How to Move in Your Career with Purpose and Intention
There are many ways a person can end up on a chosen career path. I remember when I was choosing my career path, I was six years old. I wanted to be an ice skater and a pediatrician. It sounded like it could work, a physician by day and ice skater by night.
As I got older, I realized that the physician and ice-skater dreams were not aligned. It was time to come up with a new career path. Throughout the years, I wanted to be an Interior Designer, Orthopedic Surgeon, Nurse, Engineer, Athletic Trainer, Exercise Physiologist, Physician Assistant. I finally landed on working in healthcare management, which led me to be a Professional Career Coach helping other professionals to create career paths that they love.
Looking back on the career path I took; it was filled with emotional decision making and no intention for alignment. I went through the motions of going from one job to the next.
For years, I wondered from position to position aimlessly just hoping I would stumble into a situation that would finally make sense and would make me happy. I worked in corporate settings, private practice settings, university settings, big companies, small companies, growing companies. You name it; I worked in it.
At the beginning of any job I took, I would feel so happy. However, as time went by, feelings of monotony, resentment, and annoyance would begin to creep in. These feelings led me to start job searching.
For years, I remained in this cycle of emotions, which became known as the “there must be more than this” cycle.
I remember during this time, I looked at others who seemed well-grounded in their career. The ones who were moving up in their career, achieving success, making the money they wanted, having work-life balance, creating their career path with no problem. What was their secret?
Then I started to realize, the most significant difference between the people whose career path seemed effortless and mine was their confidence, mindset, and career strategy. The ones who knew what they wanted would move with purpose and intention, not haste or emotion.
The secret is when you make a strategic career move, it comes from a place of abundance and not scarcity.
When a person has a scarcity career mindset, it comes from a place of desperation. One will think that the next job will be better than their current situation regardless of the dynamics, money, culture, schedule, or opportunity. It is the classic, “the grass is always greener on the other side” mentality.
The key to moving successfully in a person’s chosen career path is for a person to concentrate on what their actual values are and to get to know their future self. Most often, a person will operate from their present self and the current pain they feel due to the job dissatisfaction that is happening.
Once a person gives in to the pain, it leads to applying to whatever job there is and usually taking the first job offer.
When a person moves with intention and purpose in their career, it involves three steps:
Step 1. Examine the root cause that is causing the job pain. Taking this step allows for a person to think about the situation and examine the real issue or issues.
Step 2. Think about the future and what that entails. Write out the wants for lifestyle, salary, position, schedule, routine, family status, company culture, and think about everything from a holistic perspective. This exercise helps to pull out who the future self is to be able to move toward that person. Think deeply about what position would best align with who that future self is and the ideal situation. The goal is for the person to know their career goals honestly.
Step 3. Know the fundamental values that matter. There are several values that a person can want in a career. Some of the benefits include Leadership, Achievement, Personal Performance, Fulfillment, Self-Expression, Organization. Therefore, before taking a position it is necessary to think what really matters in a job.
Using these three steps helps with clarity in gaining insight into dissecting the issues and concerns that occurring during one’s career path. Everyone’s career path is unique.
The goal is to be happy at work and if a job change is necessary making sure that it aligns with one’s short-term and long-term goals is the key for success.
Opinions expressed by NPSM contributors are their own.