn’t a walk in the park. But it’s worth it! The steps provided are the bedrock of genuine self-awareness and decisive decision-making in times of uncertainty. It helps you to do course corrections to feel more aligned, authentic, and fulfilled in your career choices.
Our Online Coaching Programs help you to make your best interests a priority in your life.