Philosopher and theologian, Howard Thurman famously said:
“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
In my blog post last week – “Job Searching With Heart: Part One,” Thurman’s inspiring quote served as a jumping off point to talk about the things we love to do at our core and how those predispositions – especially the things we loved doing as children – can help point us in the direction toward a new job or career.
In this week’s “Part Two” post, I’ve got two additional questions that springboard from the Thurman quote – that can help you further excavate down through the layers of shoulds and responsibilities to the activities that make your heart sing – make you feel more alive.
The Money Question
If you could take money out of the equation, how would you want to spend your time? I hope you’ll take a moment to sit back and suspend judgment – even if just for five minutes – to jot down whatever comes to mind.
When I posed this question to one of my coaching clients who was feeling particularly unfulfilled at work (I’ll call her Beth), she responded that she would love to simply be baking. After we discussed how she could incorporate this beloved activity into her present life, while still working full-time, Beth took action and got baking. In addition to bringing her immeasurable pleasure and relieving the stress she was feeling at work, baking her signature pies actually ended up opening new doors. The new networks Beth developed by sharing her pies in her community, ultimately helped connect her with a new full-time job that she loved. In the end, Beth turned her pie-baking into a side-hustle that brought in a steady stream of additional income.
While the need to make money is a very real one, temporarily taking it out of the equation can help lead you back to the essence of what you truly love doing and those “Aha” moments/ bursts of insight can help inform your next career move. I’ve seen it happen time and again with my clients…taking steps towards your joy/ doing things you love, can, in turn, open additional doors that you may never have expected.
What’s Your Type?
Another factor and clue to what makes you come alive in a job/ career context can be your personality type – that unique pattern of mental, emotional, physical, and behavioral characteristics that help to create a more complete picture of you and the things that make you tick.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is an assessment that breaks personality down into four preferences:
- How you draw your energy: Are you more energized being alone or around other people? (I – Introvert or E – Extrovert)
- How you understand the world: Do you focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? (S – Sensing or N – Intuitive)
- How you make decisions: More thinking or more feeling? (T – Thinking or F – Feeling)
- Your need for structure/ order: Planner or more spontaneous? (J – Judging or P – Perceiving)
After going through the MBTI personality assessment you’ll find out which way you lean for each of the above four indicators and where you fall within the sixteen possible personality types. Once you find out your type, this additional layer of self-actualization can be hugely helpful discovering a new path.
There are plenty of free online versions of the MBTI, and other personality tests out there as well, however there are practitioners who are certified to administer the MBTI (myself included), which I highly recommend since you need an experienced practitioner to help you navigate this assessment well. A professional can provide a more complete, in-depth understanding – interpreting the finer points of your MBTI results.
All too often we discount the way we’re wired and relegate the things we naturally love to do into the “not-something-I-could actually-do-for-work” pile. Well I’m here to say, “Think again!” Granted, some beloved activities may not pay the bills, but some just might. At the very least, they could provide a happy medium – balancing out other income producing work and bringing greater fulfillment to your life.
So I encourage you to take Thurman’s quote to heart…stick it on your frig…keep it by your bedside… because it’s important to include your heart in the job search process…because we need more people who love what they do in this world – more people who have come alive!