Finding a fulfilling career that enriches your life is about much more than chasing happiness, which is all too fleeting. A career should:
- Provide the opportunity for learning and development
- Give you a sense of autonomy
- Help you feel like you’re winning and receive recognition for that
- Help you connect with those around you, for a sense of relatedness
- And much more.
Luckily, there’s a way to tie all these threads together, to help identify your enriched career. That lies in the simple, yet powerful model, SLIMPACT™
What is SLIMPACT™?
You may have heard of the Japanese model for career choice, called Ikigai (pronounced eye-ka-guy). Ikigai aims for you to discover where your passions and talents intersect with the things that ‘the world needs’ and is willing to pay for. I personally admire the Ikigai model, however I find that the majority of my coaching clients really struggle with implementing the model, especially at the point of determining what ‘the world needs’.
After coaching many hundreds of people, I found a more accessible model. One which has you focussing on the intersection of Strengths + Love + Importance + Money, (SLIM). It provides an easier pathway for people to feel enriched in their career. When some of my coaching clients go even further and add in their P for Purpose, it leads them to discover their own super-enriched career. I call this approach, the SLIMPACT™ model.
When you find your SLIMPACT™ it supports you to:
- make an IMPACT when you work from your enriched spot
- make a PACT with yourself to work from your enriched spot
- ACT with Purpose and enrichment in whatever you do in your career.
Simple, yet powerful, I have seen people transform their careers using the SLIMPACT™ model. It can also do the same for you.
How can I make SLIMPACT™ work for me?
S is for STRENGTHS
Your strengths are, simply put, what you are good at.
These are your skills (functional, formal and personality skills) and accomplishments. They may encompass what you are naturally good at, but also what you have worked hard to achieve over time. In other words, they are your competencies, which, according to Self-Determination Theory, are one of three things vital to a fulfilling career.
A career that harnesses your strengths not only ensures you achieve higher levels of performance, but it also builds confidence and leads to higher levels of job satisfaction as you flourish in your role.
L is for LOVE
What you love is an easy piece of the career puzzle to figure out. This component encompasses all those things that seem to enrich your life innately. These are the things you are drawn to, where you seem to lose time because you enjoy what you’re doing so completely. These are also your interests. A career that incorporates what you love keeps you committed and engaged with what you do, and is, therefore, an essential component of a successful career.
I is for IMPORTANT
What’s important to you represents what you stand for and the culture you are drawn to.
It’s crucial you are clear about what you do and don’t stand for, in terms of the values you hold, the values an organisation holds, what motivates you, and the traits of the people you best fit with.
When you are clear on these, you’ll be more discerning about the type of work you want to do and the workplace culture you want to be part of. In other words, you’ll be equipped to identify a workplace that you fit with, because it employs people with personality traits you gel with, and also shares the values that have meaning to you.
When you feel as though you fit with the workplace culture, you’ll have a sense of affinity with your employer and team members, fostering that all-important sense of relatedness that Self- Determination Theory says is critical to an enriched career.
M is for MONEY
What you can get paid for is not about finding the highest-paying job. While not having enough of it can breed dissatisfaction, the amount you are paid doesn’t determine whether or not you’ll find a career fulfilling. Instead, the money component refers to finding a financially-viable career. After all, one reason we work is to support our lifestyles and families, so you need to choose a job that will be able to provide for those things.
For an enriched career, you need all four of these components to be satisfied. A career with one of these missing will only deplete you.
WHAT ABOUT PURPOSE?
For many people, finding the intersection of their Strengths + Love + Importance + Money (SLIM) in a job is enough to enrich their lives. They go on to enjoy a fulfilling career that satisfies them in a way they never believed possible. Others, however, may like to go deeper and also ensure their potential career includes a sense of Purpose, to achieve what I call a super-enriched career.
Caveat: Considering Purpose in your career is an optional step. You can absolutely enjoy a fulfilling career path without identifying your Purpose. However, if you feel as though you are a Purpose- driven person, then I’d encourage you to consider this additional component to the career model.
The additional ‘Purpose’ component is the P of the SLIMPACT™ model. It super-enriches your career, allowing you to really hone in on the way in which you will make an IMPACT thereby living with Purpose.
If you are Purpose-driven, you desire to create an impact bigger than yourself, and so this more complex model asks you to identify why you do what you do.
Your why does not merely come from your head. It is not cerebral. It must be from your mind, body and core.
In his best-selling book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek related that only when he learned to articulate why he did what he did, did his life start to turn around. He stopped talking about what he did and only started talking about what he believed.
He said that people who believed what he believed in wanted to learn more. He was magnetic.
Here is an examples of a magnetic why that I workshopped with one of my coaching clients:
“In the space of one year, I attended 70 funerals of family and community members – most of whom were aged between 37 and 52 in remote parts of my home state. I was so overcome by the injustice and the inequality of services and support to people in remote areas, that I quit my successful career as a plumber and made a commitment that people in remote areas would never endure such suffering ever again.”
Try out the SLIMPACT™ model and let me know what occurs to you. It’s a simple, but necessarily easy model, and it is absolutely worthwhile exploring. After all, it is your life we are talking about.