When your career is said and done, how would you want yours to be remembered? When a new employee makes its way to a Filipino organization, and narratives about the organization’s past employees, accomplishments, and failures are exchanged, would your name garner a mention in legendary terms?
Only a career filled with meaning can take you to such acclaim. How can one make the leap to lofty heights? Harvard Business Review’s Amy Gallo offers practical steps in this in-depth article, through these do’s and don’ts:
Make a prioritized list of what a meaningful career would look like to you – Gallo mentions four categories to consider, namely: legacy (What do you want to accomplish?), mastery (What are the strengths you want to improve? Are you using these strengths in rewarding way?), freedom (What is the lifestyle you want? Can your job be a ladder to fulfill that?), and alignment (the culture and values of the workplace you belong to). Make an honest evaluation of what you value and prioritize them. This will help guide your career choices.
Form a personal board of directors – This informal board of directors made up of mentors and trusted peers can serve as your sounding board on the direction you plan to take.
Run experiments – Similar to your days in Science class, it’s time to test your intended career direction “hypotheses” by, for instance, trying out certain things within a current job (i.e. taking a new task that can be a testing ground for a new skill) and/or outside the company. Picking the brains of people who are doing your target job or the career you want to do also helps.
Focus on your next role – Your question should be, “What life do I want?” instead of “What job do I want?”. Leave the mindset required of a typical job search at home.
Let the stage of your career hold you back – Mid-career professionals can join the fray. The pace for the career change may feel a bit slower, but do not feel stuck.
Neglect your finances so that when you want to make a change, you don’t feel able to – Work on establishing a financial cushion. Do an accounting to find ways to lower the amount of money you need each month.
Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, famous for his book Man’s Search for Meaning, said meaning comes from three possible sources: purposeful work, love, and courage in the face of difficulty. The key adjective is “purposeful”. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have this merit? Time to buckle down and work towards a meaningful career. The time and effort will be well worth it.
Photo by Andreas Fusser