As my Master’s degree studies are coming to an end, I am currently looking for jobs quite actively. I have actually never been in this situation before since I have been fortunate enough to always just move from one permanent position to another. It’s scary not knowing what I’ll be doing in just a few months, or where I’ll be, but at the same time it’s refreshing to have everything out and open. Best things usually happen when you’re a little bit scared. It forces you to really consider what you see as important in life, what makes you happy.
These types of turning points in life are also perfect opportunities to take a little strategy session with yourself. I would not want to ever find myself just floating through life with the current, without ever stopping to think where I want that current to lead or if that current even is the one I want to be on. And when thinking about career, I believe far too many people focus on finding out what they want to do. I believe it’s more important to find out what kind of life you want to have.
And that’s why I’m not throwing around applications here and there looking for anything that even remotely sounds like marketing. Even though I believe every job is an opportunity to learn, at this point in life I want to find something that makes my head spin of excitement, that is part of that picture of how I want my life to be. As Spielberg famously said it: ”The hardest thing to listen to—your instincts, your human personal intuition—always whispers; it never shouts. And if you can listen to the whisper, and if it tickles your heart, and it's something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life, and we will benefit from everything you do.” In order to truly do a great job, the job needs to tickle your heart.
Purpose-led personal branding is about finding the why
Major cheese balls but I strongly believe in that message. If purpose-led branding is the name of the game for successful modern brands, so is purpose-led personal branding for the job seekers. It’s about finding your why. Why is it that you’re in marketing or business or what ever it is that you do? Why do you get up in the morning?
I recently watched a great TED Talk by Dan Buettner who studies the blue zones, that is areas of the world with the longest-living people. In one of these zones, in the island of Okinawa, these people have a concept of ikigai. It means a sense of purpose, the why you get up in the morning. This sense of purpose was one of the connective aspects of the cultures with the longest-living people, the blue zones (check the talk for the other aspects, it’s quite interesting). And it’s important to note that not everyone needs to be entrepreneurs and executives in order to find a passion in life. The ikigai can be anything from taking care of your family to growing a rose garden.
So the talk about finding your passion and tickling your heart is not just meaningless blather of the privileged and the Pinterest boards, it’s one of the fundamental pieces of happiness and long life. Hope no one forgets that while running the rat race.