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How a Fulfilling Career Helps You Create Balance

Updated: Apr 8, 2023



For background, in this post I had explored the link with time management and life management, which to me are closely linked since one cannot go without the other.


As a time management coach, I've worked with lots of clients struggling to manage their time and achieve their goals, which is usually the reason why they come to seek my help in the first place.


One thing I've learned is that having a fulfilling career can have a major impact on how well and efficiently you manage your life as a whole, and therefore your work-life balance and time overall.


Research shows that when you find your true purpose and apply it to your career, you are more likely to be fulfilled, satisfied and productive in your work and in your personal life.


Finding Your Purpose


Finding your true purpose can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.


It’s about learning to discover yourself, what you like, your unique mission or calling in life, often tied to personal values, talents, and passions. It involves identifying the things that bring a sense of fulfilment and meaning, and using those insights to shape one's goals and actions. Finding one's purpose can provide a sense of direction and motivation, and can lead to a greater sense of fulfilment and happiness in life.


Here are some tips to help you on your journey to a fulfilling career:


1. Identify your passions


Make a list of the things that excite you, that you enjoy doing and that you are good at. This could be anything from working with animals to cooking to public speaking. However keep in mind that following your passions only gives you hints about what you should make a career in: it is not the end of the path. Watch this TED talk to under why making your passion into a job isn’t always the answer:


2. Assess your strengths and weaknesses


Take stock of your skills and areas where you need improvement. This will help you determine what types of careers are a good fit for you. Keep in mind that this list is fluctuant and moving with time.

  • If you are still a student, you might not have yet a complete idea of your skills, especially your soft skills, since primary and secondary education around the world mostly focuses on providing you hard skills: this means that you will only be able to discover your soft skills, whether natural or grown overtime, via working experience and general aging.

  • If you are a working individual, ask yourself what your job(s) has(ve) taught you over the past years and how you can better shape your career and work scope to fit both your evolving interests and set of skills.

3. Research career options


Look for careers that align with your passions and strengths. This could involve talking to people who work in those fields, researching online or attending career fairs. This might be one of the most important steps, depending on where you live and which education you were given, whether by your parents, extended family and friends and through school and university: most people tend to have a closed, biased and non-actualised opinion about available jobs in the current market. This means you cannot rely only on what you are told, and you will need to spend those extra hours to research about job opportunities and career paths.


If you are already a working individual, talk to your in-house or local employment center career adviser, and research the current market to find another job more suited to your new you.


4. Gain experience


Once you have identified potential career paths, gain experience in those fields through internships, volunteering or part-time work. This will help you determine if the career is a good fit for you.


If you are already a working individual, testing other jobs might be more difficult, but keep in mind that if you really want it, you will always find a way. Talk to your current employer about it and think about a temporary shift of your contract from full-time to part-time to allow for a smooth transition between the two jobs and get your employer time to recruit a new head to replace you (and you time to both test other jobs and train a new recruit to replace you in your old job). That’s what is called a win-win situation.


5. Take risks


Sometimes taking a leap of faith is necessary to find your true purpose. Don't be afraid to try something new or pursue a career path that may be outside of your comfort zone.


💡 Finding your true purpose and applying it to the greater good to feel more fulfilled is the whole research theme of the ‘80,000 hours’ non-profit, led by Oxford researchers from the Global Priorities Research Institute. They center their ideas around the 80,000 hours mark, which corresponds to the total amount of hours you will work in your life. Check out their work here: https://80000hours.org/key-ideas/

How To Make Your Career Sustainable


Once you've found a fulfilling career, it's important to make sure it's sustainable.


A sustainable career is one that can provide long-term satisfaction and success, while also contributing to a greater purpose or goal. In other words, it's a career that allows you to do meaningful work that aligns with your values and provides a sense of fulfilment, while also allowing you to maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout.


A sustainable career is not just about making a living, but about creating a meaningful and fulfilling life through your work. It's about finding a career that allows you to grow and develop as a person, while also making a positive impact on the world around you.


Here are some tips for managing your time and achieving a healthy work-life balance:

  1. Set boundaries: If your employment contract is clear on your working hours, stick to them. If your employment contract is not clear enough, or if you work for yourself as freelance or entrepreneur, determine when you will work and when you will take time for yourself and stick to those boundaries.

  2. Prioritize self-care: Take care of your physical, emotional and mental health by getting enough sleep, exercise, healthy food, and downtime. Balance is achieved through an equal amount of on-time and off-time.

  3. Practice mindfulness: Be present and focused on the task at hand. This will help you stay productive and reduce stress. Reduce distractions by using time-blocking and avoiding multi-tasking.

  4. Delegate: Learn to delegate tasks to others so you can focus on what's most important. This can be applied to the professional sphere and the personal one.

  5. Plan for the unexpected: Life happens, so be flexible and prepared to adjust your schedule when necessary. Keeping this in mind will help you avoid procrastinating time-bound tasks until the absolute last minute before their deadline.

How A Sustainable, Fulfilling Career Is The Key


When you find a career that aligns with your passions and purpose, you'll find that managing your time and achieving your goals becomes much easier.


Why? Because you'll be more motivated and engaged in your work. When you enjoy what you do, you're more likely to be productive and efficient, as well as find meaning and fulfilment in your career.


In addition, when you're working towards a goal that is personally meaningful, you're more likely to stay focused and committed, which can help you overcome challenges and obstacles that may arise.


By aligning your career with your purpose, you can create a sustainable career that allows you to thrive both personally and professionally.


It is all about finding balance — the whole idea behind my coaching business — between your professional interests and your personal interests, and being mindful about getting the two to interconnect and feed each other: they do not need staying separate!


 

In conclusion, I want to stress that I have struggled with this duality myself for a long time, and have never felt so happy and aligned with my values until I realised I could get rid of this duality.


In today’s world, I believe we are way past the old teachings of our parents and their parents before that, whereby a job is simply a way to earn money and does not need to be enjoyable and fulfilling.


I think it is time for everyone to understand that they do have an impact to make through their carriers, and that the strict, duality-driven, work-life balance matrix may not be the perfect and unique lens after all. Confronting work and life makes it sound as if life gets opposed to work, whereas in fact work itself is a part of life, not its opposite.


This wrongly placed duality is a theme I will explore more on this blog, so make sure you subscribe to the Team Monday Newsletter to receive updates about everything I write and post here!


And remember: a fulfilling career is a journey, not a destination. Stay open-minded and continue to learn and grow throughout your career.

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