Finding Your Ikigai: Charting a Course for a Fulfilling Career

24 May 2024

Feeling a career shift on the horizon? Or maybe the spark you once had for your work has dimmed. You’re not alone. Many successful professionals reach a point where they crave a new kind of fulfilment, a sense of purpose beyond the next promotion or bigger pay packet.

This is where the beautiful concept of Ikigai comes in. Ikigai, a Japanese philosophy, translates roughly to your ‘reason for being’. It’s the sweet spot where four elements converge – your skills, the things you love doing, what the world needs and what you can be paid for.

Think of it as a Venn diagram with four circles:

  • What you are good at: What are your strengths and areas of expertise? What are you really good at? Where do you excel? What are your key skills?
  • What you love doing: Which of your strength areas do you love to use, more than others? What activities bring you joy and a sense of flow?
  • What the world needs: Does the world need a product or a service you could provide? Where are the job opportunities or business opportunities? 
  • What you can be paid for: Assuming you are looking to be paid for this… Think about how much money you need vs how much you want. What would people pay for? Again, this could be a job opportunity, a service or product. Keep your mind open.

The intersection of these circles is your Ikigai – your unique reason for being.

The beauty of Ikigai is that it applies at any stage of your career. Maybe you’re a seasoned professional or someone just starting out. Perhaps you’re seeking a complete career overhaul, or maybe it’s a matter of finding a more fulfilling project within your current company.

Here are some ways to discover your Ikigai:

  • Self-reflection: Think about your strengths, the things you are really good at. And then consider which of these strengths you really love to use. This overlap between the skills you are good and at those you love… this is your passion.
  • Talk to your network: Seek the insights from your mentor if you have one, as well as trusted friends and colleagues. Gather different opinions and feedback. These people know you and they might help you identify a blind spot.
  • Explore new possibilities: Take workshops, attend industry events or volunteer in different areas to spark inspiration. Open your mind to finding your niche.
  • Find a coach: A good coach will help you work through each of the four areas to enable you to find the right solution for you. Everyone’s Ikigai is different, so it’s important to have yourself at the heart of the solution.

What’s your Ikigai? Mine is about living with purpose, constantly learning and making a positive impact on the world. Remember, Ikigai is personal to you… It’s a journey, not a destination. 

Let’s make your career journey not just about the next rung on the ladder, but about finding the work that truly sparks your passion and purpose. As your coach, I will help you navigate this exciting phase of your career. Together, we can explore your Ikigai and chart a course for a fulfilling and meaningful next chapter.

If you want to know more about Ikigai then I recommend you read “Ikigai: The Secret to a Long and Happy Life”, by Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles.

If you want support in finding your Ikigai then get in touch…