I loved reading How to Build a Meaningful Career by Amy Gallo on the Harvard Business Review website recently. And I agree when she writes:
“Everyone aspires to have purpose or meaning in their career but how do you actually do that? What practical steps can you take today or this month to make sure you’re not just toiling away at your desk but you’re doing something you genuinely care about?
“What the experts say
“Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to make the job decisions that lead to satisfaction. Nathaniel Koloc, the CEO of ReWork, which provides recruiting services to companies that offer purposeful work, says that’s because no one really ever teaches us how: ‘Very few parents, teachers, and mentors urge us to think about this or give us mental models to use,’ he says. ‘We tend to only get nibbles of what meaningful work is in our twenties.’ As a result, we often pick jobs for the wrong reasons, says Karen Dillon, coauthor of How Will You Measure Your Life. ‘We look for things that we’re proud to talk about at a cocktail party or look good on a resume.’ But rarely are those the things that translate to satisfaction. Here are principles you can follow to find a career—and a specific job—you don’t just enjoy, but love.
“Know what ‘meaningful’ means to you
“Am I respected by my colleagues? Am I being challenged? Am I growing? Do I believe in the mission? ‘These are the things that are going to make the difference between being ok with your job and being truly happy,’ says Dillon. But ‘meaningful’ means something different for each individual. ‘Don’t just look to obvious things, like salary, title, or prestige of the company,’ says Dillon.”
Read more of Gallo’s well-written article that goes on to describe the specific principles that can enable you to find a career you truly feel passionate about.
I like this article because it does a superb job of providing an overview of core areas to consider. And I’d also like to add that one big area we should also consider is the inside job—i.e. paying close attention to how we’re feeling and thinking in addition to own wisdom and intuition—as we move through Gallo’s recommendations. When we pay attention to our own reactions and stay curious, a powerful mixture is created that draws people and situations to us that can help us make better choices along the way.
At Linkage our Inclusive Leadership Intensive is specifically designed to help leaders be more inclusive. And we’ve found the most inclusive (and successful) leaders are constantly aware of the “inside job” and pay particularly close attention to their own unconscious biases. They are always on the look-out for their own blind spots, they actively seek out insight from a variety of stakeholders, their personal boards of directors as well as peer feedback all the while aligning to moving in a directions that will truly light them and others up. Paying attention to our inside world by constantly integrating, refreshing our old perspectives helps us to create the next steps that align more closely with why we are all truly here.
It really works. And we can help.