I came across this term called “IKIGAI’ during a seminar and found it really interesting. IKIGAI, pronounced as “eye-ka-guy”, is a Japanese terminology which means “reason for living” or “life purpose” or “life mission”. You may ask yourself – what is the reason for your getting up from bed every morning that motivates you to go to work? What work can you do that you really enjoy doing and gives you self-satisfaction? The key is to finding the right balance between your Mission, Passion and Profession.
The 4 Questions you could ask
According to IKIGAI, you ask yourself the below
What do you love to do? ……..Mission
What are you good at, that you enjoy doing? …….. Passion
What does the world need? …..Vocation
What can you get paid for? …….Profession
The balance is found when your Mission converges with your Passion, map this to what other people need, and then, find a way to get Paid for it. Take a look at this diagram. Your IKIGAI lies in the centre of the four interconnecting circles.
When you work with a deep sense of purpose, then the commitment and quality of your work is high, and above all, you enjoy it. This is because a strong purpose involves having a wider perspective of how you could impact the larger community, so then, work down towards your goals.
Being a career success coach, I meet clients who are looking to transition to other career streams and often, a question that they have is, “What would be a suitable career that I could take up?”. Some even ask “What’s the purpose of my life?” and so on. I beleive, it’s for each of us to find out what is our purpose in life and then align our career accordingly.
I asked myself these questions, and got my answers. I
enjoy coaching people, and nothing gives me greater satisfaction than when my
clients tell me how the sessions changed things in their lives.
I have found my IKIGAI !!
So, what’s your IKIGAI? Think about it.
Would love to hear your comments about how you feel about this.
A midlife career change can be very daunting and requires careful assessment. After the age of 40, many people working in service, go through those times wondering whether they are really enjoying their work. It can be the same for you.
At the beginning of their career, perhaps you were excited about the job, meeting new people, working with new technologies, working in a big organization. Over time, the work seemed monotonous or you just didn’t get the satisfaction that was expected. It’s also possible that you discovered new interests, were looking at flexible work hours, or just simply, earning more money.
Under such circumstances going for a career change is a great idea. However, before taking such a decision, it is necessary to evaluate the present scenario. For that, here are my 6 conscious thoughts that might help you in making a midlife career change:
1 – Why do you want to change your career?
There are two primary reasons for
you to be motivated to change careers. One, you are motivated to move away from
something that’s not working for you (like the work environment, the company
culture, the nature of work, or just extreme work-pressure). Second, you are
motivated to pursue specific interests and activities that you always wanted to
do but could not due to other compulsions. Hence, it’s important for you to
understand why you are looking for a change. What do you expect in your new
career that you are not getting here?
2 – Are you clear on what you want to do in your alternate career?
Before planning any change, assess
well what would be different when you do change the career. How would you like
your new career to be? How will the change affect the people around you, especially
your family members and your social circle? Brainstorm with your family and a few
close friends. Consider your strengths, carry out some research and evaluate
the new career options. Discuss with people who will support you, but at the
same time also discuss with those who critique you. This is the best way to find
out the pros and cons of the decision.
3 – Consider working in the same industry
Look at work opportunities where
you can utilize your existing skills. For instance, with whatever skills and
work experience you have gathered over the years in your industry, would
teaching professionals or recruiting people in the same industry be an option?
4 – Value alignment and skills
It is important to align your core values with the demands of the work that you do, that will help you to stay positive irrespective of what career or job you seek. So, spend some time and understand what is important to you in your new avatar. Also, evaluate whether your current skill-set is sufficient for your new career, or will you require a different skill-set? If the new carer is a different industry, then it’s also possible that you may have to unlearn a few things. Estimate how much time you would take to learn this new set of skills.
5 – Understand the pitfalls of a midlife career change
The best way to understand the
snares and dangers is to speak with multiple people who have traversed the same
journey are now in the profession that you are looking for. What worked for
them, and what didn’t! Learn from their experience. Put down all the possible
challenges you could face but more importantly, for each of them, write down
how you plan to overcome them.
6 – The Decision must be always yours
After considering all the
parameters, the final decision for change should be only yours to make. Take
complete responsibility for that decision. Also, it’s always a good practice to
write down your ‘changed’ resume, meaning, what your resume would look like
when you have taken it up with your new clients or companies.
Having done a successful career transition myself, I now enjoy coaching people to help them achieve theirs. Do reach out for any questions and I would be happy to help. Midlife career change doesn’t have to be that daunting.