Because you deserve to utilize your strengths and talents and find your “inner spark”!
Life can often be difficult, tiring, and even sad, but it can also be a deeply rewarding experience that you can turn around into “greatness” especially if you feel like you are making the most of your talents and can provide some sort of service to this planet in your work.
I saw this with a street performer recently…a talented 25-year-old native American Jimmy Fallon-like character, who was a comedian…and flame thrower…who took a surrounding audience of 50+ people out of their heads for one small moment in time to entertain us, make us laugh…bring us into his world to bring us out of ours. He pushed through his fears, his inhibitions, both physically and mentally to do something he loved…which was to give his talents back to make people happy. I bet you over half of the audience walked away inspired by his talents and creativity. And maybe he was not a classically rich guy… Or…maybe he made more money in two days then many of us make all week. I’m not really sure. But what I do know is that he had that inner spark. And that is worth far more than mini-mansions, nice cars, or the classically wealthy list of “must haves.
So how can you turn your life into greatness by finding your inner spark? This means not allowing yourself to be defined by your past, your family history, or the tragedies you may have encountered, know your strengths and talents you have to offer, and to truly carve in some meaning in your work… the fuel for getting up in every morning. Ghandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” And a great place to dive into this philosophy is in your job… the place where you spend over 50% of your waking hours.
Finding your spark does not mean that you have to find your “Dream Job”. Afterall, work is still work…no matter how much you love it. It doesn’t mean even that you have to start your entire career over in a new direction. It could mean side-stepping over to a better industry, a company with a human service-oriented culture, or just simply carving out more meaning and purpose so you can use your innate strengths to create a fulfilling career. It could be that you are simply providing well for your family if that is needed. Nietzsche said once, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
What happens when we ignore this concept? If we are unhappy, even miserable, with no purpose or meaning in our work, the mental and physical toll this can take on our lives and our loved ones can be debilitating. It can show up in all sorts of ways such as misdirecting unhappiness into a problem with your marriage, addictions, and often health problems. Suicide is on the rise for males between 45-64. Wealth and riches are not enough to bring happiness, as research has repeatedly conveyed. I have traveled globally and have seen the difference in people that bring purpose and value into their work. Their lives are rich, no matter what level of salary they bring home… no matter what career they have. The importance of threading meaning into one’s work can be the difference between life and death sometimes.
I know this first hand because I am a widow and single mother of two great sons. When my husband died, I had to close his company and continue working a full-time job as chairperson of a college department while raising my son who was only 4 at the time. I think the busy schedule was a choice that kept me going, but there was a point after a year where I found myself so exhausted that I was napping on my office floor because work was bleeding like an open chest wound into all areas of my life, my responsibilities were overwhelming and I had lost ALL wind in my sails. I knew if I did not do something fast, there would just be a shell of me…and I could not/would not let that happen for my son’s sake.
So I quit my job out of guilt and obligation to do what was right my department and colleagues, and rehabbed houses for a few years, found some peace and solace in my new life, but went back to higher ed to work in marketing a few years later. I also knew that it was time to start carving some real meaning into my life because I felt lost at that point without a “why”. I probably had always wanted to work in career counseling or coaching and I knew at that time that I was going to make it happen. It was where my spark resided. I worked with my students and my employees helping them with their careers for years, and it was what I naturally gravitated toward. I knew deep down that it was the way that I wanted to provide service to others. It just needed to be on my own terms, and as a single mother- I still had to finally support us, so it needed to make be a financially viable path for us.
My research over the years showed me the vast difference in socioeconomic levels…it was the main reason I chose to work at the community college level versus following my prior university pathway. I have worked with an array of high school and college graduates, sprinkled with some ivy-leaguers giving me a unique perspective as to the differences between these worlds and upbringings. Those who utilized career, executive coaching, or mentors, as well as strategized and managed their careers with meaning and intention saw their goals and dreams come to fruition (some in extraordinary ways), and often were the ones that taught their kids to strategize and manage their careers as well.
But think about it…most of us in school were never taught to grow our careers (career management)…just to immediately go out and get a job…though our careers, if strategized and managed well, can be our greatest personal and financial growth vehicles…a rare 2-for-1. This is the same concept as personal financial management that Robert Kiyosaki has talked about in his “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” books. Why are neither of these taught in schools?
I have dedicated my work and this company to help my clients strategize and manager their careers faster and more effectively….and I wanted to make it accessible to all by offering different levels of affordability instead of aiming for only those that can afford high-end packages- because everyone should be able to have access to this information.
I also realized that there needed to be a system to help people get there… a way to help them sift through their drives, motivations, and what was important so that they could map out their paths from A-Z to stay on track, which is why we developed a career management platform called the Career5 Roadmap© .
Two years were spent on researching, creating, testing, listening to clients, and iterating the Career5 Roadmap© methodology and developing the first career management platform so that our clients had a better way to get what they wanted out of their careers. Watching them get clarity through the roadmap combined with coaching has helped them to quickly and economically get on the right road, and has been amazing to witness. There are so many people out there with drive and amazing strengths and talents. It has been a privilege to work with my clients. Every one of them has had their own amazing superpower.
If I had a bumper sticker, it would read: “Better humans- better planet”, because every person deserves to realize his/her potential and strengths. And when people are thriving better, societies are thriving better-moving beyond that bottom rung of Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs, leaving us with greater capacity to take better care of ourselves and others, and ultimately this planet.
I want you to experience this. I want you to thrive and use your strengths and talents because we will ALL be better off for it. All I ask from you is that you “take the wheel” and OWN your career journey. You individually need to invest in yourself and cultivate your own growth to forge your own path, because no one will ever hand you your dreams. It’s a concept that, when embraced, can be so empowering. When you are on the right path for you, utilizing your talents and strengths in a meaningful way, you will be surprised by how much support you will get. Your positive energy and spark will shine through and you will begin to feel more energetic and be able to give back more. Seeing this change in my clients is, by far, the BEST part of my job. So remember, we are here to support you through your journey so that you can be the best version of yourself starting today!
Best to you,
Career Strategist and Founder of Career5