I have been working in the area of career development for almost 15 years, I have coached 100s of people through varied career stages - career planning, career progression, career change, entrepreneurship, business planning, personal and professional development.
What is very clear to me and always was, is that one size does not fit all, while the struggles and obstacles are comparable, the dream and vision of each person is entirely unique and what offers career fulfilment for one person equates to restriction for another.
Career Alignment comes from a unique combination of what truly matters to each individual. It is the experience of leaning into your strengths, truly being you, paying attention to your values and freeing your unique genius and unique skillset so that the world can benefit from it.
What does 'career' mean for you and what does 'alignment' feel like for you?
It is of course subjective, your personal definition and understanding of career will depend on your life experience, opinions, influences, culture, preferences, upbringing and of course, your choices. What do you choose to believe? What do you choose to accept when it comes to your career and your priorities?
Your Life’s Work
I have always been intrigued with the choices people make when it comes to their life’s work – their career. Why do people chose a certain industry or focus, what motivates some people to create and some to support, how can some people face life and death situations every day when others use their fame and influence to sell perfume?
What drives people to stay in jobs that clearly don’t suit them? I wonder why the widely reported 85% of the global workforce who are unhappy in their work (2017) don’t exercise their free will to make a change and pursue a career that brings them a sense of satisfaction and contentment.
Why do so many people settle? Why do so many people lack a deeper sense of self knowledge?
A career is just a job to some people – a means to a financial end, for others it’s a life’s purpose, a calling or vocation and for others’ still it’s a vehicle for change – for social impact.
For some it is an expression of thought, talent, skill and for others it’s a reaction to the conditioning they were brought up with. For some people career defines the corporate ladder or going from one job to the next, for others it means entrepreneurship and business and innovation. Your sense of career is directly influenced by your culture & upbringing and what you accept as the 'norm'.
For me, career is the umbrella term for anything that happens in the working, professional or vocational area of your life – jobs, work, entrepreneurship, business, freelancing, volunteering, education & learning.
I define Career Alignment as the perfect blend of life and work, allowing for full and authentic expression of who you are – your skills, strengths, vision, preferences, interests, values, unique contribution, philosophy, talent. You get to decide when and how you work - time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom.
Follow Your Passion - Do What You Love!
It’s an old cliché, but let’s bring it into the context of opportunity in 2021. Imagine your working life exactly as you’d like it to be – it matches your ambitions, skills, personality and vision, it’s aligned with who you are and what you believe in, it's what you've dreamed of, it allows you to follow your passion.
The workplace has fundamentally changed and continues to change rapidly everyday - the pandemic has added further rapid change to the mix in terms of how we view the blend between work and life, the shape of the working day, how we communicate, how we treat each other and we have all learned how flexible and adaptable we truly are.
There is a wave of creativity and productivity already happening and it is driven by the need for flexibility:
Alignment for me is not alignment for you.
You may see it entirely differently depending on your values.
Career Alignment for you might be :
The modern working world affords us endless opportunities as to how we contribute – that’s the point, you get to decide!
I’m not suggesting that the only path to freedom and contentment is to quit your job in the morning, I’m saying that staying in a job or career that is wearing you down and does not allow you fully express who you are and what you’re capable of IS NOT necessary.
I believe everyone deserves job satisfaction, fulfilment, recognition, purpose, meaningful contribution, achievement, growth and development.
Create a life and career in alignment with who you truly are, how you want to express yourself and how you want to live in, experience and contribute to the world!
Society is suffering from the fact that so many people are not listening to that voice inside, they’re dismissing their genius, they’re trying to fit the mould of others and they end up playing a fabricated role at work.
Imagine if instead of 85% of the global workforce
hating their jobs; 85% loved their work?!
Thankfully, collaboration is now preferred over competition, a sense of abundance and sharing of success allows everyone to grow and evolve and the freedom that comes in that environment can only be a good thing for society and for the world.