“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”
I was recently working with one of my coaching clients when he shared how his current position at work would be changing. He casually explained what the new role would entail and that he essentially planned to go along with the change, seeing little other choice in the matter.
However, as he shared the details of what his new role would entail, I was puzzled. Curious, I asked if I could make an observation. Open to my thoughts, I told him that based off of our previous conversations about his career interests as well as assessment results, what he was describing sounded quite honestly like death to someone with his hardwiring and interests. I then asked how he truthfully felt about the new position and he laughed and said he already knew he would hate everything about it. Clearly we had some work to do.
Taking a timeout from the discussion of his current career situation, I asked him what he really wanted when it came to his career. We then talked about where he wanted to be in his career 5 years down the road and if this new position would move him closer to that objective, or further away. It was a no brainer. He quickly saw that he had no interest in the work and that it was completely out of alignment with what he wanted to do long-term. We immediately began putting a plan together for how he could begin to take steps in the right direction.
While I wish I could say this was a rare occurrence, I have actually had multiple clients even in the past few months who have faced similar situations. They are in a career that is completely out of sync with their strengths, interests and gifts, yet they move forward down that path because it is simply the path they are already on and what is before them.
Going a step further, of these clients, several have developed skills to such an extent in a certain area that they almost feel they have no option but to continue down the path they are on. When discussing if those long developed skills are even ones they want to continue using, clients often find that just because they have developed skills in an area does not mean those are the skills they even want to utilize and further develop!
So if you want to work in a career that fits, if you want to work in a career that allows you to make your highest contribution, that is fulfilling and meaningful, you have to stop and ask yourself a critical question.
You need to ask yourself, “What do I want when it comes to my work?”
Sounds easy enough, right? Yet few of us take the time to ask, answer and move on this seeming simple question.
So how do you know if you are on the right path, or need to make a change? Let me share a tool with you that can help.
I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on Jerrid Sebesta’s Repurposed podcast (which I highly recommend!) and during the interview, I mentioned something called the 70:30 Principle. The idea is simple. You want to ensure you are working in a job that allows you to work in your strengths, doing things that are energizing, things you are best at at least 70% of the time. No job is perfect and all will have some aspects that we would quite simply rather not do, but if you can keep those to 30% or less of your role, you will typically be in a good place. However, when these numbers start to get out of balance and you spend more than 30% of your time doing things that are draining and outside of your strengths, that is when you do not want to go to work, you leave feeling exhausted and your job truly feels like work.
As you consider the 70:30 Principle, what is your current percentage breakdown? Where is it trending? What does it say about if you are on the right career path, or if you need to adjust course?
Take some time and ask yourself today, what do I want when it comes to my work?
Am I on the right path?
I am a firm believer that we spend too much of our lives to work in jobs that do not allow us to give our very best. God created you the way He did, with the skills, abilities and interests He gave you for a reason. Don’t waste what God has given you. Find a career that fits. You – and those around you will be so thankful that you did!