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Guest post from S. Chris Edmonds:
An architect had earned her degree, gained her license, and joined the AIA. She found a well-paying job and even became successful. But she didn’t love it; she didn’t feel she was serving others as well as she could.
A successful salesperson and sales team leader had a twenty-year, well-paid career, but she didn’t love her work. She couldn’t tolerate going through the motions anymore.
With so many years and so much invested in their careers, what could they do? The stories don’t end there.
For the architect, after fifteen years in the field, she quit. She went back to school to study to be a registered nurse. She earned her nursing degree and has found a great job. She loves what she’s doing. She feels she’s serving people beautifully. She’s found her sweet spot.
The salesperson applied at veterinary school. She was accepted and quit her sales job. She headed off to school this month. She’s so excited she can hardly stand it. She can’t wait to finish her doctoral program and serve animals (and their owners) in a veterinary hospital.
You may not be in a position to quit your job and go back to school for your “perfect,” inspiring job. But you may have a good idea of activities that could be a source of inspiration for you.
Are you doing what you’re great at? And what you love to do? Are you paid a living wage to do it?
Perhaps even more important to your sense of personal satisfaction and purpose– are you serving others well while you’re doing it?
I believe that’s the ultimate sweet spot for each of us. Yet sometimes we settle for less than all four of those important elements.
When we settle, we may limit our own joy – and limit our ability to contribute to our company, family, and community.
If we find a career doing something we’re good at and are paid fairly for, but aren’t doing what we love and aren’t serving others well, we’re not going to be happy in the long run. Nor are we likely able to be our best self in every moment.
If we find outlets – volunteering in your community, for example – that let us engage in activities we’re good at, love to do, and serve others well but get little compensation for, that’s a good thing! Activities like these may be a small portion of our week or month (several hours, maybe), but they feed our soul. We’re grateful for these inspiring hours.
What, though, if these inspiring, engaging activities don’t offset the many more hours you spend in an unfulfilling career? What then?
We can choose a different play, a different stage, and a different role – one that does fulfill us daily.
The path won’t be easy. But it may be worth the time, energy, and risks to find that inspiring sweet spot.
If your job isn’t in your sweet spot, engage in activities that nourish your soul and serve others well. Pay it forward – those you serve will be inspired by your actions.
What job or activities fall into your unique sweet spot? In what ways do you nourish your soul and serve others?
S. Chris Edmonds is a sought-after speaker, author, and executive consultant. After a 15-year career leading successful teams, Chris founded his consulting company, The Purposeful Culture Group, in 1990. Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies since 1995. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including Amazon best sellers The Culture Engine and Leading at a Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn from his blog posts, podcasts, assessments, research, and videos at http://drivingresultsthroughculture.com. Get free resources plus weekly updates from Chris by subscribing here.
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