When I met with Jean, she was despondent about her career. Like many people, I have met over time, Jean was working in an industry she had no real interest in, nor could see she wasn’t connected with what her employer did. She worked in middle management with an energy utility. She was also going through a Performance Improvement Program (PIP) aka a warning process. (As you probably are aware, easily 90 percent of people going through a PIP never pass it.)
Whenever we would meet, she mentioned she dreaded the thought of working with another utility. But that was all she was familiar with. 6 months later, having worked together in a coaching relationship, Jean is loving her job. So, what changed?
People have often asked me, “Greg, is it true that when you follow your passions, you’ll never work a day in your life?” I believe it’s more true than false.
There are a number of factors, but when you can work in an area you Love, then work does not feel like ‘work’. It feels like real joy.
Love is the L in our SLIMPACT™ model for career enrichment. The other letters in SLIMPACT™ stand for S, Strengths, I is what is of Importance to you, M is for Money – who or what is going to pay you for whether your S, L, and I intersect. And P stands for Purpose, what is your what, your reason for doing all of this (P is not necessary, but if you have one, then wow!).
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.
So back to L: working in an area you Love goes a long way to helping you discover career enrichment. Clearly it is not the only ingredient, but it accounts for a significant amount.
One of the exercises I asked Jean to consider was what things or what situations caused her to lose a sense of time.
Haven’t we all been in this situation? We find we are so engrossed in something, that we suddenly ‘wake up’, look at our watch and realise that time has disappeared.
Maybe it’s writing an article or a chapter in a book. (It is for me)
Maybe it is a workout.
Working with children?
Reading about a certain topic?
The list is endless.
But the crucial question to really ask yourself is where does time get lost?
In my book, Career Clarity: How to find career fulfillment, I introduce the reader to SLIMPACT™. In Chapter 4, I pose the question “Where do you get lost?”
And then I ask them to start to ponder on some of these questions:
- What hobbies did you used to do before life got so busy? Would you like to take up any of those again?
- What topic could you read 200 books about and still want to know more?
- Thinking about your current or past jobs, what activities or tasks did you find the most engaging?
- Imagine you have retired from work. What do you wish you had done with your time in the last 20 years?
There are more, but these are great thought starters.
With Jean, she was just no longer into fossil fuels. However, after probing her L, what she Loved, it was clear she was over the moon crazy about scrapbooking. Her entire physiology changed every time we talked about the topic. And she could talk endlessly about her passion for scrapbooking.
Now scrapbooking is not my area of passions, but it clearly was hers. And that was gold to her and to me. So, we worked out a plan for her to move into that field. It was clear that Jean had no real interest in passing her PIP.
But she did have a passion for changing the direction of her career into something at least allied with scrapbooking. And as circumstances had it, when she also applied the approach from another book I authored, Career Networking: How to unlock the hidden job market, she found a job with a major supplier of arts and crafts within 2 months.
Fast forward to today, instead of being miserable, doing only what she felt she just knew, she now comes to work enthused and excited.
So, when you follow your passions, you too can be like Jean and feel like you’re never ‘working’ a day in your life.
You too can have a super-enriched career. Check out my book Career Clarity: how to find career fulfillment. And my book Career Networking: How to unlock the hidden job market will help you find that perfect job.