How did you arrive in your current career? Was it a lifelong dream? Natural career progression? Expectations of your parents? Money?
Regardless if you are 1 year or 30 years in, it’s never too late or too early to do a little soul charting and skill mapping. WHO we are is the most compelling source of wisdom around discovering and cultivating a WHAT that will ignite, inspire, and delight us throughout our career.
WHO you are has nothing to do with your title, roles, or status. It has everything to do with what lights you up and gives you endless pleasure. It is the unchangeable (although evolving) part of you that makes you uniquely you. The way your mind works (and doesn’t), your preferences, talents, and mastery hold wisdom that can lead you to a KNOWING of a WHAT (career) that will tap your best and nourish your whole self.
Here’s a fundamental belief I hold as sacred truth: Our work in the world matters. It is one way in which we make an impact, and it has a reach that extends well beyond our private sphere.
As an intelligent, talented human being, you can do many things well. But just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it. (This holds true in LOTS of situations).
How do you choose? Start with remembering that a choice is not a forever choice – it is a recognition and honoring of what’s calling you NOW. One of my fave quotes is “Suffering comes from making the impermanent permanent.” Have you ever suffered because you stayed too long?
So let’s do a little exercise (only if you’re curious).
- Write down everything that piques your interest or that you deeply care about. Then jot down what you’re doing when you are happiest, lose track of time, or feel most stimulated. (Soul Charting)
- Write down everything that you are naturally gifted, skilled, or talented at (Skill Mapping)
- Got it? Now play with the intersection of the two lists. How can you bring your mastery to your desire?
The result is information; not good or bad. The only questionable choice is to ignore the information. It is never too late or too early to stay, pivot, recreate, or elevate, and each of those possibilities might be available in your current role (or not). And remember, our choice is about NOW; this chapter. Choose well!
PS… Rinse and Repeat this exercise every year preferably in a self-created, self-led visioning retreat.